An Approach to Maximize Benefits on Datacenter Initiatives

By Rahul M. Joshi (Profile)
and Srinivas Kumar Prabhakar Arikera (Profile)
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Thursday, October 11th 2012
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Introduction

With rising cost pressures, IT is invariably expected to meet the pent up demand for infrastructure due to increased usage of big data, business analytics and mobility with little or no extra expenditure. In recent times, we have seen organizations taking up large transformation programs in the areas of data center consolidation and hardware virtualization as a pre-cursor to their cloud journey in a bid to reduce costs through automation and standardization.

To meet these incessant demands on IT, IT typically responds with transformation programs in areas like:

  • Hardware Refresh: This refers to the technology refresh of IT infrastructure by replacing the existing server, network & storage infrastructure with the most recent versions of IT infrastructure.
  • Hardware Virtualization: This is the process of converting applications hosted on physical servers to virtual servers by reducing the number of physical servers. One physical server will have more than one virtual server and hence, post virtualization there will be reduced number of physical servers. Storage & Network infrastructure can also be virtualized in a similar fashion.
  • Datacenter Consolidation: Datacenter Consolidation is the process of moving IT infrastructure – equipment & applications from multiple sites or datacenters into one or more target datacenter(s). This can be achieved through multiple means including co-locating the hardware. Such an initiative is typically undertaken by organizations when they seek to control their capex and opex costs.

While each one of these in isolation may provide some benefits to the IT organizations, they may not necessarily help meet transformation goals. In this paper, we believe that the three initiatives can be force multipliers and deliver expected benefits if implemented in a specific sequence keeping in mind the organization’s priorities and business objectives.

Implementation Challenges

Given the transformational nature of the programs mentioned above, organizations face challenges in implementation when trying to combine these programs. When they try to implement these individually, some of the challenges that they face are enumerated below:

Recommended Implementation Roadmap

It is imperative that the organizations understand the impact of implementing each of these programs on crucial factors like datacenter space, tools and applications, utilization of IT resources (compute, storage & network), security, unused capacity, IT processes, and downtime to business. These factors vary from organization to organization depending upon the business objectives and goals to be achieved by these transformation programs. Considerations should include the right mix of technical and financial factors to arrive at the best possible implementation roadmap for meeting business requirements.