More on data center management
If your data center costs are out of control, it's time to consider moving to an agile data center. Agile is a buzzword that's tossed around a bit too much these days, but learning what it really means will translate into significantly higher profits for your data center's shareholders. An agile data center uses efficient hardware, better design, fewer employees and better tools. It also has less wasted space. You might think that the only driving force behind moving to an agile data center is the need to save money. It's a good reason, but it isn't the only one. There are 10 driving forces behind the move to agility in the data center. Are you there yet?
1. Virtualization Technology
Virtualization has changed the face of data centers globally. Server virtualization allows companies to better leverage expensive hardware, costly service contracts and minimize the number of physical trips to the data center. The technology also gives businesses the ability to respond rapidly to changing business conditions. Virtualization fully enables the agile data center by removing the need to have physical access to the data center for server provisioning.
2. Cloud Computing
The true beauty of cloud computing is that it's based on agile technology from concept to implementation. Cloud computing's agility originates with its pooled resources and its inherent scalability and moves on to its extreme cost-effectiveness. It decreases the importance of individual pieces of hardware, minimizes any performance impact due to the loss of failed hardware, and is location-independent. Cloud computing makes your business agile by providing 100 percent service availability to employees and customers.
3. Better Tools
Data center management tools developers have made significant advances in automation, granular management, system provisioning, life cycle management and monitoring that your data center can now operate more efficiently and with fewer full-time employees. With the exception of a few onsite visits, your daily data center operations personnel can work from remote locations. Better tools make better use of your remaining employees' time and drives down labor costs. For far less than the cost of one full-time employee, efficient tools enable you to let the software handle the "heavy lifting" once performed by multiple staff members.
4. Cost Savings
Agile technologies and agile practices save money, and an agile data center is more profitable than a non-agile one. What are the hallmarks of a profitable data center? Few onsite employees, efficiently used rack space, the use of best available technologies, power-efficient hardware, long-life technology (e.g., virtualization) and better design (e.g., adequate air flow, efficient cooling and minimal wasted space). Cost savings is the leading driving force behind the move to an agile data center.
5. Changing Needs
Your customers' needs change over time. You must change with them. Customers want 100-percent availability, lower prices and more services. How do you respond to those needs? By changing the way you do business. Those changing customer needs drive your business to agility. You must move toward an agile business model or lose business to those that do. Agility is in vogue and that isn't likely to change in the foreseeable future.