Best Practices on Data Center Operational Efficiency


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Data Center Operational Efficiency

Today’s data center is the most dynamic and vital to the operations of any organization though it is changing rapidly. Intricacy and indispensability have only multiplied as of late as data centers go through stable growth in size and magnitude, draining an organization’s resources and multiplying the effects of inferior implementation. Best practices on data center operations call for a tactical approach to balancing IT service delivery, cost efficiency, and operational effectiveness. 

Many organizations are incorporating the latest technology solutions in modernizing and advancing their organizations. Others pursue a route to ensure suitable levels of IT service delivery and cost efficiency and alignment of their business goals. These suggest that organizations need to further improve their practices and capitalize on technology, services, or resources to lessen or act on outages. Since the price tag of disruption is so high, the availability of IT capacity is ordinarily the best significant metric on which data centers are gauged. For some data centers, this means providing state-of-the-art levels of accessibility, expediency, and scalability, still, for others, the objective may be to provide “enough level of services whilst having capital expenditures to a minimum.

Data centers must also be able to operate efficiently, both in administration and energy resources, and flexible enough to swiftly adapt to changes in the organization’s computing demand and strategy. IBM and IDC have both developed a data center model for operational efficiency in measuring up the capability levels of today’s data center and detailing the methods IT organizations can advance down to the path of data center transformation. Along this line of transformation, four key stages describe the archetypal evolution of a data center as it relates to efficiency, availability, and flexibility. 

According to IBM Global Data Centre Study, the survey replies were four typical stages that distinguish data centers from one another as IT establishments move forward toward business alignment. These are the following;


           ● Basic: The environment is relatively stable and is maintained based on short-term objectives, with standalone infrastructure as the standard. Organizations have the benefits of server consolidation but did not implement the tools to advance availability levels, which diverge broadly from application to application and site to site.


           ● Availability: IT infrastructure should be handled as a general source pool that can be apportioned and scaled easily to meet the varying needs of workloads and to ensure uptime and performance while affording high rates of utilization. The focus is on measuring and improving service levels while building out governance procedures that capture business requirements.


           ● Consolidated: Server virtualization and site consolidation are expended to take out large quantities of systems and facilities, hence cutting capital costs. Thus, server and storage tools are ably utilized and the prospects for upgrading availability via VM (virtual machine) mobility are set in motion to be realized.


           ● Strategic: Widespread adoption of policy-based automation tools lowers the manual complexity of the data center and ensures availability requirements and dynamic movement of applications and data. Instrumentation and metrics are consistently used to validate compliance with governance policies.”


Upgrading data center efficiency can produce concrete benefits for organizations. A study found that Strategic data centers were able to deliver “greater investment on strategic initiatives, greater efficiency, and greater flexibility.” Employees spend more than 50% of their time on the latest developments against maintaining the in-place infrastructure, compared to 35% for Basic data centers. It was found out further that 39% are conceiving revolutionary projects to re-engineer IT service deliveries as compared to 23%. Had more than 2.5 times the staffing efficacy, averaging more or less 27 servers per administrator compared to just 10 for Basic data centers. Also, more than 50% of the organizations support a high degree of organizational change in contrast to just 6% for Basic data centers.


In actuality, there are two noteworthy schools of thought to keep in mind when assessing the state of data center configuration and efficiency that is consistent with the needs of an organization. First, a data center configuration is an assemblage of network systems, mechanical/electrical systems, applications and appliances, governance processes, storage/servers, and workforces. There is not a single “magic bullet” that gage changes from one efficiency point to the next. The sole effective method to quantify the efficiency of data center operations is to undertake a holistic methodology that takes into consideration various measures across its entirety. Second, the data center’s evolution is a journey, in which one destination may change as the organization’s needs changes. This is a journey that should not be considered and followed blindly, rather, a framework that should be flexible enough to be employed based on a particular need of the organization.


 To become more efficient and to ensure that the demand for new services can be met by the capacity and the infrastructure, many efficacious IT establishments have spent a good deal of their time crafting the best set of practices encompassing an organization’s tools, technologies, and processes. These consist of not only application availability and performance but, more importantly, its ability to swiftly respond to business transformations where the real aim is on affording business benefits. This business focus could ensue in a huge payout for any organization where cutthroat advantage, revenue generation, or innovation is the real purpose.

Many organizations, however, have already taken out a sizeable portion of the hard cost via consolidation through virtualization as data centers move up the efficiency ladder. This is where many IT organizations will at first initiate consolidation to the data center at the server level to cut back on costs by easing idleness in a physical server. Most often, this is followed by storage virtualization and networking system settings, typically propelled by a similar objective of consolidation towards streamlining and reducing costs on physical infrastructure.

Consolidation through virtualization is an indispensable first step in the direction of achieving the best practices for data center operational efficiency.


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