The efficiency of a data center relies largely on the degree to which software and hardware in the system are standardized. Achieving standardization, however, means a large degree of planning. Many businesses currently running data centers constructed them on an as needed basis in which hardware, software, and services were purchased as required. The resulting data centers would do the job needed, but were not as efficient as they could be. Indeed, there would be no way for them to be, given that they evolved without an overall strategy governing the system.
With the explosive growth of information technologies, many businesses are now realizing the need to expand their data centers. According to InformationWeek, half of all technology professionals running data centers faced increasing demand for information resources in 2010, yet only a third of them had a larger budget in that year than they did in 2009.
Creating a more standardized data center can be the solution to both quandaries. Once data centers become more standardized in terms of their software and hardware, they are simpler to maintain and administer. This in turn lowers costs. Standardization also frees up resources because half-utilized areas of the data center can be put fully to use.
In short, data center standardization results in a lower cost of ownership coupled with improved operations and a reduction in the need to stockpile parts. The critical areas for standardization when it comes to data centers are server, platform, communications protocols, and storage. The best way to begin a standardization process is to work with an IT consulting firm with expertise in this area.