Data Center Standardization
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.
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Leveraging Public Data Centers
With the explosive growth of information technologies, many businesses are now realizing the need to expand their data centers. 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.
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Outsourcing Your Data Center
An outsourced data center can cost less than running these same functions in-house. Pricing options, however, vary widely depending on the preferences of the core business and the MSP. Ways to arrange pricing include assessing it according to power consumption or by square foot or port; in some cases, there is a power limit specified in the contract and an overage charge if a business consumes more than is agreed.
An outsourced data center is one of many IT solutions that can be provided via a managed services model. With data center outsourcing, a firm whose core competence is not IT governance decides to contract with another business to provide those functions. Such a contract may involve leasing some portion of the managed services provider's computer infrastructure, but it may also include leasing their talent as well, since the MSP will typically be providing computer administration.
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. Reach out for a free business IT consultation.