Countries and enterprises worldwide are facing headwinds, including slower supply chains, rising fuel and commodity prices and a weaker economic outlook in the next few years. On the data center front, a chip shortage has slowed projects to deploy new assets or replace dated ones. Further pressure comes from tightening regulatory oversight, especially in the areas of environmental friendliness and mandatory on-shoring of data due to privacy concerns.
But while things are expected to be quieter on the business front, there will be no let-up in the amount of data that needs to be processed, transported and stored. CIOs and their teams will still be expected to do more with less while continuing to boost operational and organisational efficiency, better serve internal and external customers, and meet enterprise compliance and sustainability targets.
At the same time, they have to meet all these expectations while keeping a handle on costs, staying current with and technological developments, and operating a nimble IT setup that can enable the enterprise to have undisrupted operations and secure systems and data, and to adapt swiftly to changes in the business environment.
It’s a tall order, one that can be best met when IT assets, skills, methodologies and technologies are leveraged together in an optimal fashion. To achieve this vital mix, many CIOs are consolidating their Data Centers. In a broad sense, DC consolidation refers to the adoption of technologies and strategies that allow for more efficient and agile IT architectures. While the term is usually associated with the replacement of multiple DCs with a single larger facility, it is also used to describe process of downsizing or consolidating servers, storage systems, networking systems, remote access technologies, and network operations centres.
Aims and Challenges
Whatever the form, the purpose of Data Center consolidation is to reduce IT management complexity, trim costs, improve performance and uptime, raise energy efficiency, enhance data and access security, ease user management, reporting and logging, right size power, cooling and UPS capacity and, increasingly, make Data Centers greener. Increasingly, DC consolidation is being driven by migration to the cloud, which inevitably results in a reduced need for enterprise-owned assets and space.
A Data Center consolidation is no walk in the park, though, with a multitude of factors that can cause unplanned downtime. These include improper planning, inaccurate asset inventory records, unfamiliarity with the new IT architecture, skills shortcomings, ineffective use of capacity, inadequate coordination of adds and moves, and so on. Projects that involve multiple facilities spread over several countries are especially challenging.
Right Partner Vital to Project Success
Any of the abovementioned issues can impede the success of a Data Center consolidation. Furthermore, it takes more than determination, C-level buy-in and the latest technological solutions to manage DC consolidation projects successfully. What is really needed is the comprehensive and expert support of an experienced partner: from project design through to on-site logistics, installation and configuration, including any subsequent troubleshooting and maintenance.
The Legrand Group, with more than 30 years of experience providing flexible, proven, and scalable DC solutions, is ideally placed to offer such support. With award-winning solutions from award-winning component companies like Raritan, Server Technology, Starline and USystems, the Group and its team of local specialists has been helping thousands of enterprises across the globe achieve optimal uptime of mission-critical operations and has undertaken many Data Center consolidation projects.