Critical issues facing datacenter managers to worsen in 2010

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 30 November 2009, 11:57 Hrs
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Connecticut: The energy, space and technology problems currently facing datacenter managers are set to worsen in 2010. These issues will continue to plague users in 2010, and datacenter and IT managers need to find pragmatic ways in which to deal with them, according to Gartner.

"Energy costs are the fastest-rising cost element in the datacenter portfolio, and yet datacenter managers are still not paying sufficient attention to the process of measuring, monitoring and modeling energy use in datacenters," said Rakesh Kumar, Research Vice President at Gartner. "They need to realize that removing a single x86 server from a datacenter will result in savings of more than $400 a year in energy costs alone."

Gartner has identified the critical questions that managers need to focus on in order to overcome the challenges they face. Most importantly, there is no single, standardized method to account for datacenter costs. Gartner advises users to define a chart of accounts that specifies all the cost elements that constitute the overall cost and the key portfolios or categories that are part of that cost.

According to the research firm, rationalizing the hardware involves taking out those systems that are underutilized or old, or where the workload can be run on more-efficient hardware. Its clients have reported that rationalization and consolidation programs have resulted in five percent to 20 percent fewer servers being deployed. Consolidating datacenter sites into a smaller number of larger sites will often result in financial savings.

Energy management can be effective only through advanced monitoring, modeling and measuring techniques and processes. Metrics form the bedrock for internal cost and efficiency programs and Gartner urges datacenter managers and IT organizations to make this area a high priority, which will be essential for the adoption of so many new technologies and adherence to government policies.

Many businesses have datacenters that have been acquired over many years through business growth and not all are ideally located - for example, some are in cities where labor costs are high. Companies need to evaluate the location of the datacenter in terms of labor rates, cost of energy and facilities and weight against security risks.

The essential consideration is whether or not the site is large enough to accommodate growth, given the investments required to refurbish and the long-term scenarios that the organization has for datacenter servicing provision. The refurbished site must provide at least five years of capacity (physical, electrical and networking) to make the project worthwhile.

New facility components are expensive, but the real problem is in integrating new products in an existing building and with existing components. Companies should focus on the technical problems of integrating new facility components into an existing building, as well as evaluating whether it's possible to keep the data center in action while renovations are carried out.

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