Improving the efficiency of your data center should be one of your priorities. One way to make it happen is with data consolidation. It might also be an option if you want to cut costs if your business is facing skyrocketing IT expenses.
As you utilize virtualization to shift more data on fewer servers, your business can minimize the cost of hardware, space, and power consumption. However, before starting a consolidation project, it’s crucial to have reasonable expectations of what the process involves.
Although data consolidation is one of the solutions to cut down costs, don’t expect it to happen right away since the process itself will cost money. With this in mind, it’s crucial to be ready for the upcoming costs of the process. The same goes for data center migration if it’s going to be part of the growth plan in the future, which entails commitment and proper preparations to ensure the best outcome for your business.
If you’re planning to implement data consolidation soon, proper planning and preparation are crucial to ensure the process flows smoothly. Here are several tips to ensure seamless data center consolidation.
1. Be Ready To Allocate Additional Funding
Data consolidation will require money. Although many companies begin the consolidation process without adding new servers, it’s not always the norm. You might need to shift to fewer but more powerful servers. Although it might represent savings in the long run, you’ll still face the upfront costs of adding new servers.
Additionally, be ready for infrastructure upgrades such as modifications to the storage or networking. Consolidation generally involves increasing the bandwidth requirements for network sections connected to the newly consolidated servers. Make it a priority to know about these additional costs before giving the go signal for a data consolidation project.
2. Actively Manage The Data Transition
Although it is feasible to dump all of your company’s data onto its consolidated servers, it may be more beneficial to actively manage the data during the process.
You might want to consider a data census. Conduct an inventory of your current business data and the amount stored. There’s no need for an elaborate list, but you need to include the growth trends in various data types. Doing so will allow your IT department to plan the consolidated servers effectively.
3. Determine The Data To Consolidate
In most companies, the initial move is to consolidate data on as few servers as possible to maximize the benefits of consolidation. Sadly, it’s not the ideal move to make due to various reasons.
Remember that some data are not ideal for consolidation due to the effect on the overall performance some applications will take from sharing hardware resources.
In some cases, for security concerns, some data should remain on separate servers. Personal identifying information and other sensitive business data should be stored on a highly secure server.
Some data aren’t even worth consolidating, such as out-of-date information messing up the storage system or data you seldom use.
4. Decide On Where To Store The Data
An important consideration is to decide on the physical location of the consolidated servers of your business.
When you want to reduce any undesirable impacts on performance, your IT team should employ a configuration or structure that restricts the number of hops across subnetworks between the data source on the consolidated server and the elements that utilize data. When using several servers, you must determine which server the data goes to.
Distributing comparable data types over several consolidated servers is one technique to reduce the demand on the server resources and the probability of a single point of failure. If possible, avoid keeping data with the same utilization pattern or demanding the same resources on the same server. As an efficient technique to boost overall performance, spread it over numerous consolidated servers.
5. Implement Measures To Avoid Hardware Overload
Although you’ll enjoy several benefits from consolidation and virtualization, you still need to think about the actual hardware with its inherent limitations on processing power, capacity, and bandwidth.
Remember that it’s not about distributing the same data type across several servers. You also need to think about the data demands on the server, even if it represents various types of data.
Don’t forget to monitor the usage patterns as well. Certain data types can increase usage, placing a significant load on the server at specific times. Once the hardware is overloaded, it’ll develop performance issues no matter how seamless the consolidation plan of your organization is.
When you launch a data consolidation project, consider it a worthwhile investment to improve your business processes further. Remember that data centers will require periodic reorganization and consolidation to optimize efficiency and deliver the best value to your business. By considering these valuable tips as you prepare your business for data consolidation, you’ll enjoy better efficiency with your business operations in the long run.