You do not need the Nobel Prize in Economics to realize that the current economic situation in the world is facing a situation of slow development or recession. No talents are needed, and no logical analysis is required. You can already realize that the data center budget may face a reduced fate.

According to Ken McGee, vice president and research consultant at Gartner Consulting, whether or not you are vaguely aware that budget tightening is imminent or you have n’t received an imminent warning of budget squeeze, then it ’s wise to take action to reduce costs.

Looking back a year ago, Gartner users warned enterprise users to prepare for the economic recession. Since then, the situation has obviously evolved even worse. McGee stated in January of this year, "Since then, we have deteriorated to a certain level based on the factors studied-such as GDP growth expectations and related experts' predictions of the possibility of economic depression. These results make us believe that it is now It's time for business users to prepare for compressing IT costs. "

McGee recommends that senior managers of enterprises conduct research on IT cost reduction measures and hire senior auditors or accountants to provide formal records for team functions. He also suggested that weekly reports should be submitted to senior management personnel, and legal personnel should be contacted regularly to ensure smoother compliance matters. These regulatory issues are closely related to maintenance and other contracts or fines. This is to ensure that measures to reduce costs will not increase the company's legal joint liability.

So regardless of whether the economy is sluggish or not, it is time to take measures to help data centers reduce costs. The question is where should you start to reduce costs?

Some notes on data center management to reduce costs

The most important part of data center cost expenditure is electricity cost—the need to power computing equipment and systems used to provide cooling. Virtualization plays an important role in reducing the overall cost of electricity, because it can reduce the number of physical devices used for power supply and cooling.

A single physical server hosting a large number of virtual machines can replace two, three, or possibly more unvirtualized physical servers. Although a physical server with a utilization rate of 80% consumes more power than a physical server with a utilization rate of only 20%, it is only 20% more efficient than running four, with four hard drives and four inefficient power supplies Of physical servers are much more energy efficient.

Virtualization can also compress costs by reducing the amount of hardware that must be replaced. If the fewer servers you run, the fewer the physical servers need to be replaced when they reach the end of their useful life. Benefiting from advanced virtual machine management software from software companies such as Microsoft and VMware, the time (and then related costs) for creating and setting up virtual machines is also much less than the time spent on managing the corresponding physical servers.

Virtualization is not restricted by the server. The reality of the server is the reality of the storage system: storage virtualization can reduce costs by reducing the number of over-provisioned and hard disks and other storage media that must be powered, cooled, purchased, and replaced.

These measures have been further extended to the concept of automation. Data center automation requires a lot of investment, but it can also bring significant benefits in reducing data center costs. In times of economic depression, budgets need to be carefully set, considering measures that are reasonably priced and provide relatively rapid returns. These measures include patch management, security warnings (which may reduce the cost of telecommuting) and labor-intensive work tasks, such as password reset. For example, a voice authentication system can greatly reduce the cost of resetting passwords within an enterprise. After all, this job requires a large number of employees to call the IT help desk to ask for password issues. For example, the system can automatically authenticate users and reset related passwords.

When the value-for-money automation software also has added value, the automation software can reduce the labor time and quantity of fertilizer in handling trivia, so that managers can freely reduce the cost of human resources in the data center and reallocate employees to other tasks Options include deploying further cost-saving systems, thereby creating an automated cycle.

More directly and controversially, the strategy is the integration of application software. Obviously, the more applications you run in your data center, the more complicated the process for managing these applications and the more money you spend. Therefore, it is better to integrate as few application software as possible. Of course, the application software must reach the upper limit of the required workload. If these are open source application software, it may mean Linux software in practice, which has the potential to greatly reduce costs, as well as the operating system, application software license fees and CAL.

It should be remembered that the cost of support should continue to be maintained at a certain level. Microsoft and other large manufacturers believe that the total cost of ownership of open source software is not lower than that of proprietary applications, but at least you can use open source as an application from existing ownership The choice of software vendors.

You can follow these changes on a microscopic basis, which is very useful for you to build a data center operation from a macro perspective. For example, you can target the system availability to five stars (99.999%), but whether this is necessary still needs to be evaluated. How much can reducing the system availability target to 99.9% cost? How does it affect the profitability of the entire enterprise?

If you only identify a few applications that require 99.999% availability, it is important to consider whether your data center can provide the best venue for such needs. Specialized application software service providers may be able to provide this kind of availability to fixed users at a very low cost, and compensation can be obtained if this service level is reduced.

Also consider whether your data center is running longer than necessary. Benefiting from the powerful functions of remote management tools, you can achieve unattended management at a certain time. If user needs grow, you can let some employees online to answer questions at any time.

The last thing worth mentioning is IT management framework software like IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) and Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF). The flexible operation of these frameworks is the medium and long-term goal of enterprise users, but they must ensure that all IT services, including those related to data centers, are delivered to users as efficiently as possible.

If you want to achieve these goals, you also need to make long-term preparations to ensure that your data center can withstand the impact of the economic depression-not only at this time, but also to consider the future and the future.

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