Six steps to greater datacentre efficiency

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Six steps to greater datacentre efficiency

Forrester Research offers best practice advice.

Need some metrics to work on in your data centre overhaul?

Forrester Research offers IT professionals the following advice to
improve datacentre management while cutting costs and improving reliability and resiliency.

Rationalise your application portfolio

The datacentre and its expensive and energy-consuming IT, power distribution and cooling equipment exists to support applications. And it’s not uncommon for applications to be severely under-used, which snowballs into IT infrastructure capital and operating expenses. Datacentre managers should liaise with users on the phasing out of severely under-utilised applications.

Consolidate and eliminate under-utilised servers

Datacentres are plagued with “dead” servers, or those with utilisation levels below six per cent, consuming power, cooling and space resources. Eliminating and consolidating these servers will free up capital and operating costs, and extend datacentre life by freeing up power, cooling and space capacity.

Increase your server virtualisation ratio

While nearly every organisation admits to virtualising servers, the savings potential from virtualisation is often not fully realised. Forrester finds that mature virtual production environments usually have about 30 virtual machines – and coupled with advanced automation tools, this could reach 50, without undermining service-level agreements.

Enforce “virtual first” policies for new applications

By stipulating that all new applications must run on virtualised infrastructure, you will benefit from improved disaster recovery and business continuity; rapid — or even automatic — restart of applications after an IT failure; and when used in conjunction with data replication between datacentres, it can restart applications at a recovery site following a primary site failure.

Increase storage utilisation and reclaim storage capacity

Storage environments are plagued with low utilisation rates and highly redundant data. IT professionals should consider thin provisioning and data deduplication technologies to improve utilisation and reclaim storage capacity.

Optimise your datacentre temperature

While manufacturers of IT equipment have set the allowable high-end temperature at 27°C, most datacentres are too cold, operating at 8°C to 20°C. With 60-70 per cent of datacentre energy consumption going to power and cooling, this represents a significant operating cost. Under supervision, turn up the temperature in your datacentre. For example, one IT manager took his datacentre temperature from 20°C to 23°C and recorded a 12.7 per cent reduction in energy use.

Doug Washburn is an infrastructure and operations analyst at Forrester Research.

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