30 Aug 2013

Tech Tips: for keeping your datacentre lean and mean

Datacentres are becoming increasingly costly to manage and operate. For organisations that want to keep some of their IT in-house, it has become crucial to adopt best practices and to ensure the datacentre runs as efficiently as possible so that the costs don’t blow out in the future. There are a wide range of ways you can optimise your datacentre to run more efficiently:
    • Take a load off your team: As datacentres become more complex and host more critical business functions, the managers are not finding their workloads more manageable. Consider investing in the automation of routine management utilizing products such as Microsoft System Center Orchestrator and Operations Manager or taking up a managed service through a trusted provider. This will free your IT staff for more strategic projects within the datacentre, while also keeping the costs of operating it down.
    • Get that power bill down: Electricity will never get cheaper and datacentres are one of the biggest culprits in any organisation’s power use. Finding ways to minimise power use within the facility is essential. Server consolidation, virtualization and power management tools have been around for a while and are staples on the optimisation menu, but there is far more that modern datacentres can do to be green. Examine all the power consumers in your datacenter. Look at designing better airflow management to reduce the need for that power-gobbling cooling system or allowing the equipment to run hotter. Some datacentres are even using sustainable energy like solar panels to supplement the power source.
    • Focus on storage: Deduplication technology is going to be essential in any datacentre in the future when you consider that IDC is predicting a 50-fold increase in data use by 2020. Reducing the number of discs through the use of deduplication will allow the datacentre to run more efficiently, reduce its footprint, and still manage the masses of data coming into the facility. Of course, it would be a good idea to outsource as much data to the cloud as possible, to minimise the need to manage it at all.
    • Make your next purchase a Hybrid Cloud: One way to reduce the cost of your datacentre is to not expand it. Consider utilising a Cloud Partner to take virtual machines as-a-service. Leverage the skill and investment in smart datacentre technologies that a Cloud Provider has already made and ensure that your running costs are kept to a minimum.
Nicholas Hollings is Brennan IT’s Practice Manager for Cloud and Infrastructure Solutions.