Duncan Campbell is vice president of marketing for Converged Infrastructure in the Enterprise Storage, Server and Networking Worldwide Organization at HP.
As data center managers prepare for the New Year, they should consider “reinventing” their infrastructure the same way many people reinvent themselves on Jan. 1 by beginning an exercise program, quitting smoking, or sporting a new hairstyle. Particularly as 2009 brought a whirlwind of new trends and the products to support them, this is a good time to take a hard look in the mirror, re-assess your technology infrastructure, and decide on a path to data center transformation.
In advance of 2010, what follows is a list of New Year’s Resolutions to ensure a seamless transition into the New Year:
1. Become More Flexible: With more than 70% of IT budgets still dedicated to operations and maintenance, this is the year that data center managers should look to finally break down IT silos for a more flexible technology infrastructure that can respond instantly to business demands. New technologies and trends in computing that foster data center convergence will help make this longtime vision a data center reality in 2010.
- Convergence integrates existing silos of compute, storage, network and facility resources with unified management to deliver a virtualized, highly-automated technology environment. With pools of shared-services that can be leveraged on-the-fly, data center managers can improve the flexibility of their environments, while speeding time to application value.
2. Go More Green: The No. 1 problem facing today’s data centers is hitting limits of power and cooling capacity. As it becomes imperative to better control costs, a blueprint of the data center that provides a more intelligent view of the entire IT environment –including the facilities – will help data center managers reclaim stranded power and cooling capacity. To enable new levels of energy and cost efficiencies, facilities must share a common, comprehensive view of data center power and cooling. This requires a significant shift from the way most data centers are currently managed, to one in which facilities and IT managers join forces to tackle energy issues datacenter-wide. Instead of Green IT think of it as IT for “the green” that helps the pocket book and the environment!
- With intelligent monitoring systems, energy use can be viewed, monitored and controlled in real-time, while users can establish policies for energy use to ensure compliance with internal, environmental or government regulations and goals. New power monitoring systems can extend across IT systems to include facilities as well, considering power consumption as important as systems performance in our efforts to green the data center.
3. Make Over My Infrastructure: With server maintenance contracts set to expire after approximately three years and many customers delaying server hardware refreshes since the economy slowed, 2010 presents a good opportunity for companies to refresh their server farm. According to Gartner’s Top 10 in 2010 forecast discussed at Gartner Symposium, the cost of operating a server in three years’ time (the typical lifecycle of a server) will eventually surpass the original purchase price of the server, pointing to the need for more energy efficient computing products.
- Customers should take advantage of the latest technologies available in servers – like power capping, embedded power management, and sensors – to ensure the power being consumed is only what’s required for the work being performed. The combination of these capabilities result in slashing server energy costs by 50 percent.
4. Be Open-Minded: With standards-based networking products, organizations will avoid locking their infrastructure into restrictive proprietary networking solutions that entail arduous upgrades and extremely high maintenance costs. Most importantly, proprietary networking products lack the key components necessary for achieving optimal centralized network management.
- Now more than ever, it’s becoming harder to justify the expense of proprietary software. Networking infrastructure is difficult to build and even more difficult to operate as the network grows in size and complexity. Companies should take advantage of open standards-based networking solutions that provide freedom now and into the future – by leveraging the right balance of applications and hardware, companies can optimize business results while breaking free from restrictive proprietary technology.
5. Think Outside the Box: In order for customers to reap the full potential of a virtualized infrastructure, business need to virtualize their data dater from end-to-end. By converging servers, storage, and networking resources into a single pool, customer can increase performance, scalability and capacity, while simplifying management.
- Storage plays a critical role in infrastructure convergence by allowing customers to virtualize stored data and create a unified virtual resource pool that is instantly accessible to support changing business needs. To maximize data center efficiency as well as reduce costs, customers need storage solutions that accommodate data growth, are aligned to business applications and are built on open standards.
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