Aaron Rallo is the founder and CEO of TSO Logic. Aaron has spent the last 15 years building and managing large-scale transactional solutions for online retailers, with both hands-on and C-level responsibility in data center s around the world.
The truth about resolutions, as I’m sure we are all too familiar, is that most of them just don’t last. And as many studies have pointed out, the best way for a resolution to work is to make them measurable. Sound familiar?
With this in mind, how do we craft a set of New Year’s resolutions for our data centers that will endure, and actually help to transform operations for the better? It’s actually getting easier.
In the next few years, data centers are expected to shift the focus of many of their investments from hardware to a new breed of software that is enabling more intelligent analytics and decision making. Virtualization, infrastructure management, application-level insight, and intuitive power control are all software options that can significantly improve your operations and eliminate unnecessary energy costs.
Using this software, data centers can look to improve the operational efficiency of their data centers by discovering some revealing facts.
Let’s start by looking back at the tools that you used over the last 12 months to measure your data center ’s performance. Do they give you all the answers you need to run your business? Are you tracking workload and server metrics in a way that relates to your business and are these KPI’s shared with your executive team?
If not, then maybe it’s time to consider these resolutions for the coming New Year. More specifically, let’s take a look at how this software, along with measuring some important metrics in your data center, can keep you on track to meeting these 2014 resolutions.
Resolution: Review Past Performance to Improve for the Future
Take a look back over the last 12 months of your workload logs and find your busiest hour. How well did your applications and servers perform? Did you maintain your SLA’s? Do you have these capabilities?
This is an important step. Establishing a baseline and identifying where and when you lag best practices or support for critical SLAs will help you identify specific goals (or resolutions as the case may be) for the coming year.
Resolution: Commit to Measuring and Managing Your Capacity and Energy Consumption
Measuring and managing data center capacity and energy consumption can now be done with great detail, and this process can be transformational for your data center. Here are some specific recommendations for KPIs that can be shared with the executive team.
Eliminate Waste from Idle and Comatose Servers – Safely identify and power down or eliminate servers that are doing no work. Know exactly how much is being spent on energy for idle and comatose servers. Identify opportunities for further virtualization or replacement of legacy servers with more efficient new technology.
Relate Workload and Server Performance to Your SLAs – Trend workload and server performance statistics and relate them back to your critical service level agreements. Create an energy management strategy that includes power prioritization based on your critical SLAs.
Examine Transactional Costs – Measure your individual transaction costs and even track by the type of transaction. Align these costs with your broader business objectives and track carbon emissions per transaction for broadcasting your sustainability programs.
Resolution: Commit to Using Real Data that Link Data Center Costs to All of Your Applications
Your data center contains a cache of real analytics that provide deeper value than just energy and operational savings. These analytics can be combined with other enterprise level business intelligence to enhance your strategic planning and operational processes.
Better understand your power costs and relate them specifically to the applications you are running in your data center . Tie these costs back to your business to strategically manage your product offerings with an eye toward your top and bottom line. Identify opportunities to shift capacity or trim some fat out of your costs.
Resolution: Enjoy the Results
2014 can be the year when the status of your data center is elevated from a cost center to an active participant in the corporate strategic planning process. With these software-based monitoring and power management tools, business leaders can now get the answers they need to better understand data center growth, plan capacity additions and CAPEX, and allocate costs more appropriately and definitively.
This can be your year to shine. Make your resolutions count with measurable and achievable goals.
Best wishes for a successful New Year!
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