Data centre optimisation: Not just for the IT department

Steve Evans

Monday 5 June 2017

Data centre optimisation can have far-reaching consequences beyond the server room. It can free up IT to concentrate on more than keeping the lights on, and help workers be more productive.

Most executives these days realise that the data centre is a strategically important part of the business. It’s no longer an afterthought – something most workers have little or no interest in. Instead, it is the beating heart of many enterprises, driving innovation and enabling employees to be as productive as possible.

As the data centre has grown in importance, so too has the need to keep it running quickly, efficiently and securely. That’s why data centre optimisation plays a vital role.

Streamlining and automation

Businesses are increasingly looking for a combination of technologies and processes to help data centres operate more efficiently. These can be, for example, a lowering of the power efficiency usage (PEU), a streamlining of hardware by powering down unused servers, a different approach to applications or increasing the amount of automation being used.

It generally involves the automation of many processes that traditionally are manual and therefore much slower. Research group ESG recently revealed IT decision-makers’ top IT initiatives for 2017, and 15 per cent said it would be data centre modernisation, which they defined as a highly virtualised and automated environment.

That leads neatly into converged infrastructure, a pre-configured and pre-engineered solution containing the necessary servers, storage, networking and virtualisation elements that are usually disparate. Hyper-converged solutions, such as the Lenovo Converged HX Series, are hugely beneficial to businesses. ESG estimates that it can offer a return on investment of 387 per cent, 85 per cent faster application deployment and 56 per cent less application downtime and delays. Impressively, that report also states convergence can provide 61 per cent lower data centre facilities costs. That’s a saving the entire business can feel.

Because hyper-converged solutions are managed from a centralised portal, controlling and updating everything becomes that much easier. It’s another step towards making data centres more agile, flexible and scalable.

This reduction in downtime and delays will of course increase reliability. Not only does that make the business more productive, but it increases customer satisfaction. Knowing that the applications and services they need are fast and always available is very reassuring for customers, and will keep them coming back.

Benefits beyond the data centre

An effective, efficient data centre strategy will have a knock-on positive impact across the whole business. Financially, a properly optimised data centre costs less to operate thanks to lower power costs, among other things. That money can be reinvested in the business, paying to hire new employees or upgrade devices to newer, better machines.

refreshed PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone estate helps workers be more productive when at their desks or out of the office. It can also help out financially as newer machines are far less likely to require maintenance from IT and are more secure.

Not just keeping the lights on

That automation of many data centre operations removes the need for as much manual intervention. For an IT department that might suddenly find itself with plenty of time on its collective hands, this presents a great opportunity. IT staff can spend time developing and deploying revenue-generating services.

As applications become more and more important to businesses – that’s where the business logic is – it’s vital that IT dedicates its time to working on new and innovative solutions that benefit the company.

A next-generation, hybrid data centre can help futureproof organisations. Systems, services, hardware and software can all be improved with the help of optimisation, and that will enable employees across the entire business to be more flexible, agile, innovative and productive.

 

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