Consolidation – The pros and cons of putting your eggs in one basket

Consolidating key facilities like data centers has obvious advantages. Chief amongst these are reduced costs, licensing, energy consumption, and maintenance.

But consolidating facilities also consolidates risk. If your single, major global data center goes down, then the company goes down with it.

So, how do you decide how to play a consolidated strategy, and put in place the correct procedures, policies, and technologies to mitigate risk?

Here are some quick pointers.

Designing a consolidated hub

Firstly, consolidating physical resources can cut your overhead, operational, and energy costs, so consider doing more with less hardware.

Software-based ‘server-less’ computing can help you consolidate onto fewer machines using cloud computing and technology such as virtualization and software-defined networking.

Consolidating software onto fewer hardware platforms can also reduce software licensing fees.

However, to pull off a move like this you will need to acquire the required expertise, or find a service provider who can design and manage your next-generation data center.

Mitigating risk through infrastructure design

Modern networking infrastructure design can help mitigate risk through techniques such as application orchestration and policy-based actions.

This model takes a bird’s eye view of your business software and services, and ensures everything runs smoothly, shifting resources where they’re needed in a timely way.

Underpinned by a modern network, this can be very effective in maintaining uptime, with cloud technologies such as ‘containerized micro-services’ offering self-managing, self-healing applications that run automatically, and scale up and down via the cloud.

All of this helps mitigate the risk of consolidation.

The downside is that, again, these cutting-edge technologies require technical know-how, investment, and a different approach to managing and monitoring your IT system.

Future-proofed technology

You want to make sure you have the necessary technology to ensure your new crown jewel data center won’t be rendered obsolete before the construction crew even breaks ground.

So, try to make sure you choose open-standards technologies with resources that can be re-purposed and extended without excessive development effort and cost.

Always-on infrastructure

Finally, how do you spec a data center for the always-on needs of a modern financial institution, that can guarantee near-constant uptime, and without breaking the bank?

When consolidating resources, you need to build in flexibility, and avoid technology silos by ensuring that your resources are transparent, networked, and shared.

Virtualization is a key element of a successful data center consolidation strategy, and it can help you achieve these things.

A converged network architecture that simplifies, accelerates, and utilizes resources, is also a must-have.

This could include fast, Fiber Channel or iSCSI networks to connect servers and storage, plus network and storage virtualization, which pools and optimizes your network and storage resources in a cost-effective and efficient way.

There are two major procedures for implementing change. Either rip and replace an old platform, particularly if it’s failing. Or develop the two side-by-side, transitioning applications step-by-step.

The latter may be more prudent for you, carrying less risk. Either way, as an experienced networking architecture partner, Panduit can help you plan and implement a next-generation network infrastructure.

Find out more at: https://pages.panduit.com/finance-all.html

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