The data center transformation market was worth $7.47 billion in 2020 and is estimated to reach $15.45 billion by 2026. Consolidation is an important aspect of data center transformation. Here is how can you simplify your consolidation efforts to improve the efficiency of your data center.
#1. Find Out Your Total Power Consumption
The total energy consumed by the data center industry in 2020 was around 196-400 terawatt-hours (TWh). Data center managers must know how much power is being consumed by their data centers to understand the amount that can be consolidated in the future. This can be seen with the help of Professional Development Units (PDUs) or other meters that collect the power load data.
There are two types of PDUs: inlet-metered and outlet metered. The inlet metered PDUs calculate the power usage and capacity availability at the rack or cabinet. These also help in avoiding circuit overloading. The outlet-metered PDUs have the same features as the inlet-metered PDUs, but with some additional benefits. These calculate the power consumption at the server level or the device level. These PDUs also help in identifying ghost servers and underutilized servers.
#2. Adopt a Comprehensive DCIM Solution
An efficient data center requires the combined efforts of the DCIM software with the PDUs or other meters. The data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system provides insights into the meters. It increases the efficiency of capacity utilization even before the consolidation. If the software is installed before consolidation, data managers can perform an audit before consolidation efforts begin, with accurate and real-time data. Further, during the consolidation, the DCIM can help you with data-driven decisions and the perfect timing for the same.
#3. Plan the Power Capacity Automatically
Organizations spend a lot on operating resources to plan the power capacity utilization in their data centers. What leads to overspending here are the traditional methods to carry out the process.
Data professionals recommend incorporating the DCIM software with a power budget. It helps you ensure that the power consumption is never more than the actual utilized capacity. Power budgeting helps you identify the empty racks to attain more utilization of the existing resources.
#4. Understanding Utilized Space Automatically
To understand the total space utilized in your data centers, you must first know what is present in them. The use of outdated methods like spreadsheets is not recommended anymore. Data center professionals are shifting to tools that help in searching and identifying data centers, infrastructural data, and all the associated information without manual interaction. The tools that perform these tasks automatically are called auto-discovery tools.
#5. Identify Non-Performing but Running Servers
Around 30% of the data center servers qualify as ghost servers and companies spend more than $24 million a year on energy consumed by such servers. Ghost servers are those that are running physically in the data center but are not performing any useful function. They are nothing but a waste of space and energy and, consequently, of money. You can use metered PDUs and DCIM to identify and remove these servers to free up space for more utilization.
#6. Virtual Before Actual
Before moving all your data into a single asset, you need to understand the locations where the equipment will be sent and the connections between them. This can be done by creating a virtual model. By doing so, you may find and clear some potential issues that may arise in the further process.
How do you ensure that all the deployment-related tasks, performed by separate teams, are seamlessly designed and integrated? This can be done by graphically creating the infrastructure design, which includes the cabinets, power, and network layout.
#7. Prepare the Team for the Final Move
The team involved in the data center inventory may not be the same team performing the physical tasks and installations during the consolidation. They need clear, straightforward, and easy-to-understand instructions to work quickly and accurately. The DCIM software has a built-in order management system that can be used in getting the equipment to the exact location. It can also help in providing the team with the work order for each asset and tracking the progress of the work.
#8. Optimizing Capacity Utilization
After the installation of the equipment, it’s important to perform testing. Ensure that all devices and applications have been successfully migrated and that the systems are back online.
Data center consolidation can help you save costs, reduce complexity, and comply with industry mandates. However, consolidation also poses some risks of downtime, which is why it is so essential to get it right the first time.