Refreshing your data centre should be an opportunity to make your IT infrastructure better; here are some of the pitfalls to avoid.
IT has changed and is no longer just a supporting tool, but an enabler of business. Therefore, getting the right data centre infrastructure has a huge impact on how flexible, efficient and competitive your company can be. The best way to get your data centre refresh right is to avoid the seven mistakes below.
1. Not knowing what you currently have
Before you can move to a new infrastructure, you need to analyse your existing services. Take a full-service catalogue, focusing on the services that you provide, rather than on replacing existing hardware. This will help you plan your infrastructure to meet your requirements.
2. Ignoring the cloud
You may not be ready to move to a cloud-only infrastructure, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't shift some workloads or entire services to the cloud. Carefully examine what could be moved and perform a full cost analysis (including ongoing management, Capex and Opex) to see if you can save money and provide a better service using cloud technologies.
3. Not planning to meet business goals
Embarking on a data centre refresh is a good time to examine the workloads and services you provide to see if they meet your business goals. If some don't meet your requirements (either now or in the future), planning a data centre refresh is a good time to investigate alternatives that can help you meet your business objectives.
4. Replicating your existing data centre
Replacing like for like, with slightly upgraded hardware will obviously meet today's needs, but will ultimately cost you a lot more. Instead, work out if you can reduce the number of servers you have, using more powerful hardware to run multiple workloads. Consolidation can save you money on hardware, but it can also reduce the number of software licences you need.
5. Over specifying
It's easy to over specify hardware requirements, particularly when moving physical servers to virtual ones. Instead, carefully analyse workload performance, so you can accurately spec the hardware that you need today.
6. Not planning for the future
Maintaining a data centre is all about provisioning for future scale. Make sure that everything you buy not only meets today's workload requirements, but is capable of scaling up to meet your projected future workloads.
7. Not investing in new technology
New technology can make your data centre easier to manage, and simpler to scale in the future. Hyperconvergence can make planning simpler and reduce the management overhead, by combining all functions (network, compute and storage) into a single appliance controlled by one management interface. And, 10 Gigabit Ethernet can provide you with the bandwidth you need in one easier-to-manage pipe.
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