Mark Gaydos, Chief Marketing Officer, Nlyte Software, looks at the difficulties of keeping track of the data estate as the data centre is in a constant state of flux. He looks towards 2019 as data centre managers are searching for new comprehensive solutions to bring to the front and centre, that are not only cost-effective and headache-reducing but potentially profit-making too.
New year’s resolutions are nothing new. It’s the time of the year when people feel the need to make a positive change in their lives – or the world’s. Whether it’s finding a new job, exercising more, or spending less – it can be a life changing moment for many. But can a data centre manager adopt this mindset and make a change to see in the new year? I think so.
The data centre is in a constant state of flux. In an average 12 months it could have easily grown, shrunk and then grown again. This is normal in the fast-paced digital world. But with these changes in scale and the many moving parts of the technology asset landscape, it’s not difficult to understand how data centre managers can start to lose track of the estate and wish to start over in 2019.
However, with the new year on the horizon, never has there been a better time for data centre managers to throw out the Excel documents and, heaven forbid, pen and paper, and bring in a new comprehensive solution that is not only cost-effective and headache-reducing but potentially profit-making too.
2019 – The year of TAM
The data centre is an integral part of any organisation. It is the entity behind the scenes that processes all of the data and intellectual property making every business application and service work smoothly. This integral role means that it must be maintained continuously so that not only can it match company growth – but can handle its current work load without faltering.
Even the smallest slip up could set the company back, causing at least frustratingly slow running time and, at worst, indefinite downtime that puts the business at risk of not meeting contractual obligations.
Such issues can be caused by any number of problems arising from within the estate but one of the most prevalent is the proper visibility, control and use of the hardware. This is where Technology Asset Management (TAM) comes in.
The inevitable collapse
In a climate where every organisation is looking to save costs where possible and raise their bottom line, the data centre could be a much-maligned drain on the company coffers. If new equipment has been added, but is not being tracked or utilised properly, it could be draining power while not actually being used. This means it is drawing unnecessary electricity and inflating the cost of ‘keeping the lights on.’ Sure, this might not have much of an impact with one rack’s activity but what about 10, 50 or even 100. Now the costs start to spiral and the bottom line starts to drop. Add in unused software licences and costs start to get serious, rapidly.
The same can be said for underutilised kit. Underutilised kit can be pieces of equipment that are not used to their maximum capacity. Chugging along at 50% usage but drawing the same power as the kit around them makes them a drain on resources.
Not only can these types of kit drain resources but data centre spending, too. With a number of assets running under capacity, data centre managers, without real-time insight, might get funding for new gear to help handle the ‘growing demand’ they believe they see. This is a wasted spend. Then imagine if the data centre needed to expand its walls to add capacity. The costs will never stop going up without true visibility.
With the data centre playing such a vital role in the IT ecosystem, these small issues can bring dreaded downtime as complexity and inefficiencies mount up. Whether it comes from one isolated incident or a chain, downtime can not only result in loss of revenue, but also a loss of future revenue as customers leave – or reputational damage from public headlines gain traction.
The solution for now, not yesterday
Of course, downtime is a worst case scenario, but not unimaginable – just ask Apple back in October when its iTunes and App Store experienced widespread downtime for many of its users. For some service managers 2018 might be a year they would like to forget.
Yet, if data centre managers can be given the tools they need, problems like this would not persist – banished under the light of visibility and proper action.
TAM is such a solution that gives data centre managers an eagle-eyed view across the entire IT estate, giving them the ability to track equipment that is not being used, underutilised or not necessary and make informed, educated decisions.
It’s time for data centre managers to throw away the paper and pen, close down Excel and make the data centre an even more integral part of an organisation – taking it from entity behind the scenes to front and centre, bringing cost savings and profit and a greater sense of self-worth to the people who make the magic happen.
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