Higher operational efficiency is one of those long-term goals that every company strives to achieve, and there are many ways you can make your business more efficient in the digital age. One of the most powerful changes you can make is to transform your data center and your entire IT infrastructure to become cost-effective and power-efficient in order to maximise your investment and minimise waste. While this project might seem like a grand investment in and of itself, it’s important to remember that nowadays there are ways to ensure efficiency without breaking the proverbial bank.
In fact, you can do this quickly and without wasting resources or experiencing any downtime. The tips and solutions we’ll be talking about today work wonderfully well for companies of all sizes, and some will be geared towards in-house IT infrastructures while others pertain to your IT infrastructure in the cloud. With all of that in mind, let’s talk about the power-saving and cost-reducing tips that will make your data center more efficient in the long run.
Measure and monitor performance
First things first, always keep in mind that it’s impossible to make the right decisions in business if you don’t have relevant and actionable data. After all, you can’t control and improve something that you can’t measure, so your first order of business should be monitor and measure the performance of your data center. This will give you invaluable insights into the areas that might be wasting energy and resources, as well as the areas where you might be wasting your storage capacity on the things you can easily eliminate from your data storage.
You have to know where all of your power is going at all times, so you have to measure the power consumption of your IT systems, UPS control, chillers, and lighting for your on-site IT infrastructure. You should have a comprehensive dashboard where you can monitor all of these metrics, after which you can create actionable reports to discover the most wasteful areas. You can then start devising a data-driven strategy to minimise waste and maximise efficiency.
Optimising data center cooling
Cooling is one of the most wasteful processes in any IT infrastructure, at least when it comes to energy consumption. It’s important that you always monitor the power draw of your data center cooling systems so that you if you’re meeting the minimum requirements for efficiency. That said, you should also strive to implement better cooling solutions over time to gradually elevate efficiency and ensure better financial and energy savings while prolonging the lifespan of all the components in your data center.
Some of the best practices when it comes to data center cooling include installing economisers, containing the heat through isolation structures and heat funneling systems, and optimising air conditioning systems. Optimising your air conditioning system might be the toughest of the three, though, as you need it to be operational at all times. Nevertheless, you can turn it off periodically to let other cooling systems take over, or you can vary the speed from time to time to lower the overall energy expenditure.
Making the shift to HCI
When it comes to cloud-based IT infrastructures, you first have to find the right vendors to work with, preferably ones that emphasise data center efficiency so that you get the pest performance, high scalability, stellar security, and more. Some of the best hyperconvergence vendors on the market, for example, offer advanced HCI solutions that simplify the traditional IT infrastructure and provide excellent stability along with quick and easy scalability. For these and many other reasons, companies are increasingly migrating to the cloud and transitioning to a hyper-converged infrastructure that can meet all of their business requirements.
Of course, it’s not just about the efficiency of your data center, it’s also about ensuring top-of-the-line security on all fronts that will keep your data safe at all times. To achieve this, an HCI infrastructure has advanced firewall solutions as well, like a distributed firewall, along with comprehensive disaster recovery and backup plans.
Optimise and improve IT power consumption
Another crucial element of an efficient IT infrastructure and data center is power management, which is why one of your priorities should be to safely lower the amount of payload power you need for your data center. Given the fact that the majority of that power is consumed by the servers, you can lower energy consumption by eliminating unnecessary workloads, consolidating virtual machines, virtualising more workloads than before, eliminating the servers that are consuming too much power without adding value, and replacing old servers with new and efficient ones.
Manage your data wisely and continuously
More often than not, a thorough audit of your existing business data will reveal that you are storing way more data than you need to, and that most of it could be eliminated without batting an eye. Instead of letting useless data take up too much space in your data center, be sure to eliminate all the data you no longer need.
You can start by eliminating duplicate data – and you can expect to find thousands of duplicates if you’re thorough. Your IT experts can employ solutions such as deduplication, cloning, and thin provisioning to eliminate unnecessary data with ease.
Achieving greater data center efficiency might not seem like an easy task at first, and granted it can be a complex process at times, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have some powerful and affordable solutions at your disposal. Use these tips to make your data center more efficient and boost the efficiency of your entire business as a result.