Think about your current data centre environment – is it meeting the needs of the organization? Is the system running efficiently and helping to save power and utility costs? Most of all, is it “future-proofed” in the sense it can easily scale to meet increased demand down the road?
Chances are, you might have answered in the negative to at least one of these questions. That said, the question now becomes, what is the organization doing to determine if and when a data centre refresh or replace should be a priority? According to IT research firm IDC, there was a growing demand for cloud and data centre services in Canada last year. This is on top of CDW Canada’s 2014 study that revealed 47 per cent of Canadian organizations identified storage technology as a key priority in 2014.
While considerations around reduced budgets or energy conservation efforts might be impacting the data centre refresh schedule in your organization, there are a few things to consider. Here are four key reasons why a data centre refresh might make sense in your organization:
Reduces Utility Costs
Taking advantage of new or enhanced hardware can go a long way towards impacting business success. Perhaps simply adding more memory or CPUs can be the thing to boost server performance. In other cases, working with a technology solution provider to adopt newer technologies can quickly boost the actual number of hardware servers required and can make the data centre more efficient in the long run; in some cases the virtualization benefits can be worth the extra cost over physical servers alone. Both options are decisions the business will be forced to consider.
Boost System Efficiency and Utilization
Another thing to consider when thinking hardware replace versus an IT refresh is conducting an inventory audit to determine the best way to boost system efficiency and utilization. Taking the time to identify the data centre requirements, required computing capacity, and whether adopting a hosted cloud computing option or an on-premise hardware environment makes sense are things to think about when deciding where the organization sits in a “refresh or replace” debate.
Improve System Cooling
The issue of energy and ever-growing power demands is a constant concern in many organizations. While there are now improved cooling techniques, thanks to innovations in data centre hardware technology, thinking about either a replace or refresh can come down to a careful balance between maintaining an optimal server environment versus efficiency and overall expenditures. What are the cooling requirements and physical footprint in the organization? This will be a major factor in deciding the right approach.
Strengthen Infrastructure Agility To Meet Future Demand
Even though today’s servers generally have a longer life expectancy, it is inevitable that the day will come when the server is too old to perform and the organization will need to replace it with new hardware. The case for “future-proofing” your business and determining when it’s time to buy, lies around making the decision to update the system environment for enhanced efficiency and performance. Having a discussion that looks at consolidating older servers and/or adopting new technology to realize the large scale benefits of virtualization should be considered. For example, leveraging newer technology can deliver new IT opportunities, including the ability for admins to better manage workloads or deploy more virtual machines.
With these key reasons in mind, technology decision makers should carefully weigh the pros and cons and consider the expected return on investment and the impact on business operations before making the final call on a data centre refresh or replacement. In either case, thinking about the current and potential growth of the organization — including business agility and maintaining a competitive edge — should be a key consideration when deciding how to go about upgrading the data centre and server infrastructure.