“First-Movers” in the private and public sectors have led the initial wave of optimization by consolidating and disposing of both leased and owned data center space. In the last few years, virtualization, software-defined infrastructure and cloud computing have been able to offer increasingly attractive alternatives to traditional data center architecture. The result is a convergence on a new direction for data centers: optimization and increased density within existing spaces.
The Data Center Landscape Has Changed
While there’s still much to be done in consolidating existing data center space, many experts predict a shift in focus toward optimizing existing space. Cloud and SaaS solutions have continued to expand and thrive, offering lower-cost, versatile options for companies of all sizes looking for the utility of an onsite data center without the burden of maintenance and upkeep. Companies that already have multiple data centers may find that the cost to maintain their current solution is—simply put—no longer feasible. Upgrading an aging data center is often expensive or entirely cost-prohibitive; holding on to long-term capital liabilities can be a poor financial decision for many businesses. Just as physical consolidation offers attractive savings in energy and real estate costs, so too can converged and hyper-converged infrastructures further reduce the costs associated with data center operations.
That’s not to say that scrapping existing data centers is a “one size fits all” solution. Some companies may find that on-premise workloads provide critical advantages and might be their best solution for unique processes or regulatory requirements. A hybrid solution—consolidating workloads within newer, better data centers or colocated spaces while also incorporating cloud computing where possible—will allow businesses to leverage existing and underutilized data center space more efficiently.
The Solution for Your Business
There’s a lot of potential in assessing on-premise workloads and migrating them to the cloud or utilizing colocation, both of which reduce a company’s on-premise data center needs. This may be behind the push toward a hyper-converged, dense infrastructure. Density isn’t always the best fit for everyone, but the days of needlessly empty racks and underutilized data center space seems to be at an end.
What does this mean for the business owner or IT decision maker? Not everyone can feasibly divest from a data center space, but the trend toward optimization indicates that alternative solutions are becoming more viable and better for the bottom line. The latest trend signals an opportunity to reassess your current data center footprint and determine if there are better, more strategic solutions out there. Whether or not your company was a part of the first wave of consolidation aimed at virtualizing existing infrastructure, the latest wave can still potentially bring significant reductions in both power costs and onsite maintenance.
Are you worried that your current data center infrastructure is leaving money on the table? Not sure where to start? Align’s data center experts bring award-winning experience to every step of the process, including design, build, migrations, vendor management and execution, all backed by over three decades of experience across industries. Reach out to our experts and make sure your data center space is exactly what you need.
Data Center. Image Credit: Align