As businesses grow, the types of information that can be digitized expand, and the need to digitize more and more of a company’s transactions and data grows; there is a greater need to have places to store all this information. With this growth comes a variety of concerns such as increased maintenance costs and increased security risks.
To better manage their expanding data and increased concerns, many businesses are seeing the wisdom in consolidating their data center operations. Many data centers, in response to the need to control data growth, are merging. Data centers are developing other strategies to reduce costs, such as increased use of virtualization.
How is consolidation taking place?
Data centers are also becoming more intelligent in responding to these increased data demands. They’re compacting their networks and simplifying their infrastructure. Smaller networks and simpler infrastructure means fewer servers. Virtualization means mainframes can be replaced with smaller blade systems. Other cost reduction measures include:
- Standardizing software which reduces the key organization applications.
- Using “cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) options”.
- Smaller hardware demands mean fewer energy costs.
- Implementing security best practices – especially as the IoT is connecting more and more devices, making security more and more essential.
- Better decision-making and planning on energy factors including consideration of solar and wind energy technologies.
Scaling down the size of the infrastructure also means data centers can do a better job of meeting compliance requirements and enabling disaster recovery.
What is cloud sprawl?
Cloud sprawl occurs when the IT department doesn’t properly supervise its cloud environment, causing excessive workloads. This excess work wastes the company’s money, and costs IT resources to fix. It also creates security risks and data integrity concerns. For many companies, it is becoming a high priority to fix.
If workloads are running when they don’t need to, the running creates increased opportunities for malicious attacks and data breaches.
Service providers make money from increased workloads, so it is critical to use a data center who is willing to address the issue of cloud sprawl to reduce cost. One way to incentivize the data center to review excess workloads is to write better contracts that create a budget for your cloud use. Another way is for the data center to explain what software and other measures it is using to determine when workloads are running that shouldn’t. A quality data center should advise your IT department when workloads are excessive and when you’re getting close to your monthly budget limits.