Data centers are growing quickly. The demand for storage and cloud services like SaaS, PaaS and IaaS is rising. Data centers are being forced to scale rapidly, sometimes to the detriment of the environment. Expansion like this can be expensive because there isn’t always time to plan for long-term growth with the right equipment and strategies for optimization and power and cooling.
One way the federal government is tackling sustainability is by consolidating data centers. This is probably the single best way to cut down on energy use. Because most data centers are not operating at capacity, they can either be used more effectively or shut down altogether. Virtualization is another method for reducing energy use:
Data centers increasingly are looking to virtualization technology and techniques to help mediate these issues. Through virtualization, they can consolidate servers and storage resources in many environments, which will boost resource utilization and contain costs. With a growing focus on PCFE requirements and the greening of IT in general, consolidating servers, storage, networking and facilities is a popular and justifiable use of virtualization.
Virtualization also provides a way to replace old technology and deliver newer, faster, higher capacity, denser, energy-efficient gear to maintain or recapture power, cooling, floor space and environmental footprint capabilities.
For large-scale or extreme mega-scale bulk storage or compute-intensive server farms or grids, large blocks of servers or storage can be replaced on an annual basis with modular virtualization blocks that combine hardware, software and networking.
For example, assuming that an organization refreshes its technology in five-year cycles, it could replace one-fifth of the older technology in its data center environment each year with one of these new modular blocks to achieve a quick boost in performance and energy efficiency.
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The infographic below outlines a few other ways agencies can optimize their data centers without breaking the bank.