It’s a common story in IT: An agency must run servers that are 5, 6 or 7 years old (including equipment that is no longer supported by the vendor) because there’s no room in the budget for a full upgrade. But organizations that plan carefully may be able to achieve tangible, ongoing cost reductions as a result of infrastructure upgrades if the IT department knows where to look. Here are four areas that all organizations should explore:
1. Consolidate IT Resources
No-cost data center assessments by third-party providers almost always uncover opportunities to consolidate resources — which, in turn, reduces costs. Modern servers and storage appliances have become so powerful that it’s common to accidentally overprovision resources, and some organizations are paying for infrastructure that they’re not using.
2. Move "Cold" Data to a Lower Tier of Storage
As storage needs grow, IT shops tend to simply build out more capacity without giving much thought to what resources are needed for the job. As a result, many companies are paying for Tier 1 storage solutions to store files that they seldom access. By moving this “cold data” to a lower tier of storage, organizations can often cut costs without negatively affecting performance.
3. Use Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery
Many agencies still do disk-to-disk backup and use tape for secondary purposes — costly, complex processes. With more cloud backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service options, agencies can use the cloud for backup. Cost analysis is tricky: Cloud options may appear to be more expensive, but a more modern backup solution can provide a better ROI.
4. Analyze the Cost of Running Workloads in the Cloud
Agencies are often skittish about moving too many resources to the public cloud too quickly, motivated by horror stories of peers that moved to the cloud, only to come back in-house after the service proved costly. By analyzing the cost of running workloads in the public cloud and comparing that with the expense of managing onsite solutions, agencies can pick cost-effective infrastructure models.