In the Age of the Customer where digital prowess drives success, a sound IT infrastructure is the cost of entry for most businesses.
You can no longer afford to manage each IT component and technology brand within your IT infrastructure separately. After all, servers, storage, SAN, and applications all depend on each other to deliver optimal user experiences. Also, if you have a mix of technology brands, they all have to get along and work together—Solaris, Linux, IBM and more. Because of the dependencies, IT managers need to look at the big picture and manage the entire ecosystem.
This approach is called IT infrastructure performance management. It not only improves IT operations and the user experience, but it also saves money. And in a world where “do more with less” is the oft-quoted maxim, that’s music to the CIO’s ears.
So let’s explore three ways that IPM can help to reduce costs.
Find the Opportunities in Upgrades
When upgrading servers, IT managers often make an easy but costly assumption that the capacity they have today is the baseline for tomorrow. They take existing capacity to figure out how many new servers they’ll need and add some increment to accommodate growth.
When making decisions in the dark, this may be the safest way to go, but it’s not the most economical.
The infrastructure performance management approach would be to collect data on your infrastructure using a monitoring tool, and review server usage over the course of the year to determine capacity required. Look at the busiest day of the busiest month to ascertain the maximum demand users place on your servers. Look at utilization levels. You’ll likely find that while some servers are maxed out, others may only be 10 percent utilized.
And that’s your opportunity to save some money by adjusting your baseline capacity needs accordingly.
This analysis enables you not only to save on capital expenses, but also on maintenance, space, energy, salaries, and recruiting costs for those hard-to-find administrators.
Make the Most of Migrations
If you don’t have a full understanding of your current technology assets and their capacity and utilization, how can you plan a data center migration?
If, on the other hand, you track and monitor your whole infrastructure, you can create virtual groupings and answer the “What if?” questions. Look at different scenarios to determine the best way to consolidate data centers, ensuring sufficient capacity while eliminating unnecessary, costly technology.
Likewise, to optimize cloud migrations, assemble technology groupings virtually to determine their requirements and performance levels. By knowing exactly what you need, you can then reach out to potential vendors to request and negotiate pricing and performance based on hard facts.
Plan Better for Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and acquisitions offer the promise of sharing resources and, therefore, providing a greater return on investment. Often, however, technology has to be rapidly consolidated, and potential synergies are squandered due to lack of informed planning. After all, to determine whether new assets are required and how best to bring technology together, you need a full understanding of the two companies’ technology workloads and existing assets.
Using an infrastructure performance management tool, you can group assets you plan to absorb or divest and determine what to buy and what you no longer need.
Given these benefits, it’s time to focus on managing your IT infrastructure’s performance. This practice will enable you to optimize data centers to meet the digital needs of customers and employees while maximizing your ROI on technology.