Data center consolidation challenges

* Drivers for data center consolidation

One of the ongoing technology trends that impact the majority of companies is data center consolidation. There are two primary components of data center consolidation: taking servers out of branch offices and placing them into centralized data centers, and the reduction in the number of data centers.

The primary driver of data center consolidation is the desire to save money.  For example, data center consolidation usually results in a reduced number of servers. In addition to saving money on the servers themselves, an IT organization also saves money on related items such as real estate, software licenses and administrative costs.

Cost savings are only one of the factors driving consolidation; another is compliance with governmental and industry regulations. For example, it is usually difficult for an IT organization to assure the security and accuracy of information that is located in servers in branch offices. This task becomes notably easier once these servers are located in a centrally managed data center.

However, data center consolidation introduces a number of significant challenges. For example, in a previous newsletter we discussed the fact that centralizing file servers in corporate data centers means that chatty file access protocols such as Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS) that were designed to run over a LAN, now have to run over the WAN.

In the next WAN newsletter, we will discuss the challenges associated with providing reliable high-speed access to a company's data center.

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.