Data Centre Consolidation for Organisational Resilience

Feb 6, 2024


Strategic Data Centre Consolidation Guide

What is data centre consolidation

Data centre consolidation is a strategic initiative focused on planning, implementing, and optimising IT infrastructure to boost efficiency and modernise operations. This process may involve physically combining multiple data centres into fewer or a singular facility. Ongoing efforts aim to make a single data centre operate more effectively, utilising fewer resources and aligning storage requirements with the evolving landscape of digital transformation. The overarching goal is to streamline IT operations, cut costs, and optimise resource utilisation, contributing to a more efficient and resilient IT environment.

Explore the strategic essence, risks, and advantages of data centre consolidation. Learn best practices, navigate challenges, and leverage expert insights for a resilient and efficient IT environment.

The strategic essence of data centre consolidation

In the dynamic landscape of evolving technologies, ensuring the resilience of your organisation's infrastructure is paramount. A strategic overhaul of data centre strategies, emphasising operational simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and alignment with growth, is crucial for organisational resilience and prosperity. As organisations expand, the importance of data centre consolidation takes centre stage, promising heightened efficiency and increased application performance.

For many companies, the shift to cloud services has been a gradual process, scattered across various hosting sites. Managing multiple data centres, however, can be both costly and intricate. This complexity prompts organisations to consider data centre consolidation, streamlining their IT infrastructure for improved efficiency.

Whether you're disposing of outdated hardware, merging with another company, or cutting costs by migrating infrastructure to the cloud, data centre consolidation proves to be a pivotal step in improving organisation's IT infrastructure and ensuring future resilience. However, it's crucial to acknowledge the associated risks and challenges, ensuring a thoughtful approach to mitigate potential issues.

Data centre consolidation risks and challenges

Upon establishing a well-thought-out data center consolidation strategy, a selected service partner can assist in creating and providing a consolidation checklist for planning and assessing potential threats. Common risks encompass:

  • Downtime: 
    Downtime can result from various reasons such as inadequate primary or backup power supply, missing data backups and delayed data migrations. The room for error is amplified during consolidation, emphasising the need for meticulous planning.

    To mitigate these challenges, companies should adopt a phased approach for migrating applications and data, always maintain a rollback plan,

  • Loss of Data: 
    The dynamic nature of physical and virtual environments during data center consolidation makes the loss of data possible. Combining multiple legacy facilities into a new enterprise facility adds complexity. Before initiating the migration process, it is crucial to verify that all data is adequately backed up, with a specific focus on the files intended for migration/ Ensuring data redundancy before relocation is cr

  • Compromised Data Security:
    As technical systems undergo changes, physical data center security might be insufficient. With many margins for error, emphasizing security during data center consolidation planning is essential.

  • Network Latency
    Addressing network latency is crucial in data centre consolidation. Overlooked but significant, it becomes a hurdle as servers migrate, impacting communication among applications. Mitigating latency issues is vital for customer experience. Strategies include planning migration schedules meticulously, keeping them simple, and using techniques like traffic segmentation and multi-cloud connections.

Navigating these risks requires a proactive and informed approach to ensure a successful data center consolidation that aligns with organizational goals and resilience.

Advantages of Data Centre consolidation

Let's navigate through these advantages, shedding light on why data centre consolidation is a game-changer:

1. Cost Trimming:

  • Operational Efficiency: The consolidation of data centres empowers businesses to cut down on operational and maintenance costs associated with managing multiple facilities.

2. Energy Efficiency:

  • Centralised Optimisation: Centralising data in a focal point promotes enhanced energy efficiency, contributing to a diminished carbon footprint linked to cloud hosting.

3. Fortified Data Security:

  • Simplified Oversight: Hosting data in a singular site simplifies the monitoring of network traffic, aids in the detection and prevention of security breaches, and streamlines data management for heightened security.

4. Elevated Performance:

  • Strategic Location: Focusing operations around a strategically located data centre results in reduced data latency, minimised network downtime, and accelerated service delivery.

5. Streamlined Management:

  • Efficient Operations: Data centre consolidation leads to a reduced need for IT staff, streamlining the management of cloud systems and ensuring efficient operations.

Beyond these immediate advantages, data centre consolidation unfolds broader benefits:

  1. Energy Use Efficiency:

    Sustainable Practices: A more compact infrastructure footprint translates to reduced energy consumption for data centre power and cooling, aligning seamlessly with sustainability goals.

  2. Operating Cost Reduction:

    Resource Management: Managing fewer sites and resources results in lower operating costs, covering security, power, and overall infrastructure management.

  3. Security Enhancement:

    Simplified Oversight: Consolidating resources simplifies security management, mitigating both physical and digital security risks tied to multiple facilities.

  4. Modernization Opportunities:

    Embracing Innovation: The consolidation process often sparks the adoption of modern operating models and architectures, providing an opportunity to update outdated practices.

Data Centre Consolidation Best Practices

1. Evaluate Hardware Assets:

  • Take stock of existing hardware.
  • Consider factors like age, future business plans, and budget constraints.
  • Align decisions with overall goals on migrating or decommissioning assets, for example that are providing no value and are, in fact, consuming electrical power and physical space. 

2. Assess Facilities and Energy Usage:

  • Evaluate current energy consumption and facility maintenance before initiating data consolidation.
  • Ensure that consolidation leads to actual savings.
  • Consider factors like cooling, heating, security, and overall facility management costs.

3. Consider Geographic Location and Real Estate:

  • Account for environmental conditions, market demand, security features and certifications, and network latency in different geographic locations.
  • Choose a location that aligns with organisational requirements.

4. Review Software Assets and Data Storage

  • Evaluate the state of software and data assets
  • Identify components for migration and streamline software assets.
  • Ensure data assets align seamlessly with the available storage space
  • Consider necessary changes to licensing agreements and integration requirements.

Planning and Designing for Success:

5. Disaster Recovery Planning:

  • Integrate disaster recovery planning with the consolidated environment.

  • Consider fewer points of failure.

  • Explore services like Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offered by data centre providers.

6. Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM):

  • Leverage DCIM software to create a virtual representation of the consolidated environment.
  • Aid in design and planning to monitor the usage of your IT assets to run more efficiently.

The Crucial Phase of Consolidation Execution:

  • The consolidation plan, a culmination of strategic decisions, is set into motion on the day of execution.
  • Detail equipment migration, potential phases, team responsibilities, and clear instructions aligned with the design.
  • Proactive planning significantly reduces downtime.

Leveraging Expertise with Managed Service Providers:

  • Engage with managed service providers during data centre consolidation.
  • Expert assistance covers physical and cloud migrations, security consulting, disaster recovery, business continuity planning, and cloud readiness assessments.

The advantages of consolidating your data centre footprint are evident, offering significant cost savings, reduced complexity, and alignment with government or industry mandates. However, it's crucial to acknowledge that consolidation is a substantial undertaking carrying the risk of downtime. Precision in designing the new space is paramount, emphasizing the necessity for enterprise software to get it right from the outset.

Why Choose NEXTDC for Your Data Centre Needs?

Dynamic Partner Ecosystem:  

Leverage Australia's most extensive partner ecosystem with a community of 750+ partners to enable more connections with carriers, cloud providers, and IT service providers. 

Hybrid Cloud Experience: 

Empowering customers to leverage cloud first strategies and optimise multi-cloud deployments to scale mission critical IT infrastructure. 

AI, High-Performance Computing and Edge Design:  

NEXTDC is at the forefront of supporting Edge computing and High-Performance Compute (HPC) requirements, providing customised solutions to accelerate your AI journey.  

100% Uptime:  

The only data centre operator in the southern hemisphere with Tier IV Gold certification for Operational Sustainability, NEXTDC guarantees zero downtime for reliability and performance. 

Data Centre Interconnectivity:  

Secure, private, and direct access to Australia’s most connected range of global cloud providers, integrated with a nationwide network of data centre facilities. 

World Class Design and Operations: 

Internationally recognised for designing, constructing, and operating Australia’s market leading Tier IV facilities, certified by globally renowned Uptime Institute. 

Sustainability Driven:  

Demonstrating a commitment to sustainability, NEXTDC prioritizes renewable energy sources, achieving leading standards such as 5-star NABERS energy efficiency ratings and TRUE certification. 

DTA Certification for Government Agencies:  

NEXTDC is certified by Australia’s Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), to ensure compliant and sovereign critical infrastructure choice for government at all levels. 

Industry Recognition:  

NEXTDC, a listed company on the ASX 100, stands out with industry peer awards as the region's most innovative and customer focused data centre provider. 

Carbon Neutral Operations:  

NEXTDC's corporate operations are certified carbon neutral under the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard. 

Efficiency and Cost Management:  

Engineered for outstanding energy efficiency, NEXTDC data centres deliver industry-leading benchmarks for minimising operational cost and total cost of ownership. 

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