Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hard Measures: Consolidation

Even the rosiest of economic predictions seem to be hyping us into a complete state of panic. Fortunately, my brothers and sisters in the Information Technology field have survived some tumultuous times. Tonight I offer you one surefire idea to help reduce costs: server consolidation.

Depending on your server architecture, you may have several redundant servers. Unfortunately, these devices also incur costs even after their initial purchase. By eliminating these costs you can further tighten the IT belt.

Costs of Servers
  1. Electrical: not just the power they use to keep themselves running but also the additional cooling demand from server heat output. While this is negligible on a per unit basis, if you have multiple redundant systems, the totals can escalate rapidly.
  2. Labor: no matter how many automated services you have running, it is always wise to have a human check over all your servers periodically to ensure proper working order. More servers means more human time that could be spent on more profitable work.
  3. Licenses: all your servers need software licenses and these add to total costs of the device.
  4. Hardware: obviously the server equipment itself costs something and you will need to upgrade/replace the device eventually.
Consolidate!
By consolidating your servers and eliminating redundancy you will save on capital, opportunity and recurring costs. You will sacrifice a measure of fault tolerance and you will force your remaining servers to work harder. However, tough times call for tough measures and if you are forced to tighten your budgets yet again, this is a useful tactic to employ.