Introduction to Data Center Consolidation

With the increased use of high-bandwidth, fiber-optic networks and cloud computing, more and more companies are looking to consolidate their data center operations. In his book Administering Data Centers Servers, Storage, and Voice Over IP, Kailash Jayaswal provides insight regarding the best practices to consolidate data center operations.

Consolidation is a complex project that spans over several months, or even a few years. The process must be split into several phases, and each phase must be managed by a dedicated, detail-oriented, and experienced project manager. It will impact several IT teams, user groups, and business units. Getting each party to agree to the same goals, agenda, and action items and, at the same time, maintaining executive sponsorship for the project is a tall order.

It is therefore necessary to break the giant task into phases and each phase into subphases, which is the main theme of this chapter. Assign enough time and human resources to each phase.

Following are the main phases discussed in this chapter:

Key points discussed in this chapter:

  • The high-level consolidation phases are assessment of the current environment, architecting the target consolidated environment, implementing the environment, and managing the environment.
  • Consolidation phases are assessment, architecture, implementation, and administration.
  • Assessment is a critical phase where you must evaluate servers, applications, dependencies, HA deficiencies, resource (storage, server) utilization, performance bottlenecks, redundant processes, and the pain points that you hope to alleviate.
  • In the architecture phase, you draft an initial solution, create a test prototype, test the migration process, and make final changes to the solution.
  • The implementation phase requires execution of the detailed step-by-step plan, often during a scheduled downtime.
  • The administration phase requires training, setting up robust policies, documenting all operating procedures (such as problem and change management), training the support staff, and handing over control to them.

From Administering Data Centers Servers, Storage, and Voice Over IP by Kailash Jayaswal. Copyright 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.