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Do you still have “spring cleaning” on your IT department’s to-do list? While giving your IT infrastructure an annual tidying tune-up may be more commonly associated with the spring months, summer is still an excellent time to tackle this endeavor, taking stock of your current procedures and environment to improve your company’s efficiency and productivity.
If you’re ready to jump into IT spring cleaning this summer, start with these five strategies:
- Reduce Rack Space for Savings
As the business environment changes, so do infrastructure needs. No longer is it necessary for enterprises to have such a large footprint. Instead, using the concept of “hyperconvergence,” IT administrators can modernize their approach by making some smart swaps: consolidate and replace old, cumbersome servers and storage boxes with cutting-edge hyperconverged appliances to improve infrastructure. This gives you the ability to do away with racks and racks of physical hosts for computing devices (as well as redundant storage devices), replacing them with one appliance. The resulting cost and time savings mean less management and maintenance of devices, giving you more for your money and facilitating future growth.
- Simplify, Simplify
A hyperconverged infrastructure offers other advantages as well, including management simplification. Instead of having to consult several consoles for piecemeal information about storage, backup/disaster recovery, hypervisor, virtualization, and servers, hyperconvergence allows IT to use just one console for a total management solution for all of these various components. This makes it much easier to conduct maintenance and diagnostics, and is another way to enjoy cost-savings over having to buy an extra layer of management, at extra cost, to bundle solutions under a single console. By cutting down on complexity and saving time, hyperconvergence simplifies infrastructure management and maintenance.
- Cull Vendor Clutter
For a successful IT spring cleaning no matter what month it is, think beyond your management workstation. Needing to use numerous vendors for every area that you manage – with one vendor for servers, another for storage, and still others for virtualization and DR – complicates your infrastructure and can become problematic each time a challenge arises. Multiple vendors mean not only multiple contracts to review and renew plus multiple support numbers to call, but also that there are myriad ways for one vendor to try to pass the buck to another, rather than admit fault or wrong-doing. To avoid this troublesome “vendor clutter,” consider ways to reduce the number of vendors that you currently rely on – ideally shifting to a solution that requires only one vendor. A hyperconverged infrastructure allows a single vendor to provide support across the board for servers and storage, virtualization and backup.
- Minimize Licensing
Another area that’s ripe for an IT “summer cleaning” is the dreaded task of software licensing. Many solutions create a snowball effect when it comes to licensing – it isn’t enough to simply purchase a license for software use since that’s limited in many ways. If you want the ability to use one console for software management on various servers, it may require another license. Not every feature of the software will be covered by the initial usage license either. Before you know it, you may find yourself spending more time trying to manage your software licensing than managing your infrastructure, which will only lead to more gaps and problems. And just when you think you’ve got licensing figured out, you’ll need to keep renewing each license annually, racking up charges. So be sure to evaluate how you’re handling your licensing as part of your revamping this summer. Seek a solution that helps minimize the amount of software licensing that’s needed, allowing for a one-time payment rather than a constant draining of resources and IT management time.
- Stop Paying for Future Needs
If there’s one industry where it makes sense to focus on the present, it’s technology. Yet many administrators get talked into springing for future infrastructure, even though it’s clear that everything will have changed a few years down the road. Why spend a chunk of your budget on technology that will likely be outdated in three to five years? Not only is this approach a waste of valuable resources, but you’ll also waste space and management time in storing and maintaining these purchases. A more effective approach is to provision what you need now, and wait to reap the cost benefits of prices coming down on that same technology in the future. By opting for a hyperconverged infrastructure, you simplify future scale out and your ability to add up-to-date technology when it’s really needed.
What’s important is not when you take the steps above, but that you take them. By applying a spring cleaning mindset to your IT infrastructure this summer or any time of year, you’ll be positioning your organization for greater efficiency, cost-savings, and success.