Is Consolidation Really a Goal?

I just finished reading the update to the Intel IT Data Center Strategy paper in the IT@Intel Community.  What stood out to me was that despite being able to reduce data center count from 150 to 97 in the last two years, Intel IT’s strategy is not to focus on data center consolidation as a goal, but rather a tactic.

<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face t{font-family:"Cambria Math"; tpanose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; tmso-font-charset:1; tmso-generic-font-family:roman; tmso-font-format:other; tmso-font-pitch:variable; tmso-font-signature:0 0 0 0 0 0;} @font-face t{font-family:Calibri; tpanose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; tmso-font-charset:0; tmso-generic-font-family:swiss; tmso-font-pitch:variable; tmso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal t{mso-style-unhide:no; tmso-style-qformat:yes; tmso-style-parent:""; tmargin:0in; tmargin-bottom:.0001pt; tmso-pagination:widow-orphan; tfont-size:12.0pt; tfont-family:"Times New Roman","serif"; tmso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; tmso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin; tmso-fareast-language:JA;} .MsoChpDefault t{mso-style-type:export-only; tmso-default-props:yes; tfont-size:10.0pt; tmso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; tmso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; tmso-fareast-font-family:Calibri; tmso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;} @page Section1 t{size:8.5in 11.0in; tmargin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; tmso-header-margin:.5in; tmso-footer-margin:.5in; tmso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 t{page:Section1;} -->This paper talks about why Intel IT shifted from a strategy of trying to reduce the number of data centers down to a very small number world-wide to optimizing the entire network of data centers to support service levels for the business. Effectively the strategy is to Rationalize each data center individually and then Optimize for efficiency with a variety of strategies.  The results are impressive: A 2.5x increase in data center performance with a 65% reduction in capital costs through virtualization, server refresh, a new HPC solution featuring parallel storage and facility closure/upgrades. 

In the new Intel IT strategy, Data Center consolidation is no longer the goal, but rather a tactic for efficiency while ensuring service optimization. Rationalization and Optimization of all aspects of operations are covered from the compute, network, storage to the facility and more.

Another fact that I learned in reading this paper was how Intel IT divides up their data center types (Design, Office, Manufacturing, Enterprise) and manages them differently.  I was not aware that the Office/Enterprise environment uses only three (of the 97 total) data centers. 

So, for your business and IT organization, Is Consolidation …

  • a Goal?
  • a Strategy?
  • a Tactic?