Historically, IT data centers operated like warehouses that focused on housing the equipment brought by application developers. Today, these passive warehouses are being converted into dynamic factories that focus on achieving the maximum “application yield” from all of the resources that go into the factory. This yield is much like that of an auto factory that must produce a variety of models with the same shared set of resources.
There are two fundamental ways to increase the yield from your data center: efficiency by design and efficiency by operations.
Efficiency by design is all about designing for optimal output. One example: As you update your infrastructure over time, your new servers, storage systems, and networking equipment should deliver measurable increases in throughput and power efficiency. With each generation of technology, you should get more yield out of your equipment investments.
Efficiency by operations is all about managing the “resource inventory” of the data center through automation. The key here is to use automated solutions to carry out time-consuming tasks that were previously handled manually. Automation not only helps your administrators increase their productivity, it helps your data center managers ensure that the inventory of compute, storage, and network resources is used to its maximum capacity.
For example, you can use automated tools to:
- Move demanding workloads to systems with excess capacity
- Allocate additional storage to applications that are running out of disk space and reduce storage allocated to those applications that are not using it
- Cap the power that flows to certain workloads without impacting performance
- Update security tools and firewall settings on user systems
This is just a small sample or the actions you can take to increase the yield against your data center assets—including people, equipment, software, and power. There are many other things you can do. Just keep your eyes on the factory manager’s prize: maximum output for all resources that go into your facility.