Why Your Data Centre Budget Will Shrink (And How To Handle That)

I'm in London this week to cover Data Centre World for our ongoing World Of Servers series. One key theme that's likely to dominate a lot of discussion: despite their importance, data centre budgets are getting tighter.

Belt-tightening picture from Shutterstock

A recent report by Gartner analyst Mike Chuba notes that data centre deployment remains caught in the classic bind that afflicts many IT projects: businesses are demanding faster rollouts for data centres and higher service levels, but expect cost savings at the same time.

That's not an easy balance to create. "Modest budget changes may not be enough to sustain current modes of IT operations, let alone support emerging business initiatives," Chuba wrote. "Organisations need to continue to look closely at improving efficiencies and pruning legacy applications that are on the back side of the cost-benefit equation, to free up the budget and technical resources, and to lay the groundwork to support emerging workloads and applications."

Chuba recommends five specific strategies to minimise expenditure while maximising impact:

  • Ensure costs of existing workloads are optimised and that all capacity is being used.
  • Train existing staff in new technologies such as big data to avoid costly new hires.
  • When modernising, use a cascade map to ensure benefits across the entire business are captured
  • Ensure private cloud systems are designed for potential hybrid cloud scenarios.
  • When piloting, ensure testing at large scales before committing to production systems.


    Would be great to elaborate a bit on some of these details for those of us that aren't experienced in this area but want to learn more. Would love to know what a "cascade map" is, for example, which is probably some internal document well known in the I.T. world, but not to newbies like myself, and google isn't helping much. Also "Testing at large scales before committing to production systems" is a huuuge undertaking, so would be great to see what technologies and methodologies are used in that area (in another article perhaps).

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