Boil The Server: Five Things I Learned At Gartner’s IODC Conference

Our ongoing World Of Servers series has been in Sydney this week, soaking up advice at Gartner’s IT Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center conference. We came, we live blogged, we took lots of notes. Here are five key lessons to take away from the event.

1. Enjoy The Crisis

No, I don’t want to wish a sudden network-wide crash or a flood upon you, but sometimes it takes dramatic circumstances to push through major data centre upgrades. As Gartner’s John Roberts explained: “Never waste a good crisis. Sometimes a little crisis is enough to get the impetus for management to say ‘We do need to fix this’.” Check out more tips for effective management.


2. Everything Can Be Virtualised

The notion that specific workloads — whether that’s email or database or anything else — can’t be virtualised effectively is largely old hat. You need to plan carefully at deployment, but there are significant benefits, not least of which is being able to simplify your approach to systems management. Check out more tips on server virtualisation

3. Lower The Temperature

Savings at your data centre might be as simple as checking whether you still need the temperature settings that were originally created. One centre dropped the temperature by one degree and saved $183,000 in a year. That’s a metric that looks good on the resume.

4. The Virtualisation War Is Far From Over

In a competitive market space, there are two clearly dominant players for enterprise virtualisation: VMware and Microsoft. Whichever camp you favour, the ongoing competition means lower prices, which makes ongoing upgrades and testing easier.

5. Hybrid Cloud Is The Future

The dichotomy between private and public is largely artificial: an increasing number of businesses will use both, which means hyrbid clouds willl become the norm and businesses will need to learn to manage them effectively. But that need not be too scary: as Gartner’s Thomas Bittman points out, “the majority of hybrid cloud will be a combination of a development and test private cloud where you can use a chosen external provider if resources are scarce.”

Next up on the World Of Servers agenda: a trip to the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas in early April. And yes, I’ll be too busy writing about server technology to gamble.

Lifehacker’s World Of Servers sees me travelling to conferences around Australia and around the globe in search of fresh insights into how server and infrastructure deployment is changing in the cloud era. This week, I’m in Sydney for the Gartner Infrastructure, Operations & Data Center Summit, looking for practical guidance on developing and managing your IT infrastructure and using virtualisation effectively.

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