7 secrets of IT consolidation success

1. Assess conditions. For starters, an agency should determine current usage of servers and storage and create a road map for consolidation. Assessments may also look into IT skill sets on hand.

2. Virtualize. The first phase of consolidation often involves server virtualization -- running multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. Storage virtualization and thin provisioning may also take place.

3. Retire older equipment. Once agencies migrate apps off aging servers, the machines may be retired. That step eliminates maintenance expenses and replacement costs.

4. Become a consolidation hub. Virtualized data centers may end up with a lot of empty space. That’s an opportunity to invite other agencies in.

5. Retool policies. Agencies pursuing virtualization will find themselves provisioning services rather than physical hardware. IT management policies and procedures should be updated accordingly.

6. Automate. Consider automation tools for managing heavily virtualized environments.

7. Go green. Lower cooling and energy costs are a byproduct of consolidation. Reducing an agency’s carbon footprint contributes to green initiatives, providing consolidation’s icing on the cake.

About the Author

John Moore is a freelance writer based in Syracuse, N.Y.

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