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Data Center Management: Measure Twice, Provision Once

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on January 7, 2015

How much does your data center really cost? As noted by Tech Target, recent changes in the market have created a host of new metrics, many of which can significantly impact your bottom line. To make the most of your investment and keep costs on track, there's a simple formula for data center management: measure twice, provision once.

Why it Matters

According to Forbes, many IT professionals don't fully measure data center performance. This means accurately managing performance becomes an impossibility, and companies are either over- or under-spending, effectively taking a shot in the dark when comes to resource provisioning. The result? Unpredictable total cost of ownership (TCO) that fluctuates based on perception, not precision.

What You Need to Know (but may not)

With data center operations now at the center of business intelligence and a key driver of revenue, everything from capacity to sustainability and efficiency to longevity impacts your bottom line.

So what are you missing? While most companies have a solid handle on the number of database instances per administrator, other metrics are often left by the wayside. For example, many companies rely on a set of development-cost metrics to determine project budgets, but don't allow for changes in development costs as the project evolves; agile development especially tends to cause budget increases over time. In addition, many companies are so focused outages that they don't account for slowdowns caused by network issues, carrier problems or even aging servers.

Tracking these metrics provides not only a view of current data center value, but offers insight for improvement: where do existing processes falling flat?

Changing the Numbers

There are several ways to tip TCO numbers in your favor. It all starts with better measurement — improved metrics mean better decision making. And if a better view shows current data center operations aren't providing value, you have several choices. First is greater investment on-site, which means beefing up local stacks and networks to deliver lower latency, better security and improved longevity.

Another option is going off-site, taking your hardware to a colocation provider and leveraging their network, security, and expertise to help manage TCO. Here, the key is a reduction in complexity. Leveraging colocation services with a reputation for superior performance and reliability allows you to lower the total number of metrics you need to track – meaning you can focus on hardware, storage and applications instead of answering carrier questions and wondering about network performance.

Want better TCO in the data center? Get better metrics. And if sheer volume poses a problem, consider reducing your measurement needs: the right colocation provider can shorten the distance between investment and return.

Next Steps:

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