Managing Data Centers Efficiently: 10 Cost-Saving Techniques

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Managing Data Centers Efficiently: 10 Cost-Saving Techniques

by Chris Preimesberger

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Communities Rule

There are online communities built especially for you that offer free advice and expertise from other people out there in the trenches. Additionally, communities are the perfect place for unbiased advice on products that you may be thinking of buying or technologies you may be thinking of deploying.

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Know Your Network

Really knowing your network-servers, storage, and services-will save you time and money. How do you get to know it? Discover, document and diagram. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

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Manage Service Provider Costs

Although this may seem like an obvious tip, many companies don't judiciously manage contracts and service level agreements (SLAs) with their service providers. SLA verification is one of the easiest ways to save money with service providers.

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Go Virtual, Baby

Virtualization technology has matured significantly in recent years, and companies across the globe are saving significantly through smart use of this technology. Additionally, virtualized PCs, servers and infrastructure consume less energy, have smaller cooling and space requirements, and help to reduce the overall carbon footprint of your data centers.

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Take Advantage of Free Tools

There are dozens of nifty free tools available, including many of that are open source technology. The tricky part is figuring out where to (and where not to) use them. Remember that your time is your most valuable asset. So if the free software is consuming a great deal of your time, it has become very expensive.

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Know When to Bring In an Expert

In the end, you usually spend more money trying to fix something that you know absolutely nothing about on your own than by just calling in an expert at the start. Know your limitations, and when you have to call in an expert, learn as much as you can from him or her while they're in your shop.

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Dont Be Afraid to Introduce a Little Competition

When you're working with vendors, don't be afraid to introduce a little competition. Nobody's network is completely homogeneous and having at least a couple of vendors represented can give you some much needed leverage. Keep it simple, though, and be smart about where you introduce variety.

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Create a Wish List

You never know when you may be asked to make investment decisions, and having a wish list handy can help you in securing funds over other departments. Don't know what to invest in? Ask the community.

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If You Dont Use It, Stop Paying for It

It's always amazing to me when I visit customers and see that they have loads of shelfware for which they're still paying maintenance fees, but they can't point out where the system is actually installed or in operation. Chances are you may be staring at a few of those dusty boxes right now.

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Bring on the Interns

In today's job market, a great way to save money is to bring in a group of interns to help staff some of your larger projects. They work for free or for minimal salaries because they're eager to learn and get some hands-on experience.

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