Every organization needs to watch its spending habits, and sometimes adopting new technology can help you cut costs. Of course, it’s not exactly easy to switch to brand-new systems or revamp your entire IT infrastructure. But there are several types of server room design changes that can help you maximize your resources.
As you consider the pros and cons of different scenarios, you might decide that it would be better to move away from having a server room altogether. The more you know, the better off you’ll be to protect your organization’s efficiency and bottom line.
Streamlining the Server Room
Consolidating your servers by either virtualizing them or using cloud computing can help you reduce the amount of expensive hardware you need to run your operations. Before making that leap, though, organizations should assess their existing server room design. If the equipment you’ve been using is efficient and secure, and you’ve already paid for the investment, then you may not be as motivated to switch to the cloud.
On the other hand, you don’t want your servers to be using unnecessary power. Every penny counts, and upgrading to energy-efficient hardware can help you significantly reduce your energy consumption and save on operating expenses. Or you might go another route.
Virtualizing the server room and a cloud-based system are related concepts, but they have their differences. With virtualization, an organization still owns and manages its physical hardware. They’ve usually just created a “virtualized” environment for their servers on a local network, and typically that’s still within their own data center. That way, they can maximize their resources by running multiple virtual machines on a single physical server.
In a cloud-based system, the physical hardware is often owned and managed by a third-party cloud service provider. The organization then gets to use remote servers and storage, which is often more scalable and cost-effective and scalable than using a server on-site. You’ll access and manage your data via the internet, which means you might be able to free up physical space on your site. Ultimately, this type of flexible computing environment can save organizations a good chunk of money on energy and maintenance costs too.
When deciding whether or not to stick with a server room, it’s also important to think about possible changes that might be coming down the line in the near future. Will your organization be expanding? What about downsizing? Either way, relying on servers can make it more difficult to move. Not only will you need to transport that physical equipment, you’ll also have to deal with some extra downtime getting everything hooked up in the new space and running again. You don’t have to deal with those delays when your team is working through a cloud-based system.
Onsite Servers vs Cloud-Based Solutions
Whether or not to "do away" with a server room entirely depends on your organization's specific needs. While cloud computing and virtualization have made it possible for some companies to eliminate their physical server rooms, switching to those systems may not be the best solution for everyone.
Organizations that already have a large number of physical servers may find it more practical to maintain a physical server room. Additionally, some industries have regulatory requirements that mandate the use of physical servers. As long as the equipment is up-to-date, secure, and efficient, they might as well continue making the most of that investment!
Then again, if your organization has a small number of servers, and also has the ability to outsource its server needs to a cloud provider, it may be more cost-effective and efficient to get rid of your hardware and convert that physical server room into another type of space. Maybe you could set up a new office, or even a new break room for your team.
Ultimately, the decision to eliminate a physical server room should be based on a thorough evaluation of your organization's needs, resources, and goals. That's why leaders need to consider factors such as security, scalability, cost, and maintenance requirements before making a decision. If you need guidance along the way, Enhanced Telecommunications and Data is here to help!