Cut data center sprawl to improve IT capacity

Last updated:September 2015

Editor's note

Data center managers worry about not having enough IT capacity to meet demands. When it comes to IT resources, too much is always better than too little. But all this cautious provisioning, often specific to business initiatives, leads to data center sprawl.

IT teams overprovision physical data center resources, creating server sprawl that eats up power and cooling while also creating licensing, management and configuration control issues. Virtualized data centers aren't immune either -- VM sprawl threatens to decimate carefully planned IT capacity, spike licensing costs and create systems management headaches.

IT asset management tool sets attempt to corral server and virtualization sprawl, despite the complexities and ever-changing nature of modern data centers. Use the tips and examples in this guide to discover and quash resource sprawl and select the right IT asset management tools to keep capacity in line with need.

1Virtual problems in the real world

Physical data center sprawl is only half of the threat -- virtual machines are easy to spin up and harder to shut down for most businesses. Each VM eats up physical resources, creating a disconnect between actual and projected IT capacity demand.

2Know your capacity

What can an IT organization do to combat resource sprawl? Rigorous asset and lifecycle management increase visibility and inform capacity plans.