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Cut data center sprawl to improve IT capacity

This guide offers tips and strategies to corral all types of sprawl as well as other drains to data center resources.


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.

1Overloaded data center racks-

Sprawling servers and other resources

Most data centers have more servers than they need to mitigate potential outages, create a buffer of IT capacity for spikes in demand and enable future growth. But when excess server or storage capacity turns into sprawl, it's time to consolidate, refresh and track resources.


Out with the old servers

Complications arise when replacing nonfunctional data center equipment. Decide what to do with the old equipment and how to handle retrofits. Continue Reading


You've got mail servers

AOL embarked on a zombie hunt in its data centers, cutting nearly 15,000 zombie servers and saving around $10 million dollars in the process. The company's technology operations head shares how they did it. Continue Reading


Data centers share consolidation best practices

Consolidating all business servers and storage under one roof allows a company to communicate more easily and track assets efficiently. It's also a good time to virtualize for higher server utilization levels. Continue Reading


Five common server consolidation mistakes

VM sprawl is just one area of concern for data centers consolidating their servers. Follow these tips to get the best consolidation results. Continue Reading


Set efficiency and sustainability goals

The Uptime Institute rewards more than high reliability in data centers. Its Efficient IT Stamp of Approval focuses on IT asset and lifecycle management. Continue Reading

2Speak in sprawl-


3VM sprawl-

Virtual 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.


How to prevent virtualization sprawl

The best way to curb wasted resources is to stop VM sprawl before it starts. These tips help you develop a sound strategy. Continue Reading


How many VMs does a server run?

What's the perfect number of VMs to run in your data center? Is it four VMs, 16 or more than that? Virtualization means many applications and services can share a physical host server, as long as performance stays high. Continue Reading


There's no such thing as a free VM

When it comes to virtual machines, free could cost you a lot of money. It's hard to know how much they'll set you back if you don't have a good chargeback or showback system in place. Continue Reading


Zombie hunters: Keep these tools and strategies in hand

Smart planning and helpful tools give data center and virtualization managers the prowess to fight off zombie VMs and protect the living IT resources. Continue Reading


Could automation cut down on wasted VMs?

Automation is a time-consuming and skills-intensive process. The payoff in terms of VM creation, maintenance and removal might be worth the investment for your IT organization. Continue Reading

4IT asset management tips-

Know your capacity

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


Get on the right track with ITAM

IT asset management systems bring order to the chaos that IT equipment refreshes, virtualization and shadow IT create in enterprise data centers. Continue Reading


What ITAM tool is right for your infrastructure?

Factors like the mix of hardware and software in your data center will influence the selection of effective IT asset management tools. Continue Reading


Rely on what you have to manage IT capacity

No budget or time to introduce a new IT asset management system to your data center? Work with what you already have to control sprawl and track resources. Continue Reading


Getting the most ROI from IT equipment

Shrewd IT lifecycle management means that corporations spend the right amount on resources for the most productivity and performance. Make sure you aren't saving a penny but losing a pound with old servers. Continue Reading


Automation pushes IT sprawl out of control

Automation can be a very bad thing for your data center, when one mistake propagates quickly and widely. Continue Reading


How to successfully implement server automation

Server automation is no silver bullet to stop wasted resources. Standardized server configurations pay off with automation, but perhaps only when you have more than 500 servers actively used in the data center. Continue Reading

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