10 Forces Driving Your Potentially Agile Data Center Page 2

6. Personnel

Your available pool of experienced and seasoned professionals shrinks every year. With the trend toward offshoring, there are fewer local human resources from which to choose. In this situation, you're better off hiring lesser-skilled individuals on a full-time basis but keeping the numbers of a few experts on speed dial in case of an emergency. The salaries that younger employees demand are lower than those with more experience ask for, younger workers tend to be more malleable in terms of changing with the needs of an agile business, and they are easier to replace.

7. Scrum

You can leverage the Scrum concept of agile project management and apply it to managing your data center more efficiently. The concept, based on transparency and communications, assists you in planning and implementing aspects of your business in bite-sized (manageable) bits. Using agile management principles reduces risk, keeps you focused on the goal while providing a lot of feedback, and improves overall control and delivery frequency . If your teams constantly provide feedback to one another, assess potential problems and involve your customers in activities, then your business thrives and you lower your risks and your costs by sheer awareness.

8. Floor Space

The ever-shrinking data center drives the move to agility by forcing data center managers to think creatively about the problem and how to resolve it. You can't add more space. You can't turn away customers. You can manage what you have more efficiently. Change your server-to-rack ratio, change your server technology, move to virtualization or engage the public cloud.

9. Power Consumption

Power bills are a major driving force in searching for newer, more efficient technology and the move to agility in the data center. There's nothing quite like a 20-percent kilowatt-hour rate hike to start your wheels turning on how to decrease your costs. Employee layoffs will not ease that huge power bill you're facing. Better technology and a redesign will help more than a bottle of antacid and head-lopping. Solid state drives, newer low-power servers, LED lights and recycled air are a few ways to keep the lights on for less money.

10. Licensing

How many Oracle licenses are you using right now? You probably know that answer since Oracle helps you keep track of that number. How many Websphere licenses are you using? How many Windows Server 2008 licenses do you have left in your volume license agreement with Microsoft? Now, you're not so sure, are you? Maintaining an accurate license inventory can save you hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in wasted licenses or fines for unlicensed software that's used but unaccounted for in your inventories. Do yourself a favor and Google "software license management software."

Ken Hess is a freelance writer who writes on a variety of open source topics including Linux, databases, and virtualization. He is also the coauthor of Practical Virtualization Solutions, which was published in October 2009. You may reach him through his web site at http://www.kenhess.com.

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This article was originally published on Dec 9, 2010
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