Between economic pressures, crimped IT budgets, and the move to cloud computing, enterprises are looking toward sprawling, redundant, and underutilized data centers as a ripe opportunity for savings. The U.S. government, for one, plans to slash the number of federal data centers from 2,094 facilities to 1,132 data centers by 2015. In fact, that data center consolidation plan is already ahead of schedule, with 472 data centers set to close by the end of 2012.
Data center consolidation saves money at several levels--land and commercial real estate, heating and air conditioning, server energy consumption, hardware and software licensing costs, human resources, and administrative costs. Just as important is the opportunity for a philosophical change, for as we focus on minimizing keep-the-lights-on infrastructure and administrative work, we also free up resources for IT innovation.