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Gartner: Data Center Problems Ahead

Energy, staffing, and hardware costs lead the list of worsening challenges facing data center managers, research firm says.

Managing a data center is going to get harder in 2010.

That's according to researcher Gartner, which says problems associated with energy, space, and technology are set to worsen. As a result, IT managers would be smart to start looking for pragmatic ways to deal with the growing challenges.

"Energy costs are the fastest-rising cost element in the data center portfolio, and yet data center managers are still not paying sufficient attention to the process of measuring, monitoring, and modeling energy use in data centers," Gartner researcher Rakesh Kumar said in a statement. "They need to realize that removing a single x86 server from a data center will result in savings of more than $400 a year in energy costs alone."

To help IT managers with the challenges they face, Gartner has identified critical areas that need to be addressed.

The first is establishing a standardized way to break down data center costs. Gartner advises IT managers to define a chart of accounts that specifies the cost elements constituting the overall cost and the key categories that comprise that cost.

Gartner then offers these tips for cutting costs:

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