IT is an important asset to any business, but it doesn’t come cheap. You need to take into account not just the upfront cost of buying necessary hardware and software, but also the cost of operating and maintaining them. Thus, it’s crucial that you take steps to maximize your IT assets and avoid wasting valuable resources. This is exactly what you achieve with server consolidation.
What is server consolidation?
Server consolidation is a strategy for reducing a company’s physical servers and creating a more efficient IT system. There are various steps to achieving these goals, including combining servers, replacing legacy hardware, and adopting solutions like cloud technology, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms, and virtualized systems.
Formerly, it was considered a best practice to have a dedicated physical server for every major function in a network, preventing components from competing with each other for resources. However, this strategy results in server sprawl, whereby a company has multiple servers that are underutilized but cost a lot of money to purchase and operate.
One way to consolidate your systems is by eliminating legacy hardware and virtualizing your servers instead, then running them in a single but newer and more powerful physical server. For instance, your web, file, and backup servers tend to max out at different times of the day, so you can virtualize and run them efficiently using one machine.
Another way to reduce your physical servers is to transfer some of your files and workloads to cloud servers. You can also sign up for SaaS, instead of using up resources from your servers with on-premises business applications.
Server consolidation is a strategy for reducing a company’s physical servers and creating a more efficient IT system.
What are the benefits of server consolidation?
In addressing server sprawl, server consolidation helps your company to:
Reduce hardware and operating costs
Running fewer servers means you save money on:
- Repair and maintenance costs
- Overhead costs, especially in terms of the energy needed to run and cool the servers
- Space occupied by the physical servers
- Hardware replacement or upgrades, as servers often need to be replaced every three years
Furthermore, consolidation reduces the number of machines your IT team has to look after. This gives them the opportunity to become more productive and focus on other valuable tasks.
Lower environmental impact
A survey by IBM and the National Retail Federation found that 70% of customers from both the United States and Canada believe it’s important for companies to be sustainable and eco-friendly. If you are concerned about your company’s impact on the environment, then server consolidation is a step in the right direction. Having fewer servers reduces your company’s energy requirements, as well as its carbon footprint.
Simplify server management
The more servers you have, the more difficult it is to oversee them. You may have to move from one tool or window to another just to monitor your IT infrastructure. A few standardized servers, on the other hand, can be effectively managed using a clean and intuitive dashboard. This makes it easy to monitor the state of your IT system and execute necessary changes and updates.
Improve backup and disaster recovery
Both manmade and natural disasters can damage your physical servers, prevent access to your data, and disrupt your business. Having a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery strategy will help you quickly regain access to crucial data and immediately resume your operations in case of an emergency.
Virtual servers are independent of the device being used to run them. If your physical servers are damaged, you can just run your virtual servers using another server. It’s also easy to create image-based backups of entire virtual machines, which you can simply deploy to recover your data.
Server consolidation allows your business to save money and get the most out of your servers. At Safebit , our experts can help you explore your options regarding your servers and determine which one will suit your business best. Find out the many ways we can help your business by downloading this free eBook today.