Its US Census time, What about IT Data Centers?

March 29, 2010 – 10:03 pm

It is that once a decade activity time this year referred to as the US 2010 Census.

With the 2010 census underway, not to mention also time for completing and submitting your income tax returns, if you are in IT, what about measuring, assessing, taking inventory or analyzing your data and data center resources?

US 2010 Cenus formsUS 2010 Cenus forms
Figure 1: IT US 2010 Census forms

Have you recently taken a census of your data, data storage, servers, networks, hardware, software tools, services providers, media, maintenance agreements and licenses not to mention facilities?

Likewise have you figured out what if any taxes in terms of overhead or burden exists in your IT environment or where opportunities to become more optimized and efficient to get an IT resource refund of sorts are possible?

If not, now is a good time to take a census of your IT data center and associated resources in what might also be called an assessment, review, inventory or survey of what you have, how its being used, where and who is using and when along with associated configuration, performance, availability, security, compliance coverage along with costs and energy impact among other items.

IT Data Center Resources
Figure 2: IT Data Center Metrics for Planning and Forecasts

How much storage capacity do you have, how is it allocated along with being used?

What about storage performance, are you meeting response time and QoS objectives?

Lets not forget about availability, that is planned and unplanned downtime, how have your systems been behaving?

From an energy or power and cooling standpoint, what is the consumption along with metrics aligned to productivity and effectiveness. These include IOPS per watt, transactions per watt, videos or email along with web clicks or page views per watt, processor GHz per watt along with data movement bandwidth per watt and capacity stored per watt in a given footprint.

Other items to look into for data centers besides storage include servers, data and I/O networks, hardware, software, tools, services and other supplies along with physical facility with metrics such as PUE. Speaking of optimization, how is your environment doing, that is another advantage of doing a data center census.

For those who have completed and sent in your census material along with your 2009 tax returns, congratulations!

For others in the US who have not done so, now would be a good time to get going on those activities.

Likewise, regardless of what country or region you are in, its always a good time to take a census or inventory of your IT resources instead of waiting every ten years to do so.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
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