March Madness: 3 Common Ways Data Centers Are Being Mismanaged

March Madness: 3 Common Ways Data Centers Are Being Mismanaged

March Madness is a shorthand term that refers to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. It’s an annual event that starts in March and ends in April. It is the most watched sporting event each year. The 2015 edition attracted almost 20 million viewers for the 10:45 p.m.- 11:00 p.m. block of a game between the University of Notre Dame (U of Kentucky) in 2015.
The “madness” part of the name refers to the event’s scope and intensity, but not the unpredictable outcomes. Many websites sponsor bracket contests at outrageous prices, knowing that it is nearly impossible to correctly pick all 63 games.
Postseason basketball’s volatility provides an opportunity to discuss another type of madness: inefficient data center management and inefficient stewardship. If missed free throws or turnovers are the key ingredients to March Madness upsets then inefficient stewardship and mismanagement of data centers is the key ingredient behind many of the largest problems in these facilities. Let’s take a look at three of these issues, all of which can easily be solved by virtualization.
1. Too much overhead for hardware or software
Virtualization reduces costs by seperating the application, service or operating system from the hardware.
Unplanned downtime can be costly for organizations, at an average cost of more than $100,000 per hour. This is especially problematic for data center managers because the usual expenses of managing a facility are so high. These costs are derived from:
Software licensingManual backup systemsHardware upgradesPaying for unused capacityVirtualization trims these costs by separating the application, serviceor operating system from the underlying hardware, in effect emulating it so that it can be run on multiple clients. It is less important to have the most current software and hardware as existing resources can be used more efficiently.
2. Scaling or sharing IT services can be difficult
“Virtualized data centres offer many advantages in terms cost and scalability.”
It is difficult to expand the footprint of traditional data centers as business needs change. Traditional data centers are not modular. This limitation prevents organizations sharing applications such virtual desktops or unified communications solutions.
Enter data center virtualization. Apps and services can all be managed from one central platform. Security protections can also be applied across virtual machines. This results in highly scalable IT operations that allow for easy collaboration between offices. Employees have the ability to access virtualized programs anywhere they have an IP network connection. This allows them to work from any location without the need for specialized hardware.

3. Data portability is not an option
What happens if a server fails, overheats, or takes its stored data? What if you need to create a backup but can’t get a server to start? These tasks can be simplified by VMs.
Data center virtualization makes it easy to back up data and move data between facilities and servers. Snapshots can be saved to VMs to ensure you always have the most current data available for version control.
Learn all about data center virtualization
Virtualization of a datacenter involves many technologies, including platforms like Microsoft Windows Server and various VMware and cloud computing products (e.g. Azure and Amazon Web Services). These competencies are essential for IT professionals to be able to advance their careers. New Horizons Learning Group offers a variety of courses in Windows Server, Azure and other components of data center virtualization.