Sometimes even good things can go bad.
A reliable business server can be the gateway to new levels of efficiency, collaboration and data security in a small business. But servers are like rabbits -- over time, they have a way of multiplying and creating an unmanageable litter of technology that negates the efficiency the server was supposed to produce in the first place.
Server consolidation is the process of reducing the number of servers or server locations your organization requires. The idea is to recapture systemic efficiency by relocating applications that currently exist on several servers to a single (or fewer) server locations.
If you aren't familiar with server consolidation protocols, don't worry. There are plenty of third-party professionals who are capable of designing a more streamlined server configuration and handling your consolidation needs.
Is Server Consolidation Necessary?
Server sprawl is a scenario in which several servers are severely under utilized. By taking up unnecessary space and resources, they produce an inefficient server environment in which overall server performance suffers. When companies dedicate servers to single applications, they often end up with multiple servers that aren't being fully used, yet demand maintenance and service from the company's IT personnel. Server consolidation eliminates sprawl, reducing the draw on company time and resources. So is server consolidation necessary? For many small businesses, the answer is "yes" -- whether you want to hear it or not.
Server Consolidation Tips
- Start by conducting an inventory of your current servers, systems, applications, software versions and user groups. If you find that you have multiple versions of software or systems running on servers that aren't being used to their full potential, you're a prime candidate for server consolidation.
- Evaluate your server hardware to determine whether your current hardware is capable of withstanding a consolidation or whether you need to purchase new server hardware. Most businesses find they can achieve an effective consolidation with existing resources.
- Redesign your server landscape to achieve approximately 95% occupancy on your newest and most powerful servers. Load balancing is a consideration, so you may need to enlist technical expertise before you start the consolidation process.
- Whenever possible, upgrade software applications to run on a single, supported platform instead of multiple platforms that require different maintenance procedures.