Network Efficiency: Power, Cooling Readings Vital

By Elizabeth Millard Print this article Print

From better monitoring tools to WAN optimization to getting a clear read on power and cooling costs, making IT network infrastructure perform efficiently is a complex challenge for network and system administrators to define and put in to practice. Here is some key network infrastructure advice for IT managers and CIOs.

Getting a read on power and cooling is vital for overall efficiency efforts, notes Ken Brill, executive director of the Uptime Institute. Consolidation and virtualization can be helpful, but CIOs also need to know how much they're spending, and how much costs are rising. Given the increase in operating expenses, it could turn out that consolidation doesn't increase efficiency as much as an IT department may think.

"Even just a few years ago, facility costs were low, maybe one to two percent of an operating budget," says Brill. "But now, they're up to about five percent, and it's very possible that the number will go much higher."

He predicts that operating expenses could climb as high as 30 percent within the next decade, which could thwart any cost savings achieved through better efficiency.

Getting Streamlined

The first step toward more efficiency is understanding every nuance of the network, Doggart says. Monitoring tools should be implemented that track network behavior, from connection speed to temperature changes in the data center.

"There's a whole slew of tools, and there are some sophisticated dashboards that let CIOs understand quickly what's happening, and how issues like traffic are affecting the network," he notes.

With a baseline established in order to track improvements, a company can begin to implement changes that might increase efficiency.

Optimization tools can help boost efficiency, especially for wide area networks, bringing gains to overall speed and application performance. With an optimized network, it's easier to do consolidation tactics such as centralizing storage, as well as improving services like disaster recovery.

This article was originally published on 2008-11-12
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