There are two critical concepts to keep in mind when evaluating the state of data center efficiency and alignment with the needs of the business. First, there is no single “magic bullet” indicator of movement from one efficiency stage to the next. The data center environment is a compilation of servers, storage, network systems, mechanical/electrical systems, applications and tools, governance procedures and staff. The only effective means to measure the efficiency of data center operations is to take a holistic approach that considers multiple measures across all elements. Second, the evolution of the data center is a journey, one in which the destination may change as the business needs change. This framework should therefore not be considered a recipe that should be followed blindly, but rather a playbook that should be flexibly applied based on the individual needs of the organization.
● Basic: The environment is relatively stable and is maintained based on short-term objectives, with standalone infrastructure as the norm. Companies gain the advantages of server consolidation but have not implemented tools
to improve availability levels, which vary widely from application to application and site to site.
● Consolidated: Server virtualization and site consolidation are used to take out sizeable numbers of systems and facilities and thereby lower capital costs. Server and storage technologies are well utilized and the possibilities for improving availability through virtual machine (VM) mobility are beginning to be realized.
● Available: IT infrastructure is treated as a general resource “pool” that can be allocated and scaled freely to meet the changing demands of workloads and to ensure uptime and performance while providing high rates of utilization. The focus is on measuring and improving service levels while building out governance procedures that capture
● Strategic: Widespread adoption of policy-based
automation tools lowers the manual complexity of the data center and ensures availability requirements and dynamic movement of applications and data. Instrumentation and metrics are consistently used to validate compliance with governance polices.