Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Cutting Back on Data Center Equipment Costs

In the November 19 issue of PROCESSOR, Carmi Levy examines how cost-conscious IT directors, CIOs, and CFOs are saving money by turning to the “gray market” to buy name-brand goods through nontraditional channels. The downside to cutting costs in this manner is that it “can impact warranty coverage, parts availability, and service turnaround and must be calculated into the ROI to ensure the cost savings justify these potential drawbacks.”

Key points of the article include:

• Choose usage scenarios carefully. Deploy gray market-sourced hardware in non-front-line applications such as testing and backup, where outages have less impact on business operations.
• Calculate energy costs. New hardware is typically more efficient than used equipment. Project lifetime power and cooling costs to arrive at realistic TCO figures.
• Know your vendor. Work only with trusted partners who own their quality control processes and stand behind their products.

Our team is sensitive to the budgetary needs of IT decision makers. Beyond shopping around for focused purchases of data center equipment, we encourage organizations to look for ways to get the greatest mileage out of existing equipment. To streamline this process, we’ve developed an integrated, best-in-class solution that enables more effective data center management and maintenance of all support infrastructure.

PTS’ Data Center Maintenance Management Software solution (DCMMS) is a turnkey, web-based application which helps organizations increase support infrastructure asset life, track maintenance details, predict and prevent equipment failures, improve labor productivity, reduce equipment downtime, minimize investment in inventory, and lower the total cost of data center maintenance.

This new class of data center management software is available for purchase or as a Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. The cost of the product is based upon the size of assets under management and is tiered to support large-scale data center management operations. For details, please visit

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Cyber Monday Highlights Efficiency Issues

While consumers may save energy by shopping from home instead of driving from store to store, data center operators seem to be burning the candle at both ends. In the article, “Is Cyber Monday Really Energy Efficient?,” Michael Kanellos at Greentech reports:

In an average year, the top 40 retailers spend an estimated $110 million more on energy during than they should in preparing for Cyber Monday, the first workday after Thanksgiving that's been enshrined as the start of the online holiday shopping season, according to data center efficiency experts at Sentilla.

This leads to a significant increase in carbon-dioxide emissions and billions of dollars wasted on operations and capital costs. In fact, Greentech reports that many companies “go on buying binges months before and eventually install 30 percent more equipment than they need” for the holiday shopping season.

Energy efficiency is, perhaps, second only to performance when deciding upon data center facility and network design. The high cost of power alone can take a dramatic chunk out of seasonal profits. Furthermore, devices that consume more power require more cooling which not only further increases energy costs but impacts the physical design of the data center. The market has been flooded with various facility and product design techniques promising energy efficiency savings. To find out which specific strategies yield the best results, download a free copy of our newest white paper, “Impact of IT Upgrades on Energy Usage and Operational Costs” [PDF].