Datacenter Consolidation – What are your top 5 lessons learned?

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Bill Bott 9 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #108549

    Tom Vannoy

    With datacenter consolidation being all the rage from Vivek Kundra to OMB and having the experience of going through a consolidation project right now I got to wondering…

    If you’ve been through a datacenter consolidation project, either at a single corporation or bureau/agency or across multiple organizations – what are your lessons learned?


    1) Determine project structure early and stick to it.

    2) Establish criteria for making consolidation decisions early on and stick to them.

    3) Analyze options, but don’t over-analyze them.

    4) Focus on consolidation, business improvement where possible but consolidation has priority.

    5) Communicate, communicate, communicate to the people involved in or affected by the consolidation effort.

  • #108559

    Bill Bott

    Yours are pretty good… Having lived this as a customer and a CIO – I’d only add –

    Only consolidate the stuff that makes sense… no need to build a kingdom if the only benefit is a bigger throne

    Consolidation doesn’t mean that everyone will play nice. It’s easy to consolidate boxes and lights – not so much data and information.

    Make sure everyone knows the goals… The biggest mistake we made is having buy in on the goals from only half the people impacted. Some people were expecting things that we never intended on delivering.

    AND OH YEAH – New Data Centers don’t save money. They may be more efficient and better for us… but the ROI is rarely, if ever, represented in pure $ saved.

  • #108557

    Tom Vannoy

    Great additions – thanks! I am worried about the “expecting things that we never intended on delivering” portion as well.


  • #108555

    Bill Bott

    Here was our main issue.. we had a legislative body that half thought we were simply going to save 90 gazillion dollars. The other half was torn between thinking it was about data sharing, high speed access for our state, mapping, and saving 100 gazillion dollars.

    Then, we had executive branch departments who thought it was going to mean all their IT projects were going to be funded, all their IT issues would vanish, and that the have-not’s would turn into have’s over night.

    On top of those groups – we had an auditor chomping at the bit to bite us…. staff scared we were the grim reaper, and vendors who didn’t know how to help because they didn’t know how they could play in the new environment.

    It wasn’t all horrible – we returned a boat load of money to general revenue, did a lot of good, and met all of our original goals… they just weren’t the goals everyone else shared. If I could jump in the Delorean, I’d spend more time up front getting some common understanding of what was going to happen and why.

  • #108553

    David Fletcher

    Datacenter consolidation worked well for the State of Utah. We made a goal in January 2009 to complete our datacenter consolidation in 18 months and met that goal in July 2010. We will save no less than $4 million in annual savings on a total IT budget of about $150 million. We have established a platform for private cloud as part of our hybrid cloud computing initiative and we’re saving lots of money in reduced energy costs as we went from 37 datacenters / machine rooms down to 2. We also have much better provisioning processes thanks to server virtualization along with better ability to scale applications and services. Not much to like about all this. Here’s a summary:

    Now, back to improving citizen services and supporting economic development and education.

  • #108551

    Tom Vannoy

    Thanks for sharing David, great information. In the lessons learned it is mentioned “Don’t rely on email as the sole source for communicating changes and requests for the project”. What else did you use?


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