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Planning a datacenter? Make sure you have the right tools and perspective


Derek Niece 2014.jpgby Derek Niece, senior consultant with HP Data Center Consulting.  He helps clients develop long-term data center strategies that consider and meet the requirements of business, IT, and facilities stakeholders.


I love to read, but occasionally I pick up my Kindle and realize that I am stuck in the middle of some painfully boring nonfiction material or a similarly unreadable novel.  In such cases, I usually end up bingeing on Netflix for a week or two.  To get out of this rut, I turn to one of my go-to authors:  Michael Connelly.  Connelly’s main character, homicide detective Harry Bosch, solves his cases with the usual mix of good police work, crime databases, and forensics.  Just as important as those basics, however, is his ability to work with and around entrenched interests, shift his perspective, and view the case in front of him from a different angle. 


Developing a data center strategy is a lot like solving a cold crime case.  You need to gather a lot of information from multiple sources, use analysis tools and navigate political waters.  Finally, you need to achieve (or reach) that new perspective: a high-level, objective view to analyze, develop and present complex solution options.  HP’s Critical Facilities Consultants pass through these steps when developing data center strategies for our customers. 


In order to recommend size, quantity, locations, type, phasing and resiliency of data centers or outsourced solutions, we have to gather a lot of data.  This starts with understanding the business itself and its tolerance for risk.  Additionally, we must consider both the IT and Facilities sides of the equation.   For the IT side, we investigate IT infrastructure to determinewhat initiatives are planned and how the IT footprint may grow or change over time.  On the facilities side, we work to analyze the condition and capacity of existing data center in order to understand how it may be part of the long-term plan.  Lastly, given the magnitude of data center investments, we build detailed total cost of ownership models for both the baseline and any considered alternative strategy option.


Like a cold case, the raw data exists in the minds of virtually all our customers, and in all of our customers’ current installations.  Capturing, organizing, analyzing and developing a cohesive plan in a form understandable to the executives – whom I consider “the jury” - is the hard part.  Every department, user group, and SME has his or her view of a very complex issue.  Synthesizing these interests, navigating the changing data center landscape, and building a specific and actionable master plan sometimes requires outside help. 


HP’s Critical Facilities Consultants bring a series of proprietary analysis tools and deep experience in IT, Facilities, and Financial Analysis to help you view your requirements from all angles and build your long-term strategy.


If you feel your efforts to build a data center strategy is lost in a sea of details, costs and options – take a few minutes to find out more. Then give us a call.  We can help. 28142400_m.jpg





About the Author


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