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ITIL® for Datacenter Efficiency

Glow of CityEnergy costs have been rising at an alarming rate, and with these increases, the expenditures for powering a datacenter have also been mounting. In fact, total financial input required for powering a datacenter has been rising at 20% combined annual growth rate (CAGR). Datacenter managers and CIOs across the globe have to deal with questions related to greenhouse gases and carbon footprint. Such questions are being raised because a datacenter building requires 20-40% more power than a normal building. The organizational and technical answers to resolve this problem are a bit complicated, but there is a proven method to address this situation – the IT Infrastructure Library® (ITIL®).

How ITIL has been utilized by the IT industry?

For over a decade, ITIL has been utilized by the IT industry to sustain high levels of system availability and application. The ITIL framework is designed keeping the core processes like Problem Management, Incident Management, Change Management, and Configuration Management in mind. ITIL has enjoyed success in various businesses and can be the solution for energy problems haunting the datacenters.

Issues with datacenters

Server technology is seeing a growth in circuit density as well as in the total number of installations. Also, a research study by McKinsey and Company shows that two of the main contributors for inefficiency in datacenters are lack of foresight by senior executives and bad IT Capacity Management. If a datacenter decides on adopting best practices from ITIL, both of these issues can be taken care of.

Addressing datacenter issues

One of the major elements of ITIL is Configuration Management, which can help in resolving the problem of poor Capacity Management. Configuration Management involves capacity planning, which keeps track of poorly utilized or unused servers. Also, it uninstalls the unused servers or consolidates them for virtualization to improve efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint. Using predictive metrics along with mature capacity planning and asset tracking can help in reducing the burden on facilities. It does so by increasing the life of cooling and power systems at the datacenter. This can result in postponing the purchase of a UPS system, which can really help in controlling the datacenter expenses.

The other problem addressed by the McKinsey report was the lack of oversight by senior executives. When you combine the ITIL principles of Configuration Management, Problem Management and Change Management with performance metrics, you get data which is quantifiable and ready for review and action. If you correctly use ITIL, it can turn into a great tool for finance, coordinating facilities, and IT by increasing the profitability while keeping the datacenter ‘green’.

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About this author:

Angel Prusinowski

Angel is a leading ITIL® instructor at Ashford Global IT.

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