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Data center consolidation refers to technologies and strategies that allow for more efficient IT architectures. This can mean physically consolidating multiple data centers or just making a single large data center run more effectively on fewer resources. Data center consolidation can also be called IT consolidation, where standards for efficiency cover more than just a data center or data warehouse.
A data center is often the most complex part of an IT architecture, as well as its most central point of access for observation. Applying efficiency principles to a data center will typically improve overall IT systems. Goals for data center consolidation may focus around finite data storage resources, legacy systems that could be built better, and other aspects of a system that offer room for improvement.
There are many ways that companies can consolidate their data centers and make their IT systems more efficient. Some common strategies include either server or storage virtualization, where physical networking systems are replaced with logical access systems or virtual networks that use software to fill the role of traditional hardware devices such as servers and individual machines. Alternative types of servers, such as blade servers, can also be used. New cloud hosting systems can replace in-house hardware and software systems, and third party vendor services can help provide business process automation or other improvements that can reduce the resources necessary to run a corporate or business data center.