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Data center optimization is the process by which programs and initiatives increase the efficiency of an enterprise's data center operation. This involves reconfiguring or changing data centers in order to cut resources without reducing functionality.
As the heart of a business IT infrastructure, a data center works to receive and store many types of data. For service businesses, this involves a great deal of information about customers, including demographics, contact/account data and purchase histories. For product businesses, a data center typically holds a lot of information related to supply chains, manufacturing processes, inventory and the storage of products for sale.
Examples of data center optimization efforts include programs to reduce the addition of servers and hardware components through smarter data management strategies and the reduction of management staffing through more efficient project management. Generally, professionals review a project's size and scope, as well as a data center's existing functionality, to find areas of improvement that can help the business save money.
Experts have talked about quantifying return on investment (ROI) for data center optimization. The rule is that if leaders are unable to prove evidence of ROI, data center optimization is not necessarily worth the effort. Additionally, consultants have pointed to instances where ROI is not clear and data center optimization projects have not worked as intended. This has led to a fairly large burden of proof for those who implement these types of programs.