For some time, server consolidation has been thought of as a cost saving goal. And, indeed, data center rationalization certainly can save money. However, business and IT managers are starting to change that thinking to seeing consolidation as a tactic in overall IT strategy:
Intel IT shifted from a strategy of trying to reduce the number of data centers down to a very small number world-wide to optimizing the entire network of data centers to support service levels for the business. Effectively the strategy is to Rationalize each data center individually and then Optimize for efficiency with a variety of strategies. The results are impressive: A 2.5x increase in data center performance with a 65% reduction in capital costs through virtualization, server refresh, a new HPC solution featuring parallel storage and facility closure/upgrades.
In the new Intel IT strategy, Data Center consolidation is no longer the goal, but rather a tactic for efficiency while ensuring service optimization. Rationalization and Optimization of all aspects of operations are covered from the compute, network, storage to the facility and more.
Intel is sophisticated in how they determine their IT needs, dividing "up their data center types (Design, Office, Manufacturing, Enterprise) and manages them differently."
Going forward, this shift in thinking will pervade IT departments - smart computing and data center utilization through virtualization will become table stakes in the development of large and small server installations. The cost savings and resource allocation will become the new baseline required of any data center build out.