Eight Ways to Save on Data Centre Costs

Whether you are a small hosting company or an organisation looking to optimise its own data centre, these top tips will help with cost savings.

1. Optimise the building layout

The highest cost of a data centre is keeping the equipment cool. The giants of the data centre sector circumvent the problem by locating data centres near the arctic circle or under the sea, but this is not practical for most. Building design can make the units more efficient. Raising the floor is one option on this. Others are raising ceilings and reconfiguring the position of racks to create hot and cold aisles.

2. Reduce IT hardware with software-designed architecture and virtualisation

This is essentially a software solution for a hardware problem. Software Defined Storage (SDS) allows the system to work smarter and manage consumption, promoting efficiency and scalability by replicating data across multiple servers. Software Defined Networking (SDN) allows you to shape and control traffic, which aids provisioning and security. Virtualisation allows compartmental data storage within one server. This maximises performance and space whilst allowing an effective method to scale up resource quickly.

3. Adopt a hybrid model

Renting data storage through a cloud provider is a cheaper option than buying data centre equipment outright. However, renting cloud space also removes the data from your control and has security implications for critical data. Adopting a combination of data centre and cloud-based storage reduces costs while ensuring core data is properly protected.

4. Be vendor agnostic

Sticking with one brand name mandates adapting your systems to the solutions that vendor provides, and limiting yourself to the applications that vendor supports. Buying servers from multiple vendors gives you more control over which applications and technologies suit your needs best. It also allows a greater range of functionality. In some cases you may even be able to do all this on the same server rack.

5. Look at third party/ white label options

Third party goods – manufactured by one company and rebranded under the seller’s name – are more prevalent than you might expect. IT research specialist Gartner released a report in 2017 stating that transceivers in particular are now a basic commodity, and that the majority of transceivers that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) use are simply rebranded from white label manufacturers.

The report also revealed that the same component parts are available through secondary hardware providers like Techbuyer at significantly lower prices than those of OEMs. Gartner estimates that transceivers account for 10% to 20% of network product spend in data centres, so savings here are significant proportionately.   

6. Consider refurb

Refurbished IT hardware gives a greater range of choice at a vastly reduced cost. Dealing in older generations means the refurbished option offers more functionality at impressive prices compared to the RRP. For the price of two new servers, you can get five refurbished options with better storage and more powerful memory than the off-the-shelf product in the same price range.

Our research with the University of East London recently proved that refurbished servers provide the same performance as new. It also demonstrated that a refurbished server of a previous generation can outperform the current generation, when configured optimally. So choosing refurbished is a quality, cost-effective choice for today's businesses.  

A high-quality supplier like Techbuyer will provide extensive warranties as standard and will offer to buy back old equipment as part of the deal. Also available will be a configure-to-order service, a recertification process on all parts, excellent data protection and certificates of data erasure compliance where necessary. This latter is particularly important given the latest GDPR regulations.

7. Find a good partner

The best way to ensure value on data centre costs is to buy exactly what you need and nothing more. A gaming provider might need the latest in working server memory on their server but a solicitor, who primarily needs file storage, will not.

Finding the right person to give you advice will give you a clear idea of which component technology specifically suits your organisation’s needs. Pick a company who can give you honest, un-biased and straight-forward advice and take it from there.

8. Use IT consultancy services

There is a lot of talk in the technology sector about a skills gap. Given the rate of change across multiple IT disciplines, this is not surprising. IT professionals can be well versed in only one or two specialisms and have a working knowledge of wider issues. They cannot be experts in everything.

When you are designing your data centre, it’s worth looking to pay for consultancy to help install and configure the system, as they are likely to give you a raft of other useful advice along the way.

Techbuyer provides quality new and refurbished servers, storage and networking, laptops, desktops and components from over 150 brands including HPE, Dell and Cisco. We have over 15 years of experience helping our clients find the right solutions for their exact requirements. Simply let us know your pain points, and we'll work with you to find a solution.

We can also analyse your existing data centre infrastructure and made vendor-neutral recommendations to reduce your carbon footprint, increase energy efficiency and maximise your budget. Get in touch with Interact today to find out more.