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Today’s Fast 5 event focused on Sunsetting Technology. Paul Miller, Senior Solution Architect, and Kevin Clark, Solution Architect, presented from Logicalis’ West Chester, OH Network Operations Center.

Key takeaways for Sunsetting your Data Center technology:
1) Complete a strategic assessment of everything from the network and applications, to the operational staff and physical infrastructure. Make sure this includes all divisions that use the IT infrastructure, i.e. Accounting

This sets you up to take a holistic approach because you looked at all of the business functions that utilize IT and you don’t end up overlooking something

2) Use that assessment to understand your specific set of needs and create a roadmap for Sunsetting your technology. This roadmap will likely be a 3-5 year process and not an overnight switch.

Along with discussing these major themes Paul and Kevin answered some questions from the audience and we have provided their answers below for easy reference:

1) How can I expect to do the analysis to retire my old gear when my day job is to keep those assets running?
We see this challenge often in the marketplace. Companies bring subject matter experts into the strategic assessments. These experts provide them an opportunity to do the analysis on your behalf. One of the outcomes of the assessment is that you understand where there are economies of scale and where they can be repurposed instead of only firefighting. The experts might have a desire to work on things that are more strategic and proactive within the organization.

2) We are trying to bring together disparate environments as result of a series of acquisitions – how do I begin to rationalize these environments?
The first step is a strategic assessment. It is important to make plans to grow the business, understand what is deployed, what apps and systems are used and come up with a migration/growth plan. Have a strategic approach to move from point A to point B and help consolidate those enterprises and get one cohesive environment. There might be legacy environments that need to be considered, mapped out and strategically phased to not disrupt the business. Logicalis can provide the consolidation point to leverage the data center infrastructure and help provide that migration path.

3) I’ve identified inefficiencies in my server and network environment, how do I justify the costs related to a refresh?
Establishing total cost of ownership (TCO) and return on investment (ROI) is a challenge. They have to be cross justified with upper management. However it is a great way to have comprehensive data that can be presented to justify infrastructure. Capacity planning tools – utilize to give a snapshot of what is happening with the environment, get comprehensive data in a monthly or quarterly format to help justify. Logicalis can help take a look at public infrastructure and provide the alternative processing environment savings, transfer costs to an operational model, where the processing is taking place, what duties or tasks around the data center – that will all help build the ROI and help justify.

4) We have retired a lot of old servers and gone from 50 physical machines to 200 virtual machines; what is the best way to automate management of this more efficient environment?
Virtualization and consolidation is very common for us to hear about. Understanding the need for this is beneficial and then rolling it out. There are many resources available when it comes to virtualization and consolidation. It is important to proactively monitor the resources that have been deployed and to monitor orchestration tools and provisions servers, and finally to reclaim the un-used servers.

5) What updates should I undertake first if I have a limited time line, work force and budget? Which will give me the best return so I can justify additional spending later?
Timing and managing a roadmap is often a challenge. You need to be sure to create a roadmap and a plan that you can manage. What you decide to do first is customizable; it gives you an opportunity to itemize things in the infrastructure in a way that works best for your particular situation. Roadmaps will vary by client and depend on business drivers. The strategic assessment will give you the document findings and it will refer to the network, servers and data center infrastructure which will be prioritized based on business need.

Thank you for everyone who attended our 3rd Logicalis Fast 5 Event, #Fast5Sunset! Don’t miss the next event in the Fast5 series on Tuesday, October 16, #Fast5Network. If you can’t make it, you can still ask Logicalis experts your questions on Twitter using the event hashtag in your post, #Fast5Network.