Most IT managers, when starting a new job, are quickly confronted with a hodgepodge of equipment types and flavors that become increasingly complex and costly to manage and maintain. This is mostly due to unrelenting pressure from vendors and resellers to buy the latest and greatest gear — even though it’s not what the company has standardized in its network. Sprinkle in an influx of M&A activity disrupting IT environments, where organizations are forced to merge campus and data center networks, and you have myriad different types of equipment and manufacturers, which makes it difficult to efficiently manage your network.
Based on our experience, standardization can reduce a lot of hassle and save you money. Below, we’ve outlined a few approaches on how and why you should standardize your network.
Simplify Decisions on Future Purchases
Relief comes in a page from the IT playbook favored by Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other hyper-scale companies: Adopt an IT standardization policy that eliminates one-offs and random servers to achieve much-needed consistency across your environment. For starters, standardize on three-to-five server configurations to save time while simplifying decisions regarding future purchases.
Make Testing, Maintaining, and Diagnosing Easier
Your IT team will receive a welcome reduction in the number of models it needs to support, as well as a shorter list of vendors, to rely on for service and support. Hopefully, working with a select few fosters friendly and open relationships with vendors who are more interested in the long-haul gain than the short-term sale. This approach also makes testing, maintaining, diagnosing, or troubleshooting easier and quicker.
Reduce the Number of Issues that Occur
Sticking to a handful of configurations also yields a smaller spectrum of potential problems. And when they do occur, you’ll be able to respond rapidly with familiar fixes. The same can be said for software updates; organizations can save a lot of time — and headaches — by reducing the number of different versions of software used in their servers and data center equipment.
Streamlining choices through standardization saves time, hassles, and also money:
- It alleviates training requirements because you are not training on a new machine.
- It allows for acquiring servers in quantity. You have more negotiating power when it comes to discounts and other value-added services.
- You also have the ability to purchase previous-generation hardware, which can be significantly cheaper than current-generation equipment. Vendors, such as Curvature, have access to current and previous-generation equipment to give customers choices to meet their performance and budgetary need.
Achieving standardization is not an overnight process. It’s best handled gradually and accomplished more easily with buy-in from your procurement pros, along with alignment between finance and IT. Curvature has had the luxury to consult on standardization projects like this for years because we have a unique business to support this approach and strategy for managing your network. If you have any questions or would like to consult with one of our team, please call us anytime or click here to contact us!