At this time of year when predictions as to what will and won't occur in 2009 are ten a penny, it's a safe bet to state that server and datacentre consolidation will be a big trend next year.
Rationalising server count is what the Americans call a no-brainer. Why? Let us count the ways. One, to save on facilities floor space so even the FM manager loves you. Two, to make a big swing upwards in terms of hardware utilisation. Three, to unravel the admin hairball. Four, to save electricity costs. Five, to gain a stamp of approval from the CSR watchers. There are many others, but you get the picture.
BMighty.com has a story about how HP CIO Randy Mott consolidated the firm's own datacentres in an exercise that the Americans also have a name for - eating your own dog food. Mott dispensed with 85 datacentres, reduced server headcounts by 40 per cent, slashed network costs in half, and trimmed energy consumption by 60 per cent. IT spend went down from four per cent of revenue to two per cent. Now that's what you call ROI. If you'd like to see more, CIO ran a piece earlier this year about Mott.
All your FD wants for Christmas is cost savings where they make sense and at a time when capex projects are viewed as toxic, 2009 will be a great year to start sorting out the datacentre.