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4 Ways to Maximize Operational Efficiencies in Your IT Environment

4 Ways to Maximize Operational Efficiencies in Your IT Environment

In the IT world, we like the latest gadget, the newest service and the coolest hack. The time required to make sure we’re getting the most out of what we already have isn’t always the most exciting part of our job.

And that’s ok. But since none of us have unlimited budgets, optimizing operational efficiencies is a necessary part of life.

The more patience and care put into maximizing operational efficiencies now, the fewer headaches experienced later. Using our tools and systems to their full potential will save money, simplify processes, and save resources down the road.

Here are four ways to make it happen.

Performance Tune Equipment Before Deployment

Most people don’t sit down and read the manual cover-to-cover when they buy a new TV or phone or SUV. But the best IT folks read the manuals before they configure and deploy new storage units, workstations and other hardware.

That’s because clever people at the large OEMs have published not just manuals but also white papers and other extensive documentation, outlining product-specific specifications and configuration optimization details. Reading through this information will provide you with a wealth of insight to get a performance boost of 20%, 30% or even more, so take the time to do your research. It’s hard to see a downside to getting 25% more bang for your buck!

Read all of the documentation to discover each tweak necessary to help the unit last as long as possible. When the time comes, you’re going to know whether you need to upgrade or replace the equipment — and in the meantime, you’ll know that you’ve squeezed all the power and performance you can out of it.

Use a VM Productivity Booster

A VM productivity booster can lower storage costs and save time due to better disk utilization. One such booster is thin provisioning — a shared-storage environment that helps utilize and optimize available storage. Thin provisioning gives just the right amount of space to servers as it is needed, on-demand. With the right provider, companies can purchase what they need based on usage, and upgrade as they go, so that less time and money is wasted.  

For more tips on VM productivity, including how to boost storage layer performance and the proper steps to enable VSphere clipboard sharing, check out the video below.

Avoid the Most Common IT System Failure — Hardware Failures

Hardware failures are the most common points of system failure, and they will happen. It’s only a matter of time. To make the fix as painless as possible, have hot and cold spares ready for your hard drives, memory, and power supplies. Just like having thoroughly tested data backups in place, having hardware backups ready to go can make you the hero of the hour when something goes wrong.

Cold Spare

A cold spare is a hard disk, often requiring manual configuration settings. Usually this requires a reboot of the system. It’s not always pretty, but a cold spare is useful in a pinch when you’re not able to have a hot spare waiting in the wings.

Hot Spare

A hot spare is fully configured and ready to automatically act when a failure takes place. Should a hard drive fail, a RAID system can automatically swap in a hot spare. This is usually preferable to the cold spare solution, especially when dealing with a critical application. Still, remember that even though the fix is automated, it is also temporary. Something has failed and the reason requires investigation and repair.

Set Up the Right RAID Array

As mentioned in the point above, a RAID array can optimize efficiency when it comes to hardware failure. In order to really maximize efficiency from a storage versus speed standpoint, choosing the right RAID array is essential.

The first thing to ask is, “What do I need this RAID array for?” Are you looking for speed, space, safety or a special combination of all three? The most common options are RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 10, and they offer different solutions.

For example, RAID 0 has plenty of space, but offers no safety. RAID 1 is the safe option but offers much less space. RAID 10 offers both space and performance, but at a much higher cost. You can usually find a RAID configuration that will meet any combination of requirements, with the appropriate balance of speed, space, and safety. Getting to know all of the options with standard RAID levels and nested RAID levels is one of the best ways to maximize operational efficiency.

Whatever your needs and your budget, taking the time to focus on operational efficiencies can reap dividends for your IT department and for the organization as a whole. Hardware performance is always at a premium, so why not do everything you can to get the most out of your equipment? And if you need any help setting up the most effective architecture for your budget, our technical sales team is standing by to help you!

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