Jul 12 2021

When IT Upgrades Mean Cutting Costs for Higher Ed

Here are four tips for creating long-term cost reductions when making IT improvements.

It’s a common story in IT: An organization finds itself running servers that are 5, 6 or 7 years old (perhaps including equipment that’s no longer supported by the vendor) because there’s no room in the budget for a full upgrade. However, IT departments that carefully plan can achieve tangible, ongoing cost reductions as a result of infrastructure upgrades if they know where to look. Here are four areas that all organizations should explore: 

1. Use Data Center Assessments to Consolidate IT Resources

No-cost data center assessments by third-party providers almost always uncover opportunities to consolidate resources — which in turn reduces costs. Modern servers and storage appliances have become so powerful that it’s common to accidentally overprovision resources, and some organizations are paying for infrastructure that they’re not using.

2. Move “Cold” Data to a Lower Tier of Storage

As storage needs grow, IT shops tend to simply build out more capacity without giving much thought to the resources needed for the job. As a result, many companies are paying for tier 1 storage solutions to store files that they seldom access. By moving this “cold” data to a lower tier of storage, university IT teams can often cut costs without negatively affecting performance.

3. Use Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery

Many places still do disk-to-disk backup and use tape for secondary purposes — costly, complex processes. With more cloud backup and Disaster Recovery as a Service options, schools can turn to the cloud. Cost analysis is tricky: Cloud options may appear to be more expensive, but a more modern backup solution can provide a better ROI.

RELATED: Data backup and recovery require speed and service.

4. Analyze the Cost of Running Workloads in the Cloud

Agencies are often skittish about moving too many resources to the public cloud too quickly, motivated by horror stories of peers that moved to the cloud only to come back in-house after the service proved costly. By analyzing the cost of running workloads in the public cloud and comparing that with the expense of managing onsite solutions, universities can pick cost-effective infrastructure models. 

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