"Consolidation is a reduction in the number of physical servers, while rationalization is the reduction of the variety of different server types. Both are important aspects of simplifying IT infrastructure, yet rationalization is often overlooked even though most complex IT systems include underutilized or inappropriate systems," says Dawson. “Consolidating without rationalizing simply perpetuates unnecessary functions in a less complex infrastructure,”
Step 2: Develop common management tools and processes
When unnecessary assets have been removed, it’s a good time to implement a common management of the entire IT infrastructure, including the software-defined network, compute infrastructure, and storage. This should be straightforward and can enable the measurement of success of all subsequent steps.
Step 3: Reduce the number of common locations across an infrastructure
At this point, opportunities to reduce the number of physical locations in the IT infrastructure will emerge, which should reduce real-estate costs, as well as further simplify management and sourcing. Often this will involve data center relocation or re-examining provisions for lights out operations and remote office/branch office.
Step 4: Renovate infrastructure through workload consolidation and automation
This step can be complex and the overall goal is to further reduce physical assets by increasing the workload density and efficiency of each server. Typically virtualization is used to fit more workloads onto each physical asset and reduce the total cost of ownership of the IT infrastructure. This is also a great time to identify workloads and processes that are good candidates for automation and further increase efficiency.
Step 5: Rationalize the variety and type of items within your infrastructure
Now the number of physical assets has been reduced, the next step is to rationalize the number and type of logical assets present within the infrastructure.
"Initially this step is concerned mainly with infrastructure standardization toward commercial off-the-shelf infrastructure, typically achieved with software-defined implementations and virtualization," says Dawson. "This is an ongoing process as new business demands are placed on IT infrastructure and old processes, and workloads become redundant."