Legacy Systems Get a Tuneup

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Bumping up against the life expectancy of your data center? Use these best practices to delay a costly expansion.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the 1,200-square-foot data center at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering -- that means it's been in use four years longer than CIO and vice president of operations Joanne Kossuth originally expected. The facility needs more capacity and better connectivity, but Kossuth has been forced to put those needs on the back burner because of the state of the economy.

"Demand has certainly increased over the years, pushing the data center to its limits, but the recession has tabled revamp discussions," she says.

Like many of her peers, including leaders at Citigroup and Marriott International, Kossuth has had to get creative to squeeze more out of servers, storage and the facility itself. To do so, she's had to re-examine the life cycles of data and applications, storage array layouts, rack architectures, server utilization, orphaned devices and more.

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