Data center procurement approaches have significantly changed in the past five years. While many CIOs are following a cloud-first approach to commissioning new services, most enterprises struggle to move the majority of their infrastructure to public clouds due to application interdependencies and legacy infrastructure silos.

As profiled in my recently published case study, in 2008 News UK was one of a few news media companies embarking on infrastructure transformation. The firm’s data center transformation delivered a modern, agile, lean, and resilient infrastructure in a colocated data center with automated disaster recovery and business continuity. The case study highlights the significance of migration and consolidation as a step towards collocating your data center or migrating services to the cloud. Below are some highlights from the report:

  • Transformation areas: virtualization, compute, storage, and network. News UK had an aggressive timetable to review public cloud offerings and make strategic investments to help it smoothly transition to delivering IT infrastructure via the public cloud. The firm considered all aspects of IT infrastructure delivery and implemented the latest technologies to achieve its transformation goals. Key areas of focus included virtualization, compute and operating systems, and storage and networking.
  • Transformation approach: partner and optimize. News UK had to accomplish the data center transformation and optimize operational expenditures while keeping the lights on and not affecting newspaper production. To do this, the firm needed to build some strategic partnerships and change its existing processes and technology. News UK followed a step-by-step approach to ensure a successful business outcome that started with outsourcing infrastructure management and continued through to virtualizing storage.
  • Results: clear financial savings and a scalable IT infrastructure: The transformation lowered News UK’s opex from £6 million per year to £3.4 million — a savings of 46%. Beyond cost savings, the transformation allowed I&O professionals to quickly deliver IT infrastructure to the business. Server provisioning, which used to take months, was reduced to days. Having virtualized 90% of its data center environment, News UK was also able to begin moving virtualized containers to a public cloud infrastructure

I&O professionals need to plan a data center migration and consolidation, even if you still plan to invest in your existing data center, use a third-party data center, or scale up using the public cloud. News UK’s experience is relevant for medium-size enterprises struggling to manage operational expenditures while simultaneously providing innovative technology infrastructure at the speed demanded by the business.