Data centers are notoriously voracious consumers of company capital and operating expenses. A July 2008 report by McKinsey & Company and the Uptime Institute reports that the average data center now accounts for one-fourth of a company’s annual corporate IT budget.

Of course, one could reasonably argue that the infallible security, reliability and performance demands of a mission-critical data center warrant a “spare no expense” approach to managing operations. However, economic realities prevail, and data center managers are increasingly pressured to find ways to reign in costs. Historically, this industry-wide concern has mostly centered on reducing energy consumption and expense in terms of network equipment. But there are many other opportunities to shave costs in the data center, including staffing and procurement adjustments.

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