Data Center Consolidation

1. Problem description

Companies’ IT landscapes have grown and bear witness to the company’s history. They are as colorful and diverse as any history and contain numerous different systems from different manufacturers in various releases and language versions. But the data center landscape is just as colorful as the application environments. These are also distributed internationally, are located in different time zones and are characterized by different technologies and standards, whether they are owned by the company or outsourced to service providers.

Companies that want to consolidate their data centers worldwide quickly realize that they can’t just pack and ship their server racks and then reassemble and recommission them at a central location.

2. Repercussions

Data center consolidation projects begin with a comprehensive inventory and analysis of the application and system landscape. Which of these can really be moved to the central location without major changes? Are there local regulations and laws that prohibit the move because the data associated with certain transactions or people, such as financial accounting or human resources data, may not leave national borders?

All these considerations jeopardize the actual goal of consolidation, which is centralization, and threaten to make the partial move very complex and thus costly.

3. Impact

Even though the technical aspects are predominant during the actual implementation, the consolidation of data centers is not a purely technical project. Companies in fact associate it with business and strategic goals: Centralization is intended to reduce the complexity of IT, decrease the corresponding maintenance, administration and cost expenditure and speed up innovation. The consolidation of globally distributed data centers, for example, offers an opportunity to modernize the infrastructure towards software control to position your own IT department as just as flexible and agile a cloud provider as the well-known Hyperscaler.

However, if too many technical and legal compromises have to be made in the global consolidation of data centers, the associated strategic goals are not only jeopardized, but cannot be achieved at all in many cases.

4. Solution

The solution to this problem is to extract the business information distributed to the worldwide data centers from the applications and the underlying technical systems and store it in a modern, but neutral format on an independent platform in an audit-proof manner.

Since all the extracted data and documents are permanently and legally available on such a platform, only parts of it have to be migrated to the live systems at the central location. If changes to the data structure become necessary, compliance and auditability remain intact because the originals are still on the platform.

The extracted information is stored together with its business context, that means, it is historized, not archived. Users can work with it exactly as they have been used to in the original application and, for example, search for all orders for a specific customer or further training measures for a specific employee and display this information. This makes it possible to decommission the original systems completely after historization.

If certain data and documents are not allowed to leave national borders, they can be kept and stored on the platform’s local entities, but accessed worldwide. Instead of hundreds or thousands of applications and infrastructure components around the world, organizations need one single platform to manage the life cycle of historical business information and a few additional entities.

JiVS IMP is the name of this modern Java-based information management platform that makes all this possible. JiVS IMP acts as a central collection point and provisioning area or “data staging area” for company information in the course of migration projects. Data and its quality can be analyzed and optimized, for example by means of enrichment and harmonization, an analysis of the information pool’s reduction potential can be created, the filter rules for data transfer can be defined and made available in a neutral format for the subsequent transformation and migration of the information. Once the migration is complete, JiVS IMP provides legally compliant access to information independent of the device, time and location and subjects the legacy information pool to end-to-end retention management for the seamless management of the historical data and documents’ life cycle. In addition, JiVS IMP’s business object-focused approach provides the option of integrating the platform into target environments such as SAP S/4HANA or SAP C/4HANA.

Companies can implement JiVS IMP both in their own data center or use offers from the public cloud for implementation. Supported environments include the Google Cloud Platform, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. At the same time, customers can choose from a variety of popular database management systems (DBMS), from IBM Db2 to Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server to SAP IQ.

5. Customer benefits

Thanks to JiVS IMP, the decision as to whether and which parts of the data or documents from the globally distributed data center locations are transferred to the headquarters is made exclusively on the basis of business considerations. The obsolete sites can be decommissioned completely. In individual cases, only JiVS-IMP entities need to be operated locally where this is necessary from a legal point of view. This enables the strategic goals of the consolidation project to be achieved and lays the foundation for greater agility and speed of innovation in companies.

By decommissioning data center sites and many legacy systems, JiVS IMP investments pay for themselves very quickly. Even when legacy systems are decommissioned, the platform generally reduces operating costs by up to 80 percent or more compared to the cost of continuing to run the legacy systems. If entire sites can also be decommissioned, the costs for JiVS IMP are practically negligible.

In addition, companies can strategically use JiVS IMP as part of the target landscape to keep the IT environment at the central location permanently lean and agile by regularly historizing business formations that are no longer required.

6. Price and availability

JiVS IMP is available now. The range of functions and price are determined specifically for the project.

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