As organizations increasingly rely on cloud systems to support operations, data centers have emerged as a crucial part of digital infrastructure. For many companies, migration to the cloud has been gradual — and distributed across various hosting sites. But managing multiple data centers can be a costly and complex endeavor, leading many businesses to consider data center consolidation as a way to streamline their IT operations.

Data center consolidation involves combining data across multiple sites into a single, centralized data center. It can offer numerous benefits, including cost reduction, improved energy efficiency, enhanced security, and simplified management. But prior to embarking on a data center consolidation project, it’s important to carefully consider how you’ll approach this migration.

Consolidation benefits

Data migration at any scale is a daunting task. Before you begin a consolidation project, make sure there are clear benefits for your organization — and a way to quantify those benefits. Below are some general benefits accompanying data center consolidation:

  • Cost reduction. Consolidation enables businesses to save on operational and maintenance expenses associated with multiple data centers.
  • Energy efficiency. By consolidating data, businesses can improve energy efficiency and reduce the carbon footprint associated with hosting their cloud.
  • Improved data security. Single-site data hosting makes it easier to monitor network traffic, detect and prevent security breaches, and manage data.
  • Enhanced performance. Optimizing around a well-located data center can reduce data latency, decrease network downtime, and improve the speed of service.
  • Simplified management. By combining data centers, businesses reduce the number of IT staff required to manage their cloud systems.

To realize these benefits, companies must approach data migration with a colocation mindset. Colocation involves moving IT infrastructure into a third-party data center — one offering access to well-maintained technology, scalable services, and flexible strategies for both data hosting and pricing.

Considerations before consolidation

Before embarking on a data center consolidation project, consider the scope from start to finish and beyond. There’s more to it than simply pushing data to a unified hosting location. Businesses must assess how colocation will affect the entire IT infrastructure during and after the move.

First, evaluate your IT assets to determine what can be decommissioned. Why worry about what you can depreciate? Next, conduct a thorough review of your data systems in terms of capacity as well as current and future needs. This will help ensure your decision to consolidate is rooted in a clear understanding of minimum standards.

Once you understand your data systems, consider how they’re currently accessed and how this may change after consolidation. Assess any security risks associated with consolidation and any potential disruptions to your operations based on the data center’s uptime records.

Finally, review and select a data center whose strategy aligns with your business objectives, technical demands, and budget. You’re putting a considerable amount of trust in a data center, so make sure you see eye-to-eye on everything.

Consolidation best practices

Once you’ve found the right provider, you’re ready to consolidate. Here are a few tips and best practices to keep in mind as you execute a consolidation strategy:

  • Create a comprehensive migration plan: A migration plan outlines the entire data consolidation process and defines roles and responsibilities at each phase.
  • Establish clear goals, timelines, and objectives: Create parameters to ensure the project stays on track, within budget, and in alignment with the expected results.
  • Engage and communicate with key stakeholders: Make sure all IT staff, business leaders, and staff are aware of the migration process and its impact on operations.
  • Monitor and evaluate progress: Track data migration at each critical phase and confirm the success of prior phases before moving to the next steps.
  • Establish post-migration audits and practices: Install safeguards and criteria to verify the provider is meeting your expectations and your systems are maintained.

Consolidate with confidence

Data center consolidation can be a valuable approach for organizations seeking to optimize their IT infrastructure (and reduce costs). Through strategies like colocation, businesses can achieve greater efficiency, enhance security, and simplify management of their growing cloud operations. But the success of a migration to a single data center depends on careful planning and execution, as well as a thorough understanding of potential risks and challenges. Done right, consolidation can ensure long-term stability in an increasingly digital business landscape.

Considering data center consolidation? Contact the experts at USNet. Visit to get started.