DENVER (11/3/09)--Credit Union of Colorado's information technology (IT) department is shrinking its data center footprint from 45-by-15-feet to 12-by-12 to help the credit union with its space needs in a tight economy, reports Computerworld (Nov. 2). Tom Gonzalez, senior network administrator at the Denver-based credit union, told the publication that the data center is "returning" some of its space to the company and doing more with less. Computerworld noted that other IT managers are helping their companies by making their data centers smaller by using virtualization, high-density and multifunction hardware, alternative energy sources and modular design techniques. These make a data center more efficient and less costly. At the credit union, server virtualization helped lower space required from 40 boxes stored to just a couple. Twelve racks of information will consolidate to four, freeing up space for the credit union's departments that provide "member-facing services." For the $881 million asset Credit Union of Colorado, shrinking the data center eliminated 33 power ports and two circuits, said Gonzalez. However, the credit union doesn't have power-measurement tools so it can't quantify the actual energy and cost savings. The biggest challenge in downsizing a data center is planning and making sure every last piece fits and there's no wasted space, said Gonzalez. He also noted that a smaller data center doesn't reflect on the skills or work his team performs. "We're judged on how well we do our job, not on how much area we consume," he told the publication.