How do you turn 25 data centers and 125 server rooms into just six data centers? Recently we profiled Alcatel-Lucent CIO Elizabeth Hackenson's efforts to do just that. Hackenson and her team just finished the first leg of a three-year, massive data center consolidation project. They also turned the lights on at a unique new data center near Paris in late February. After the first year of work, Hackenson and her team are down to 19 data centers and 88 server rooms so far, she says. (The project, which started in June, 2006, is slated for completion in late 2009.)Among the seven critical lessons she's already learned: consolidating the application portfolio proves much harder than closing server rooms, and virtualization proves key to IT flexibility.\u00a0"Virtualization is absolutely critical," Hackenson says. "We no longer can afford for every application to have its own environment. With that situation, we were 10, 20, 30 percent utilized," she says, with the new goal being 60 to 70 percent utilized on servers.\u00a0Would you like to pick\u00a0Hackenson's brain about data center consolidation? \u00a0 As part of our coverage, Hackenson has agreed to answer written reader questions about transforming the data center. Selected questions and answers will post online.\u00a0 To submit your question, please email it to email@example.com.