Moving IT equipment, like server racks, can be stressful and complicated, but when it’s done right, it is painless and productive. Don’t let the fear of a move hold you back from choosing a data center with higher uptime and better customer service than you are currently getting. The process of a move shouldn’t make you stay where you are if you are frustrated or unhappy. We at Data Cave have come up with a list of suggestions to help get over those hurdles and prepare you for your next move.
1. Notify everyone involved of your pending move. This includes your vendors, company staff so they won’t be surprised when the network is down for a bit, and the data center you are moving from and to so they can be ready (with fresh coffee). Do your research and confer with your data center staff, who have probably helped facilitate various moves and can advise you on your particular situation.
2. Be sure that all new equipment is at the final destination and in a designated staging area. If you are moving your equipment into a new rack, make sure it’s ready for your arrival. Moving to a new rack will also cut down on moving time and is a good opportunity to get a new one if you really despise what you’re currently using.
3. Check your insurance policy – if you move the equipment yourself – to ensure you are covered if something catastrophic happens, like a car accident.
4. Do a test power down, wait 15 minutes or so and power everything back up. This way you can check to make sure everything is still working and have time to order a replacement if necessary. This is especially important if you still have items under warranty.
5. Be prepared for disaster. Be sure you are ready for a piece of equipment not to work. We always hope for the best but that isn’t enough. Backup your critical data before the move and have spare equipment on hand. If all else fails, be sure you’ve notified your equipment vendor who can be ready to ship you a new piece of hardware ASAP.
6. Don’t move a full rack of equipment unless it’s designed to be moved that way. Even if it is, there’s a chance the rack isn’t balanced correctly or a wheel could break during the move. It would be useful at this point to create a logical map of how everything is connected, as well as a physical map. First, label everything, take pictures (and print them if necessary) and just document everything. Then, remove all the equipment, clean it and package it carefully. When the equipment arrives at the new destination, you have a prime opportunity to organize everything a little better than the last time. Cable management FTW (For The Win – for those less geeky than us).
7. Ask your data center for suggestions on a moving company if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself. There are a few options for bonded IT moving companies that will disassemble and reassemble your equipment for you. They will even power it up and make sure everything works.
We cannot stress enough, keep everything organized. You will, of course, be in a hurry to get your equipment back up but you only get one chance to do it right. After it’s up and running, you aren’t going to power everything off to redo it. Also, don’t let a move keep you from choosing a new data center, you shouldn’t stick with a solution that isn’t satisfying your needs.
Let us know if you have any other suggestions. We’d be happy to include it in a blog or upcoming newsletter. Leave a comment, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form to give us your suggestion.