Ben Hatton Keys to a Successful Data Center Migration

April 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you have ever managed a data center, then you may be familiar with the daunting task that is moving your data center to a new location. If your enterprise is growing, then migrating data centers is often inevitable. This is because you will see increases in capacity demands, power usage, and overall management costs that your current data center simply can’t handle efficiently. When this is the case, moving to a larger or more equipped facility is typically the most effective and economical answer.

Data Cave has a high level of experience in this area, so I wanted to outline a few tips that will help make a data center migration as successful for you as possible. If moving your data center is something that may be on the horizon for you, then read up!

1. Are you cloning what you already have, or creating something new?

Even though moving your data center presents a great challenge in itself, it can also be seen as an opportunity to update your IT infrastructure in a way that may not have been possible before. As you go through the extensive planning process of your migration, you should consider whether you want to essentially duplicate the infrastructure you have already (just at a new data center), or if you want to re-design your infrastructure as part of the migration project. Depending on your situation and the age of your current data center, one way may be more feasible than the other, but it is definitely something you should think about. Here are a few of the benefits you could see if you opted to overhaul your infrastructure as part of a migration project:

  • Lower overall maintenance and power costs, as the result of shifting to newer IT equipment.
  • Improved ability for the infrastructure to keep up with your growing business demands.

2. During the move, experience means everything.

While a lot of planning will go into the infrastructure component of a data center move, one aspect that can be overlooked in the planning is the logistics of physically moving the equipment. While the physical move may not be the most technical thing you need to plan for, it can easily come back to haunt you if something goes wrong with the equipment while it is being moved. All it takes is a piece of equipment being dropped accidentally, or something not being tied down properly while in transit, to make your migration much more difficult.

It is very important to make sure that experienced people are involved with the physical move of your equipment. Having a level of working experience in this area already will go a long way. If your team doesn’t have much real-world experience with data center migrations, there are a number of companies out there who specialize in transporting sensitive IT equipment. They will typically have trained staff and specialized loading equipment that will help ensure the job is done properly and safely, and on top of that, they should also have business insurance that would cover you in the event that an accident does occur.

3. If you think you have planned enough, then plan some more.

With nearly any data center migration, unforeseen challenges or hiccups are virtually guaranteed to pop up, just due to the sheer complexity of the project. However, the frequency of these obstacles can be lessened or removed altogether, when there is thorough planning involved upfront. When you get to a point where you are feeling confident in your migration plan, take time to re-evaluate it from as many different angles as you can think of. Consider things like:

  • Any possible issues that you may not have considered before. Even if something seems minor or not very likely to occur, making sure you have considered all of the possibilities will definitely pay off in the long run. Also be sure to create contingency plans for each of these potential issues, so you will be more fully prepared when the moving day comes.
  • Get buy-in from your organization’s upper management early on in the project. A data center migration isn’t just a project that only impacts your IT department; it impacts your entire business, and it should have active involvement from all of the stakeholders in your business. The more buy in you can get from decision makers within your business, the more internal support it will have. Subsequently, this level of support will make both the planning and execution of the migration much more effective. I will delve into this specific topic in more detail, in a future post (stay tuned!).

For even more tips…

For more knowledge and pointers on making your data center migration a Data Center Relocation 101 whitepapersuccess, check out our  Data Center Relocation 101 whitepaper! This offers even more details and tips for those who are considering moving data centers. And if you have any questions at all on this or any data center topic, Contact us today! We’d love to hear from you.

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