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Tips for Successful Data Center Migration

By CIOReview | Monday, September 19, 2016

Data center migration or relocation is a process of transferring and deploying current data center domain to another operating environment. For some companies, the reason behind data center migration is the market growth of the company, mergers and acquisitions—as they are struggling to fulfill archiving, compliance, security and data management requirements with the current facilities. Another reason for migration is continuous evolution of technologies for modern data centers. The reasons include, reducing the physical space, replacing cables with high-density clusters, advanced network bandwidth, and installing more advanced data center. Moving data centers to a new place is widely regarded as a purely technical and almost a trivial side-project to be delivered by the current IT staff alongside performing daily tasks. Data center migration is a comprehensive process and needs systematic and well-versed plans.

Business services totally rely on IT, and data center relocation can expose businesses to significant risks. Migration of data centers is a complex project and impacts IT operations, costs, applications, and service levels. Therefore, it is necessary to make perfect plans for successful management and execution of data center relocation. An organization needs a well-articulated migration strategy along with the concern experience to execute the process in specific time without risking the unplanned downtime and best practices helps in successful planning of data center migrations.

Deciding the Assets to Move

Companies make strategies to purchase new equipments and only move some items, as migration phase is the best time to clear out older equipments. Performing data migration with old equipments is a risky task because if during the process any part breaks down then it will affect working of company systems. Extending service contracts or involving loaner equipments can help in the smooth processing of the whole transition.

Project admin needs to check the eligibility of all hardware and software contracts along with the compatibility and location issues. During the course of migration, companies tear down old equipments and installs new one, so it’s good to cut services of troublesome vendors and try a new service or negotiate with old vendors for a better deal. After getting a clear understanding of the equipments company is going to move, admin needs to decide that accessories will move in chunks or at once. Moving equipments in chunks helps in transferring assets without causing downtime to the data centers.

Reviewing the Performance of the Equipment Inventory

IT admin needs to examine the readiness of all the racks, biometric reader, and power circuits. All records of the new equipments required to be fully checked along with measuring the utilization of assets to find out live workloads, current applications, softwares, and scheduled backups. A company needs to notify the disaster recovery services provider about the migration of data center to a new location, so they can review their plans for new place. A checklist of all migrating assets needs to be prepared and administrator needs to record the serial number and warranty information of all the equipments that are going to migrate. Proper working of the data center demands keeping information backups and taking backups on cloud is also necessary along with the physical backups.

Selection of Deployment Teams and Starting Migration

The team of leaders, physical movers, and other professionals needs to be decided before starting the process of relocation. These team members will help in making a perfect plan for relocation and monitor other processes like installation, testing, and backup plans, as good team helps in finding the involved risk and steps to mitigate them.

All equipments need to be carefully packed and a block or room to be allotted for servers ahead of the migration, to carry out smooth installation. If some old assets are reusable, then recycle it otherwise, all old supplies and equipments need to be carefully disposed of. Security is a most important part during the whole process. The project leader needs to monitor that all security parameters must be carefully fulfilled. Scheduling migration timeline helps in avoiding the clash with any business event like starting of a new project or product launch. Migration needs to be performed in the off hours so daily operations will not be affected.

System Testing after Completing Migration

After completing the migration process, a testing phase must be carried out to check, all inventories are at its place without any misplacement and all systems are running correctly. Testing and reporting is an important part of the data center migration plans and solid planning insures against any production breakage. Working condition of all security systems will have to be checked out along with the electricity quality. Post implementation review is important to create the baseline about proper working of all equipments and system testing leads to successful data center migration.

Benefits of a Successful Data Center Migration

A well planned and carefully executed data center migration plan is beneficial in providing the seamless transition to the businesses and creating a set of business continuity disciplines to validate groundwork for business continuity and disaster recovery planning. It also benefits operating standards and processes, physical and IT security, data center facility management, asset management, capacity planning, business alignment, systems documentation. Successful data center relocation can fully transform the whole operating environment and provide long lasting benefits to disaster recovery facility of the company along with the daily operational efficiencies.