3 Steps to A Successful Data Center Migration
As companies grow, there’s a certain point where their existing data solution is no longer capable of accommodating their needs. When this happens to you, data center migration is the solution.
What is data center migration?
Data center migration means moving all the assets in your existing data center — both hardware and software — to a new data center location. There are a few possible migration scenarios. It could mean moving your company data and applications from an obsolete data center to a more modern data center or a cloud solution. It could also mean moving from a company-owned, on-premise to a colocation.
Why would you need to migrate your data center?
As organizations constantly face changes — technological advances, consumer behavior, business growth and expansion, mergers and acquisitions, and so on, the need arises to migrate data center equipment to new facilities. There are various reasons why you might want to move your data center assets, and your reason can be very personal. However, the most common ones are to upgrade tools, reduce costs, improve scalability, and create network resiliency.
How should data center migration be done?
The process of data center migration may vary for each company, but there are a few best practices to help you reduce risks. Let’s take a look at the three steps to a successful data center migration.
Step 1: Planning and Assessing
This step is the key step of the whole data migration process, before the actual moving step; that’s why there are a lot of things you need to do in this step: set your objectives, decide what to move — some or all, create a project management plan, determine your budget and success criteria, establish a project timeline and critical milestones, as well as reviewing what you have and performing equipment inventory.
In this step, you also need to identify who will be in charge of the migration process. There are a number of key stakeholders in a data center migration who should be involved in the process, from senior management to IT personnel. You also need to make a list of the third parties that will help you and brief them on their tasks. Finally, you need to assign the teams in charge for each activity during the migration process and ensure they know their duties.
Step 2: Moving
First of all, try as much as you can to follow the project timeline. Move on the date you have set and try to be as efficient and effective as possible. There are a few best practices regarding the moving stage. First, ensure your moving date doesn’t interfere with a heavy business period. Also, if the actual move happens during off hours, ensure you have access to all necessary building areas. Second, create a detailed plan for moving day and divide personnel into specific teams.
The next best practices are related to equipment transfer. Third, pack and organize sensibly. Label everything and be as informative as possible to ensure simpler reinstallation. Fourth, create a moving system; for example, you can move the data center floor-by-floor or start with non-critical systems first. Fifth, pay attention to security. Know your workers, track your equipment, and keep an eye on security logs.
Step 3: Testing and Documenting
If steps 1 and 2 are well executed, step 3 should relatively be easier. After everything is installed, begin testing. Check the equipment in your new facility against your inventory list in case anything was misplaced along the way. Check off your list of systems and applications to ensure they are all running correctly or a replacement is in place.
Next, if the project is completed, evaluate the whole migration process and ensure thorough documentation which, in the future, will help you go back and track what happened during the process in case anything happens.
A data center migration is a complex process. There is so much to prepare and track until it’s completed. Following these three steps will help you ensure a successful data center migration.