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The Proper Steps for a Successful Data Center Migration

February 3rd, 2012 | Category: Blog, Consolidation, Migration

Data Center migrations are high profile projects because they are risky.  Worries about lost data and excessive downtime haunt executives, users and data center managers alike.

Migrating your data center is a complex process that requires a high degree of coordination with little tolerance for failure.  The goals of any move are to:

  • Minimize or eliminate downtime during the move
  • Maintain or enhance the performance, disaster recovery and business continuity support of the data center

There are three key steps to planning a successful data center migration:

1. Complete an audit of your current data center

The first step to a successful migration is to complete a top to bottom assessment of what’s in your current data center.

Such an assessment should start with an evaluation of the applications your data center supports.  Make sure you are thoroughly up to speed on:

  • Application owners
  • Planned upgrades or changes
  • Allowable downtime
  • Server, network, storage and operating system requirements

Next you’ll need to document your existing infrastructure, including:

  • Equipment
  • Power specifications
  • Cooling requirements
  • Connectivity diagrams
  • Rack layout

The biggest mistake data center managers make in planning a migration is attempting to set schedules and budgets before completing a thorough data center audit.

2. Map existing functionality to new data center

Moving your data center presents a logical opportunity to improve the efficiency of your data center by replacing outdated hardware, upgrading software, and otherwise improving the technology in your data center.

A migration may also allow you to  reduce energy consumption and improve the reliability of your equipment through a properly designed infrastructure plan.  Keep in mind that cooling, power and IT infrastructure requirements may change as you upgrade your data center’s hardware or modify how it is used.

As you plan your new data center:

  • Consider virtualization or equipment upgrades.
  • Consider security, storage and monitoring requirements.
  • Design you new data center architecture
  • Design power, cooling and IT infrastructure to support the data center

While the IT team is responsible for what goes in the data center, having a partner that’s experienced in the design and installation of power, cooling and IT infrastructure is key to a successful migration.

3. Plan your move

Any data center migration consists of a long list of specific tasks that must be completed at both ends of the move.  There are a number of specialized vendors and service providers that must be coordinated to ensure a smooth relocation.

There are few companies who can truly serve as a single point of contact for your data center manager during this process.  You will need a partner who can bridge the gap between facilities and IT and has experience managing multiple vendors through data center consolidations and relocations.

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