When it comes to data center migration, some businesses do not have adequate practical experience to draw on. They may have the impression that the process is similar to moving from one house to another. One of the reasons why such migration projects fail is that I&O teams regard the task as an equipment-moving project, like it is only about moving hardware.
However, the majority of the work involves developing a workload migration plan. Business impact/risk, dependencies, workload placement, etc. – these are the hard parts. Moving equipment is the easy part. Before you migrate your data center, let’s find out if you have the following skills:
It is silly to make decisions like “Hey, I will just haul everything to my new data center.” You need to be aware of the risks that come with equipment migration. If something breaks during the move, there will be nothing for you to run on the other side. To ensure you do not suffer such a fate, consider getting a service contract or loaner equipment for the migration period.
Are you currently working with any troublesome vendors? Perhaps it is time to negotiate a better deal or try out a completely new service. In addition, it is important to terminate any contracts with software and hardware providers that can’t move with you.
It is pertinent that you set aside time to assess what kind of skills you possess in-house to deal with data center migration. Apart from appointing a project leader and conducting detailed advanced planning, you need to decide whether outside expertise will be required for the major project.
As the name suggests, this phase is when the migration actually happens. In addition, the execution also involves lots of testing during pre-migration and post-migration. This is essential to ensure everything functions as expected. It is pertinent that you schedule the target move date to avoid coming into a crossfire with a heavy business period, e.g. a major internal project or new product launch. Migration procedures are usually best carried out during off hours.
While your equipment is being packed and organized, e.g. networking cables and accessories, you need to consider how you are going to move your data center floor-by-floor. Alternatively, you can try moving your non-critical systems first. Take the opportunity to dispose any old supplies and equipment that are not needed, and identify which equipment needs to be degaussed or destroyed.
Since security is paramount during this phase, keep a close eye on security logs, track your equipment, and make sure that your workers are handling access systems, documents, and security keys correctly.
Risk Assessment Skills
Moving less is a good way to reduce risk when migrating to a new data center. It is a good time to put your risk assessment skills to good use. You should aim to simplify the data center environment as much as possible, and you can do it through consolidation and virtualization. This phase may also involve detailing interdependencies among IT equipment and applications.
Testing and Documentation Skills
Congratulations, the move is finally completed. However, you have more work to do. Keep a mental reminder to check the equipment in the new site against your inventory list. You will want to ensure that nothing has been misplaced along the way. After installing your equipment at the new site, you need to conduct tests, perform a project audit, evaluate the success of the move, and review the entire project for future documentation.