Why You Shouldn't Take On a Data Center Migration Alone

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on July 7, 2020

For all the advantages of cloud computing, there are several reasons why a purely cloud-based solution isn’t the best option for an organization. The low level of transparency when it comes to resource utilization can often lead to companies being blindsided by unexpected costs. There’s also the question of future flexibility. Migrating data and mission-critical applications into a cloud environment creates the potential for vendor lock-in, not only limiting future growth opportunities, but also introducing the risk that migrating assets out of that environment will be prohibitively expensive (if not impossible).

Why More Companies Are Now Relying on Data Centers

Colocation data centers allow organizations to retain control over their core network assets without sacrificing access to the world’s leading cloud platforms. Choosing a data center over a purely cloud-based solution isn’t so much an “either-or” proposition, but rather a “yes, and” situation. Thanks to connectivity options and direct cloud on-ramps, data center customers can easily leverage the scalable power of cloud computing without giving up the control and visibility they need when it comes to their core network infrastructure. It’s no wonder, then that the global colocation market was expected to grow to $54.8 billion by the end of 2020.

5 Common Data Center Migration Challenges

Migrating assets into a data center environment, however, isn’t without its challenges. A major technology transfer should never be taken for granted. Here just a few of the challenges that commonly emerge during these relocations.

1. Lack of Planning

Every successful data migration starts with a well-developed plan that walks through the process step by step to ensure every potential risk is accounted for. When organizations barrel into a technology migration without a plan, timelines begin to stretch out and budgets creep upwards. According to Gartner, over 50 percent of data center migrations exceed their budget because of poor planning and insufficient risk assessment.

2. Poorly Catalogued Equipment

Unfortunately, many organizations that have long maintained an on-premises data solution don’t have a well-documented record of what equipment they have and what it’s being used for. They may have a list of computing hardware, for instance, but failed to document related equipment needed to keep it operational, such as cables, power supplies, and fuses. Even worse, they may not have mapped out the system dependencies between them, which leaves them wondering which piece of equipment they can safely unplug first. The problem gets even worse after this equipment is moved and the new location lacks the appropriate tools to install it.

3. Data Loss

Losing essential data is the nightmare scenario of any migration project. Data loss can take many forms; it could be corrupted during the move, lost completely due to hardware failures, or exposed to additional risk thanks to poorly implemented cybersecurity strategies. When migrating data, it’s critical to think about what data needs to be backed up. This could involve setting up temporary “parallel” or “swing” environments to maintain data availability during the move, but it could also include a wholesale replication solution that temporarily backs everything up offsite. The way an organization backs up its data will depend upon whether or not it will need to maintain service uptime and data availability during the transition.

4. Poor Capacity Planning

On-premises data solutions are notoriously inefficient. Most of the time, its because these solutions lack the sophisticated power and cooling infrastructure found in most colocation data centers. That inefficiency leads to wider problems, however. Server sprawl often causes companies to overestimate their actual IT needs when they’re assessing capacity during a migration. Moving into a better-optimized environment often means rethinking infrastructure and capacity needs rather than simply forklifting existing equipment into a new facility. Failing to adopt this new perspective can make it difficult for organizations to take advantage of their new environment.

5. Logistical Problems

Deciding to migrate existing equipment into a colocation data center is one thing; actually getting the hardware to its new home is quite another. Many companies spend so much time worrying about data integrity and capacity planning that they forget to ask basic questions about their destination environment. For instance, will their cabinets fit through doors when they arrive? It may seem like a silly question until the IT team is stuck trying to get their equipment inside while a thunderstorm is approaching. The question of who will be responsible for physically transporting equipment is also a major consideration that slips under the radar until it’s too late. Computing hardware can often build up dangerous levels of static electricity when they’re moved over distances, and if no one knows how to properly transport and unload them, the equipment could be severely damaged.

How Working With an Experienced Data Center Partner Can Help You Overcome These Challenges

Experienced colocation providers have helped many of their clients execute a successful technology migration. While they often don’t handle the details of the move themselves, they will be able to point customers to a variety of vendors who specialize in migrations and can work with companies to plan out the process step by step.

A good colocation provider will also work with new clients to get them off to the best possible start in their new environment. They can help them meet their equipment needs by securing the appropriate power supplies and setting up all of the cabling needed to complete the migration and installation. Since they’ve seen many other organizations carry out a migration, they will know what problem areas to look out for and can provide tips and guidance based on previous migration successes.

And, of course, they can tell customers how wide the doors are to avoid a potentially embarrassing situation on the day of the move.

Choosing a Data Center Partner That is Right for Your Needs

With multiple data center locations in key growth markets across the country, vXchnge is redefining colocation with the power of the in\site intelligent monitoring platform. While most colocation arrangements leave customers wondering how much power and bandwidth they’re using, vXchnge customers can use in\site to monitor every aspect of their infrastructure in real-time to make better decisions about their deployment needs. Whether it’s monitoring power and bandwidth utilization over any period of time, accessing compliance reports at the touch of a button, or issuing and tracking support tickets for remote hands personnel, in\site is bringing transparency and control back to data center customers.

We’ve helped companies across a broad range of industries make a successful transition into our colocation data centers. To learn how vXchnge can get your migration underway and how the power of in\site can transform your IT infrastructure, contact one of our colocation experts today.

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