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5 Signs You're Ready for a Data Center Migration

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on July 12, 2019

When things are going well for a business, growth is an exciting opportunity. New customers, new services, and new goals can energize an organization and encourage everyone to focus on the next challenge on the horizon. Unfortunately, growth brings a share of structural problems with it, especially when it comes to technology infrastructure.

Sooner or later, an organization must decide if it needs to expand its current infrastructure or make the move to a robust data center environment. A data center migration may sound like a daunting undertaking, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity. The first question a company needs to ask, of course, it whether or not it’s truly ready for a data center move. Once it determines the time is right, it can move forward with developing a data center migration plan.

5 Signs it’s Time for a Data Center Migration Plan

1. You’re Worried About Natural Disasters

Whether you’re located in an area that’s vulnerable to certain types of natural disasters or you’re concerned about unexpected events, the reality is that most structures are not built to keep your data infrastructure up and running. Your offices may be able to withstand hurricane force winds, but if the building loses power during a storm, are there backup systems in place to keep your servers operational? With a data center migration, organizations can protect their data and IT assets from the vagaries of natural disasters since these facilities are designed to endure significant stress without losing power.

With around the clock remote hands to maintain networks and equipment, data centers are the most secure option for anyone concerned about the impact of natural disasters on their IT infrastructure.

2. You Need to Get to the Edge

With the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and streaming content services, edge computing architectures are becoming a critical component of company networks. Edge computing reduces network lag by pushing key processing functions closer to the edge of the network rather than forcing data to travel the long distance back to a centralized cloud server.

While IoT devices take on much of this processing burden, edge data centers and micro data centers also play a crucial role in these deployments, servicing as relay stations that can cache streaming content from distant sources to local users and regulate what IoT data can be processed locally to help reduce latency.

An ideal edge data center is located as close to end users as possible, so any organization looking to deliver services via edge computing should take a long look at expanding their data center reach, making it a good reason to adopt a data center migration strategy.

3. Your Costs Are Too High

Building and maintaining on-premise IT infrastructure is an expensive undertaking. Setting aside the costs of servers, cooling, and power, there’s also the ongoing challenge of updating software, maintaining components, and keeping dedicated IT personnel on staff to troubleshoot any problems that emerge.

Implementing a data center migration plan can offer significant cost advantages in the long run. Rather than footing the entire bill for power costs, operating in a data center allows you to leverage both the facility’s economy of scale and its multi-tenant environment to drastically reduce energy costs.

Handing the maintenance burden over to the data center also creates value because it allows your IT personnel to focus on innovations that can ultimately help drive business success rather than spending their time troubleshooting minor network issues.

4. You Have Security Concerns

Few things are more terrifying for a company than a data breach. With malware and DDoS attacks on the rise in recent years, security should be the forefront of every organization’s mind. Unfortunately, the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks has made it harder and harder for many businesses to take the necessary precautions quickly enough to protect themselves. That’s where a good data center partner can help.

Like a medieval castle of centuries past, the modern data center is an imposing fortress with ample defenses against hostile intrusion. While it’s impossible to guarantee 100% security, data centers deploy a range of measures, such as blended ISP connections and cryptographic key generators, to protect their customers’ valuable IT assets and data from being compromised.

For companies worried about the state of their cybersecurity, a data center migration makes for an attractive solution. Ensuring that you’re getting the best protection possible should be a key requirement on any data center migration checklist.

5. You’re Struggling to Meet Compliance Standards

As organizations grow, they often stumble into the complicated realm of regulatory compliance without a plan for how to address these requirements. Even when they are prepared, the sheer scope of some compliance standards, such as HIPAA/HITECH in the healthcare industry or PCI DSS for anyone accepting credit cards, can be overwhelming if their IT infrastructure isn’t set up to accommodate them.

Fortunately, a good data center has compliance built into its operational DNA. Their infrastructure and practices are implemented with compliance regulations in mind, which helps them to mitigate potential risks before they can impact their customers’ business. With personnel fully trained and certified in compliance procedures and protocols, data centers can serve as excellent partners for organizations that would rather focus their valuable resources on delivering superior business results instead of obsessing over every last regulatory stipulation. For organizations working in industries with heavy compliance burdens, a data center migration could be an ideal solution.

Developing Your Data Center Migration Plan

Once you’ve determined that it’s indeed time to make a data center move, there are a few key steps to take while developing a data center migration plan.

1. Perform a Data Center Audit

In order to make the data center move as seamless as possible, you need to know everything there is to know about the infrastructure you’re planning to move. A data center audit of key assets can provide these details. Do you have outdated servers that need to be replaced? Will your new data center need to be able to accommodate essential legacy systems prior to data migration? Can you lift and shift some of your applications and data directly into a cloud environment? Understanding all the characteristics of your infrastructure needs is essential to your data center migration plan.

2. Create a Data Center Equipment List

Once the audit is complete, you can create a comprehensive list that identifies all physical equipment that needs to be relocated into the colocation facility. This list should be exhaustive, including not just hardware, but specific cabling and infrastructure needs. With this data center equipment list, it will be easier to plan and execute a relocation smoothly.

3. Identify Your Deployment Needs

Getting your assets into the data center is only one aspect of a data center migration. Once inside the facility, you should have a detailed plan for how to deploy them to take advantage of the data center’s connectivity options. Assessing networking needs and exploring hybrid and multi-cloud deployment options is one of the most critical data center migration steps.

4. Prepare for Everything

A data center migration is a very complex process and there are a number of variables that may not be immediately apparent. By performing premigration assessments that explore potential risks and security threats, your data center migration checklist can identify key challenges that you need to take extra precautions to address prior to your data center move.

While a data center migration can feel like a daunting task, it’s very often a necessary one. Many organizations grow so quickly that they outstrip their IT infrastructure long before they’re in a position to invest in their own data center facility, or they may decide that it’s simply not worth the hassle to do so. A data center migration plan provides a simple solution for these growing companies, allowing them to get all the benefits of a top-tier data center facility while also maintaining some measure of control over the pace of their growth.

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