vXchnge's Response to COVID-19
Formulating a data center migration plan may seem daunting at first, but your data center relocation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. That’s why vXchnge has put together our comprehensive Data Center Migration Checklist to help you implement a step-by-step migration plan that takes the stress out of your data center move.
Download this complimentary resource featuring data center migration best practices to protect your investment, mitigate potential risk, and minimize downtime during your data center relocation.
Making the right top-down decisions about how to migrate data and equipment at the outset of a project can make or break a data center migration. The first step in any data center move is to understand your organization’s needs and identify who needs to be involved in network migration. Whatever your reasons for undertaking a data center relocation, you should work with key personnel to put together data center equipment lists, consider how to migrate data with minimal downtime, and establish a data center requirements checklist to ensure you’ll have all the tools and connectivity your business needs once your data center migration is completed.
A data center migration checklist can help you to address the mission-critical details of your data center migration project plan, including:
There are a number of key stakeholders in a data center migration who need to be involved in the planning process. Senior management needs to buy-in concerning the business benefits of a data center move. They should be fully informed about why the migration is happening and how it will allow your business to grow more effectively in the future. Even more importantly, however, IT personnel must be kept in the loop regarding data center migration decisions. They’re the people with the most knowledge about your organization’s existing infrastructure. When the migration is underway, they’ll be the ones unplugging servers and ensuring that data is being managed properly to avoid data loss or downtime.
A data center migration is a complex process that should not be left until the last minute. Effective migrations are carefully planned long in advance of the actual data center relocation to ensure service continuity and minimize risk. Even if your IT team is ready to move your servers and other equipment within a week, securing transportation and making arrangements to bring services online in a new data center location may take much longer. Your team will still need time to carefully document your data center equipment list and system dependencies to ensure that every piece of your infrastructure is accounted for before the time comes to transport it to a new environment.
Leaving complicated details to be sorted out closer to the day of the move is a recipe for major cost overruns. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you’re paying a premium to arrange for transportation because you didn’t consider that some equipment needed special accommodations. By carefully scrutinizing every aspect of the data center migration plan with the input of everyone involved in the process, you can develop a budget that accounts for both predictable and unexpected expenses throughout the project.
Benchmarks and goals are important for keeping a data center migration project plan on track. A step-by-step migration plan should include clearly defined criteria that allow you to assess how well you’re executing that plan. This could be as simple as setting a deadline for documenting infrastructure dependencies or for backing up mission-critical data. By setting these benchmarks for checking in, you can ensure that your data center migration is meeting its goals and not falling behind. After all, the last thing you want is to find out a week before the scheduled data center move that your team still hasn’t determined what equipment needs to be moved first.
Planning a data center migration is one thing — carrying out an effective, step-by-step migration is another. It’s not just a matter of unplugging the hardware on your data center equipment list and reconnecting it in a new location. Your data center migration project plan needs to address how network migration will impact your infrastructure to ensure that everything works smoothly in the aftermath of a data center relocation. Without a server migration checklist that accounts for every last cable during a data center move, it may take you longer than you expect to get critical systems up and running again.
With a data center migration checklist, you can address these issues and more to facilitate safe and efficient transport when the day of your data center move arrives. Some key questions to ask prior to your data center migration include...
System downtime can be crippling for an organization, costing you revenue and causing you to miss out on new opportunities. While it may be possible to stage your data center migration in such a way that you’re able to keep most of your systems online throughout the process, chances are that you will be faced with at least some service disruption. You need to know how long that downtime will last and what risks are present that could prevent you from getting services back up and running. Your customers will be willing to accept a (brief) planned service outage, but if you underestimated how long some aspects of your network migration could take, your company may suffer significant damage to its brand reputation.
Your network systems should already incorporate multiple forms of data redundancy, but a poorly executed migration could disrupt that solution. Data is the lifeblood of today’s organizations, and you can’t afford to take any chances that could cause you to lose your mission-critical data and applications. One of the first questions to ask about a data center migration should always be “Is our data backed up?”. Understanding your plans for data redundancy will help to make any data center migration a far less stressful process.
Most companies put a lot of thought into their cybersecurity strategies and put extensive physical security measures in place to protect their critical IT infrastructure. A data center migration is the one moment when many of your most valuable assets are removed from that protective environment and are exposed to the world. If you don’t think about how to keep your proprietary data and applications safe during a data center move, you may be exposing your business to huge risks. While your infrastructure may not need to travel under armed escort in an armored vehicle, addressing basic security measures such as ensuring that you’re working with reputable vendors and accounting for the everyday risks of transporting equipment on the local highways is critical to ensuring business continuity during a data center relocation.
While this may seem like a minor point, it’s important to remember that a facility may not be able to accommodate every piece of equipment you’re migrating. In a worst-case scenario, your hardware may need to be replaced altogether. At best, technicians will have to dismantle it to move it inside. In an ideal scenario, they would have time to practice disassembling and reassembling the hardware and have a good idea of how it will function when they put it back together. A poorly planned data center migration, however, could force technicians to carry out that work under less-than-optimal conditions, which could result in damaged or lost components that render the equipment useless.
Ensure you’re protecting your investment, mitigating potential risk, and minimizing downtime during your data center relocation.
Having the right support is the best way to create a successful data center migration. A true data center partner has the skills, experience, and resources to help you meet your infrastructure needs and network migration goals. Whether they offer specialized data center migration tools or provide step-by-step migration support, your new colocation facility can accommodate the needs you’ve identified on your data center equipment list and show you how to migrate data to take advantage of their connectivity options. Their data center migration experts can even assess your data center migration project plan to determine whether you’re maximizing the potential of your new colocation environment.
By consistently referring to a data center migration checklist, you can identify which details deserve the attention of your data center provider, including…
When a colocation provider understands what your organization hopes to get out of a data center migration, it can do more to set your infrastructure up for success. Whether that’s building up the hybrid cloud architecture your private servers will integrate with or provisioning the cross-connect cables and UPS units for your cabinet deployments, a good data center team can be prepared to welcome you with open arms into their facility. This allows you to minimize the time it takes to ramp your services back up after the data center move and get you back to meeting the needs of your customers.
Providing your new colocation data center with a clear idea of when you’ll begin the process of equipment and network migration will make it easier for them to accommodate their needs. If you’re conducting your data center migration over a period of time, your data center can integrate your systems into its infrastructure gradually. If you’re planning to handle the migration all at once, it needs to know your timeline so it will have everything ready when you arrive. Colocation providers understand that time is everything for many businesses, so don’t leave them in the dark regarding your data center migration timeline.
Another seemingly simple point that often gets forgotten, you need to make sure that a colocation provider has everything in place to handle the specific power and cooling ends of your infrastructure. This is why audits, equipment lists, and other forms of documentation are so critical during a data center migration. If a facility was not informed that you would be migrating older legacy systems or other unique hardware assets, they may not be able to provide the resources you need to get them up and running on short notice. Never assume anything during a data center migration, especially when it comes to infrastructure needs.
While the day of your data center relocation may be a unique and momentous event for your organization, it’s just another day for a colocation provider. Their personnel have extensive experience with migrating equipment and data into their facility, which can make your data center relocation go far more smoothly. Make sure to ask your provider about what data center migration services they offer. Working hand-in-hand with a colocation facility can take much of the uncertainty out of the migration process and provide you with the support you need to get your critical infrastructure in place and running as quickly as possible.