Common Data Center Move Problems (And How to Avoid Them)

EngineeringToday, many data centers are finding that, rather than trying to make an existing location work, it is better to consolidate data centers or move to a new location.  Moving to a new location provides the opportunity to have more room, better energy efficiency and an optimized environment for any center needs.  Any time a data center faces a big move, it will undoubtedly cause some stress and concern.  After all, a move so large poses a lot of potential risks when it comes to data loss and downtime.  Whether a data center runs critical components of a retail location, retail websites, healthcare systems, warehouse systems or any important operations that would impact staff and personnel if down for very long, downtime must be minimized to protect a business form significant lost revenue, frustration and major problems.

It can be difficult to properly assess the heating & cooling needs as well as the power and capacity needs of an existing data center for a data center manager.  Because of this, when a data center is being moved, anticipating possible problems or needs during a move to be properly prepared can prove incredibly challenging.  One problem many data centers encounter during a big move is miscommunication or lack of communication altogether.  Operational information silos are not both unproductive and detrimental during a data center move.  If communication breaks down important messages may not be relayed, things may not be done as they should, and downtime while everything is being sorted out is likely to occur.  To avoid this, it is important to have all important people involved in a  data center move involved in every meeting.  Even if it seems that some may not be necessary for all meetings, have them be present so that everyone is on the same page.  The next problem many data centers experience during a move is a lack of proper planning.  When planning for a data center move it is important to anticipate all needs as well as possible unforeseen needs.  Have contingency plans in place for the unexpected so that, should something unforeseen arise, you can quickly and efficiently mitigate the problem without loss of critical information or downtime.  Next, it is wise to test critical data center equipment and infrastructure to ensure that everything is in proper working order and current.  A breakdown in data migration due to faulty equipment or outdated products is something that should never occur if proper preparation takes place.  Before the big move occurs, test everything, replace anything that is outdated or not working and then test to ensure that data is able to migrate properly.  Lastly, when moving to a new data center, it is important to ensure that the new center can meet all heating and cooling needs and, most importantly, capacity needs with room to grow.  While energy efficiency and lower costs of operation are important, the last thing you want when moving to a new data center is to have to move again in a few years because the needs of a data center were not properly anticipated.  Leave room to grow so that a data center move is not just a short term solution but a long term solution for your data center.

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