Even the best IT team is often frightened by the thought of needing to migrate or relocate a data center, but for many companies it’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when you will need to perform this task. When the time comes, it’s critical that you follow certain steps to prepare for and execute the task appropriately so you won’t risk losing data or losing valuable time and money because servers go down during the process.
The Risks of Data Center Migration
For many businesses, the data they store is critical to the daily operations of the business. When data is lost or unavailable it can severely hamper your employees and even put your customer information at risk. As you prepare for data center migration, you must have systems in place to minimize potential variables, create opportunities to back out if necessary, and isolate information so you can contain any problems and avoid the risks of losing information and applications critical to your daily business.
Preparing for the Relocation or Migration
The most important thing you can do to prevent data loss or other mishaps during this transition is to be prepared for the event. Here are some steps to take before a data center relocation or migration.
Map Out Your Data Center: Before you move, relocate, or migrate any information you need to know exactly what you have in your data center. The wrong time to be surprised by servers, hardware, or storage and networking equipment that you were unaware of is during the middle of the migration.
Assign Specific Roles and Responsibilities: Everyone in the data center will have a critical role to play during the migration or relocation phase of the project, so have a meeting to review the roles and responsibilities of each person before you begin. If you have a small IT team and you’re planning to enlist the help of a professional consultant during this transition, make sure the consultant is included in these planning meetings.
Prioritize the Migration: Identify which servers house what information so you can plan to migrate the business-critical data first and minimize the impact on business operations.
Understand the Risks: Even if you have a perfect plan there are still things that are bound to go wrong. The key to overcoming these risks is knowing what they are and creating backup plans in case of a problem.
Outline Your Budget: Every project has a budget and in order to stay within those constraints, it is important that your team understands and reviews the numbers. You may not need to include everyone in this planning phase, but having leaders from different areas of your team and your company will ensure that everyone is aware of the constraints.
By following these steps and having a plan in place, you are prepared to migrate or relocate your data center with minimal interruption.