What To Consider During a Data Center Migration

Spring Cleaning Checklist

Data center migration.  Those three words could probably send any data center manager running for the hills.  Alas, when a data center has outgrown its current facilities or has to be moved for any other reason, data center migration is a necessity.  A data center migration is a significant undertaking fraught with potential risks and hidden problems.  So, how does anyone ever accomplish it?  Through proper research, planning that is complete factors in contingencies, careful instruction to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and a lot of patience, a successful data center migration can be achieved.  When anticipating a data center migration there is no avoiding it, you simply have to face the fact that there will be surprises along the way.

For any data center, the primary concern with a migration is downtime.  Even seconds of downtime can be incredibly costly so reducing or completely eliminating downtime is the name of the game.         While certain things can be moved during off-peak hours, some things still may occur during peak business hours.  For this reason it is very important to keep everyone well informed and on the same page at all times.  End users, support teams and anyone impacted by the migration should be informed of the time table, schedule and anticipated plans regarding the migration.  Next, it is important to research what existing infrastructure there is, what legacy systems are in place, and what will be making the migration.  Once you have a thorough idea of what will be making the migration, it is important to anticipate what additional infrastructure and equipment will be needed in the new location so that a layout can be planned.  Plan a layout based on best practices in the new data center so that you can accommodate growth as needed.  Scalability is important for the lifespan of any data center so while you are making the move it is an ideal time to ensure the new data center will be scalable.  When anticipating scalability you must see beyond current needs and standards and look forward to future rack density expectations.  With all of these things being considered, you may want to also consider what option is best for efficient cooling.  Cooling a data center is often one of the biggest expenses a data center experiences so when determining layout you may want to think about implementing hot aisles/cold aisles and whether or not there are other layouts that may serve your data center best.  The final part of any data center migration is the migration itself.  For most migrations it is a good idea to use the help of an experienced project manager with knowledge and expertise about data center migrations to ensure everything goes smoothly and that once the migration has occurred, everything runs as it should.

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