While all data center relocations are inherently risky, taking a step back and approaching the relocation methodically can help allay fears. With over 30 years’ experience with data center relocations, we’ve accumulated decades of knowledge on how best to approach such daunting tasks, and whether you’re conducting a cold data center move, a hot data center move with your existing equipment, or a hot date center move to new equipment, there are three things you should do first:
1. Know your current data center inventory. While this step may seem obvious, it’s imperative that you conduct a thorough and exhaustive inventory of all software, hardware, servers, storage, and networking equipment. Consider interviewing data center management personnel along with other corporate teams that rely on data center functionality as part of their daily business. This will help you gain a comprehensive understanding of business and technical requirements prior to the relocation. Be sure any servicing priorities are fully vetted and acknowledged by all parties involved and that your inventory is documented and readily available during the move.
2. Understand the data center relocations impact on your business’ bottom line. While you’re planning for a smooth data center move, you need to account for contingencies. Analyze the information you collected to prioritize business services, establish downtime—if necessary—and determine the hardware, application, and technology requirements for a non-disruptive move. You should also define and analyze potential risks and prepare contingency plans to mitigate possible problems.
At ASG, we recommend an Application Mapping or AppMap engagement to identify, document, and analyze critical business services and applications—including their infrastructure dependencies—and systemically evaluate them against your business requirements. Armed with this data, you can then begin to architect several migration or relocation options and select the comprehensive solution that best addresses your business and technical requirements.
3. Know your risks. You’ll need to consider floor layouts and rack diagrams, outline the exact tasks needed to complete the relocation, and chart the migration priorities. No doubt your data center contains complex interdependencies between business-critical applications and assets, so you need to include detailed dependency mappings of your data center as part of your risk analysis. A comprehensive, up-front planning and risk analysis will help you ensure minimized downtime and disruption so you can keep your business running smoothly without endangering your business-critical data and applications.
Our approach to data center relocations isolates and compartmentalizes data sets, minimizes known variables, and arranges potential back-out points. Considering these three MUSTS will help reduce risk and downtime—so you can keep your business running smoothly.