Data Center Migration Checklist and Planning
Tech3pro has migrated and transformed Data Centers for Fortune 100 and 500 companies both domestically and globally. We have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to one of the MOST disruptive events a company can undertake. But it doesn’t HAVE to be disruptive!
- Asset Management – hardware, applications, and every component that will be relocated or consolidated. The inventories need to be detailed, accurate, and complete – with equipment model and serial numbers, configurations, replacement value, vendor contacts, and a Visio diagram of how each system is de-installed (before) and re-installed (after). You won’t get the detail required without considerable effort. So, if this comes easily, you haven’t done it right.
- Physical and Data Security – the dominating characteristic of a large Data Center Migration is activity. Everything is in motion at one point or another. A good security plan will help ensure that data doesn’t disappear, that unauthorized people are kept away, and that the business remains un-compromised.
- Project Planning – from the early “pre-planning” phase through detailed Data Center Migration planning, to schedule development and the move days, you will spend far more time and effort on this area than anywhere else.
- Migration Budget – A Data Center Migration is expensive. Especially if you are moving from one on-premise site to another. The Data Center Migration budget must adequately cover any construction, renovation, site closure, equipment, staff, tools, and outside expertise from vendors (server, storage, networks). Managing the project budget and keeping executive management well informed are challenges.
- RFPs, SOWs & Contracts – Having a clear, detailed RFPs will streamline the initial identification of a migration partner or partners. Invest the time to develop as much detail as possible into the RFP to allow vendors to come back with a complete SOW – where there are NO surprises.
- Use an experienced Data Center Migration Specialist – Selection of the right type of Data Center Migration specialist for each critical area is important. Tech3pro can help with planning, designing of migration tracks, scheduling and working with construction partners as needed.
- Plan the Work, Work the Plan – Moving and testing equipment is a critical part of the project. Systems must be broken down, packed, transported, re-assembled, tested, and re-certified by the vendors (unless you are purchasing newer hardware to install in the new location). Racks and other equipment in the new location need to be ready, and data has to be migrated from where it is now to where it will live. Ideally, End Users should not notice any disruption in having their data somewhere else. They should also not notice a new way to login or logout.
- Prepare the New Facility, Shutdown the Old One – Inspections of any new or renovated data center must focus on more than the technology being installed. You must ensure that fire suppression systems are ready, tested and approved. Cooling systems must be adequate for projected growth. Utilities must be in place and operational. And, the place must be clean – very clean. While you are necessarily focused on the destination, you must also do what is necessary to de-commission equipment that won’t move and close the old data center facility.
- Backup The Data – This could be a good test of migrating data from old location to new location leveraging backups. Most companies believe their backups (AND RESTORES) will work – even though they may never use them or only use them once a year during a DR test. Leveraging backups to restore data in the new Data Center can shoot two birds with one shot!
- Migrate – when it’s time to move, stop planning and move. Migration is best in waves or iterations to allow for feedback from end users on systems / data migrated. This allows an agile approach for migrating less critical systems first, testing the migration processes and moving up to the most critical systems once migration processes are smooth and repeatable.