Companies need to relocate their data centres for any number of reasons, and if they are not thoroughly planned and carefully executed, migrations can result in potential downtime and revenue loss.
Companies that manage to successfully relocate their data centres tend to focus on four key areas to ensure a smooth transition.
1. Minimise the Downtime and Data Loss Risks
The aim of every successful data centre migration is to minimise the downtime and to eliminate the risk of potential data loss, so that the business operates smoothly while the change is taking place.
Main risks of a data centre migration are the extended downtime and the data loss that have to be recognized and mitigated. The mitigations involve an extensive backup, encryption, a disaster recovery process that works during migration and a purchase of a fault-tolerant computer system.
2. Review the Environment and Perform Equipment Inventory
When an organisation plans a data migration, it is essential to understand all of the components of its current computing environment – from applications in use, to the equipment pieces.
Some of the old applications don’t have any internal reports, process documents or training manuals up to date to backup organisation’s knowledge on their use. Not knowing exactly how systems function means some components could be left out of the relocation process. Network tracing tools can assist in rediscovering the components and relationships of legacy applications.
When it’s about hardware migration, it is crucial to pull system logs, and inventory documentation before anything is unplugged or taken down to the loading dock. Tag what is staying and what is going. If a piece of equipment is moving, look up and record the warranty information and serial number. Make sure nothing in the migration process will void the warranty.
3. Ensure Quality Project Management
Even though a highly qualified team should ensure that the moving process will be done unnoticed, to minimise risks make sure to schedule the move date to avoid interfering with a heavy business period.
Create a comprehensive plan for moving day that includes how and what will move, backup plans, installation and testing. Think about the risks involved in each step and seek to minimise any business impact.
Pack, organise and label everything – boxes of cables need types and lengths on them, and servers should note what rack and U position they are destined for.
Security is paramount during this process. Consider hiring professionals with an established methodology, who will make sure that things are not forgotten or overlooked. Keep in mind that data centre migration is like replacing an aeroplane engine while it is in service.
4. Conduct Post-Migration Audit and Testing
After everything is installed, begin testing. Check the equipment in the new facility against your inventory list in case anything was misplaced along the way. Check off your list of systems and applications to ensure they are all running correctly or a replacement is in place.
Complete a project audit and review for future documentation and evaluate the success of the move.
There are many things to keep track of during a data centre migration process. These steps can help you think about how, what, where, and when you are undertaking the migration.
One of the key considerations is to document the entire process, from a strong plan prior to migration, to the ending with an audit. This helps you lay out the process while being able to discover errors along the way and measure success at the end.