Migrating your data center is like moving into your dream house. It’s exciting and opens up new possibilities – and it’s an opportunity to declutter your assets. Plan thoroughly for your migration to ensure streamlined operations at your new data home.
- Identify stakeholders. Who needs to be involved? Include representatives from IT, facilities and business units. Give advance notice to key personnel, such as end users and support teams, if overtime or additional work will be necessary.
- Clarify reasons and goals. Make sure you are clear on why the migration is being done and how you want the end result to function.
- Map out your needs. Look beyond the immediate future. Prepare for changing industry norms. Do you need to update your software and firmware? Is it time to replace the hardware? Can you increase efficiencies by consolidating physical systems? If you are migrating because you are near or at capacity for power or cooling, add 50-100% to current physical and environmental usage.
- Inventory assets to be moved. Document ownership and interdependencies and consequences of moving any piece of your data center.
- Make a plan. In consultation with your system designers, administrators and application owners, create a detailed sequence and timeline for the migration. Predict actual space, power and cooling requirements. Extrapolate future needs.
- Plan asset arrangement. How do you want your assets arranged? How will your layout shift over time to accommodate expected growth?
- Test applications. Test and time applications to create a baseline. Time performance end-to-end for specific transactions on key applications. Note circumstances (such as demand) that might affect results.
- Prepare for post-install changes. Will you need to change things like server names, IP addresses, firewall rules or load balancing? Be ready.
- Handle physical logistics. Only entrust physically moving assets to qualified personnel. Verify whether vendors will need to recertify equipment or be involved in shipping. Insure everything.
- Create a rollback plan. Be proactive to guard against unforeseen circumstances.
- Minimize downtime. Determine company tolerance for downtime. Prepare for it.
- Address issues and upgrades. End-of-life issues; hardware, middleware and software upgrades; and database versions. Make changes before migration.
- Make decisions. What will you do about network-attached storage (NAS) connectivity and data on a storage area network (SAN)?
- Keep people updated. Stakeholders should always know what’s expected of them.
- Make necessary changes. Server names, firewall rules, load balancing, etc.
- Test applications again. Run under same configurations as pre-migration tests to determine any changes in performance.
- Document new assets. Don’t allow any asset into your new setup until its ownership and interdependencies are documented.
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