Milestone Resources

The Extended Guide to Data Center Relocation – Part III

From strategy to solutions

As companies strive to remain competitive, critical decisions must be made about their data center strategy. Legacy data centers cannot keep up with the technological changes as the business requirement of computing power grows. The cloud data center has gained a large market share, but long-term costs of operating purely in the cloud are proving to be more expensive than anticipated.

The optimum strategy for most companies is to move to a hybrid model, sharing workloads across cloud and co-location and/or on-premises data centers. The data center migration strategy out of a legacy data center and into the cloud and/or physical data center is a complex process. The only way to deal with it is by starting with the right foundation of a sound relocation strategy, followed by a well-planned execution .

DC Migration Strategy – Structured, Holistic, and Flexible

At a high-level, the business decision-makers must consider and finalize some core definitions to set the right course of their Data Center Journeys. To be effective, a DC relocation strategy must consider the following in more detail:

Why?

Identify and articulate the fundamental reasons for the Data Center relocation. Why is it business-critical, and what are the distinct advantages it will bring to the company? At this stage, it is also critical to Identify how the Data Center move will be a driver of key strategic business initiatives while keeping in mind scalability to accommodate future modernization and any growth in agile technologies.

How?

How much investment is the company willing to make to execute the move, and how will the RoI be calculated and achieved? It pays to also develop a business case for the relocations to ensure institutional buy-in. Identifying key performance indicators, risks, and benefits and an ROI analysis for the project should be a part of the strategy process.

Who?

Find the right team or partner agency to undertake the migration. Work with experienced service providers you can trust with your organization’s most valued assets.

With these 3 key decisions taken, the next step is to work with your selected relocation partner to establish an uber-detailed DC migration process and plan tailored to your organization. Once the high-level strategy is articulated, the planning phase kicks in. Here detailing should remain the key focus of the workflow.

The process building and planning phase usually takes a stage-wise approach. It begins with asset audit and gap analysis, goes on to project planning and resource allocation, and all the way to post-migration testing and support. You can find a quick visual reference for a DC migration plan.

Common Challenges and their Solutions

Even the most well-planned and minutely detailed Data Center relocations can go awry. However, extensive working knowledge and experience derived from managing hundreds of migration setups give professionals enhanced problem-solving abilities to ensure seamless relocations. Here is a quick look at some of the common problems that can crop up during a migration and best practices to manage them:

Data Loss

SecurityWhether small or big, any move comes with the possibility of data loss due to corrupt, missing, or incomplete files. While some of the junk/unwanted data might not be missed, no organization can take the risk of losing business-critical information.

Our Recommendation

Optimize network architecture to create a lower-touch environment. Decommission all End-of-Life hardware and upgrade IT hardware. Augment workloads through server virtualization and back up data.

Downtime

SecurityUnplanned outages can be lethal for customer-facing applications and can be hugely disrupting for internal processes as well. While, experienced data center relocation consultants will work in a way to avoid disruption, sudden downtime can occur.

Our Recommendation

A stage-wise IT office relocation allows migration teams to move and test in phases. This reduces the risk as downtime would be isolated to certain applications and operations, and in case of problems, things can easily be rolled back with backups. For mission-critical data that cannot be shut down and that needs to remain available during the migration, make sure relocation specialists use server migration tools to create mirror environments for data and applications to keep everything ticking along seamlessly.

Security

SecurityContract integrity, compliance, and customer trust; a lot is on the line when you expose your data to outside elements. Whether malicious or unintentional, security breaches must be avoided at all costs.

Whether malicious or unintentional, security.

Our Recommendation

Get your internal security and IT teams to work with the data center management company handling your move. You need to map out your data security weak points for every stage of the move and find solutions for each one of them.

Hidden Hardware or Software Incompatibilities

SecurityUpgrading or moving systems and applications from their legacy environments can uncover some surprises. Whether it is some legacy application that is inoperable with a new operating system or a server that does not fit its new rack, there are always big and small issues that can throw off a perfectly scheduled move.

Our Recommendation

Audit, assess, and document every single piece of equipment and application. Work with an exhaustive checklist but keep your eyes open to new angles. For the physical move, we recommend a dry run, and for software, always test and validate the new systems before rolling over to new ones.

An experienced data center relocation company will factor in these challenges and plan to mitigate them. At Milestone, we anticipate these and other roadblocks. Our staged and strategic approach is based on detailed assessments and planning and is carried out carefully to ensure minimal risk and maximum efficiency.

Do get in touch to find out more!

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