What is Data Center Migration: Strategy, Process and Solutions

What is a data center migration 

Data center migration, also known as a data center relocation, is the process of moving assets from one data center environment to another. 

 There are a number of reasons why an organization might decide to undertake a data center migration, from a hardware or software upgrade to a change of location or to consolidate multiple centers into a single one. 

Steps of a Data Center Migration 

A data center migration process can be complex, so it helps to break it down into a sequence of steps: 

  1. Planning
    First of all, an organization needs to plan the location of the new site that will be taking the place of the old one. This makes the planning stage a crucial first data center migration step. 
  2. Assessment
    Another necessary step is to review the network architecture, considering cable management and any other factors that may come into play. 
  3. Design
    Next, it’s advisable to decide which applications will be migrated first so we can design a plan that accounts for the problems that may occur as a result of the migration process. 
  4. Verification
    It’s a good idea to do a ‘dry-run’ assessment of the infrastructure to make sure that everything will work as intended. This will help identify problems ahead of time and avoid critical time being wasted. 
  5. Testing
    Once the migration has taken place, it’s necessary to test that everything works properly. 

Consider a data center migration checklist 

Following a checklist is a good way to ensure things are done in an orderly manner and without forgetting any important things. To help you start, Evernex has developed a basic checklist that could be useful before, during and after a data center migration. 

checklist Data center migration best practices 

Some of the best practices to achieve a successful migration are the following: 

  1. Clarifying the purpose of the data center migration
    This will help everybody understand the reason why we’re going to the trouble of carrying out the migration. Getting others onboard with the plan will ensure collaboration and a smoother process. 
  2. Choosing someone to lead the migration plan
    Having a person be in charge of the migration will help funnel decisions through them and avoid slowdowns due to a more complex hierarchical structure. 
  3. Planning
    As mentioned before, a thorough planning phase will help save valuable time and resources. 
  4. Testing
    Testing the new data center infrastructure before the actual migration will help ensure that it works properly and can support the workloads that will be running on it. 
  5. Using a phased approach
    Migrating different parts of the data center at different times instead of moving everything at once can help minimize disruption and reduce the risk of problems. 

Data center migration tools 

There are three main types of data center migration tools: 

  1. On-premise tools designed to migrate data and applications within the network of an organization. 
  2. Open source tools, which are either free or very affordable. 
  3. Cloud-based tools that make it possible to move data and applications to the cloud. 

Data center migration challenges 

Some of the most common challenges an organization may face regarding a data center migration are the following: 

  • Setting realistic expectations about the cost, time and required resources
    Many organizations fall into the trap of making overly optimistic plans regarding how long a data center migration will take and the cost and expenditure of resources it will entail. Planning and testing are important steps that can help avoid this problem. 
  • Work disruption
    During a data center migration process, it’s hard to avoid at least some downtime. Careful planning and testing will help keep this to a minimum. The possibility of downtime is another reason why it’s important to make sure everyone is informed about what our plan is and the reasons why it’s important to carry it out. 
  • Getting everyone on board with the plan
    Given that a migration process will affect a large part of an organization, it’s important to ensure that everyone is informed about the benefits of the process as well as the short-term challenges it will bring. 
  • Achieving fast and clear communication among everyone involved
    It’s important to establish fast and clear communication channels between everyone that is involved, or can be affected by, the data migration process. This will help identify problems faster, as well as keep everyone moving in the same direction while preventing misunderstandings. 
  • Bringing it all together
    While a data center migration process can be disruptive, it can lead to great improvements in productivity or simply be unavoidable due to space constraints, a move, or other reasons. Once it has been ascertained that it’s advisable to go ahead with the process, organizations will benefit from keeping in mind three main principles that can have a great effect on how everything takes place: thorough planning, clear communications, and well-defined roles and leadership. 

If your organization is considering a data center migration, contact Evernex for a free consultation about the best way to proceed and how to make the most of your IT budget in these circumstances. 

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