As organizations grow, they need to evaluate and adjust investment in data center equipment. Companies often need to scale up from a small server room environment and deploy into a midsize data center or colocation. Data center deployment is challenging and often includes managing multiple hardware platforms and technologies. Integration of conventional servers, networking equipment, and storage resources needs to be well-planned, flawlessly executed, and closely maintained.
Set Goals and Timeline
Defining the future state of your data center as part of deployment planning is critical. Map your current data center equipment as a baseline. Infrastructure needs can change rapidly, so factoring in future growth is part of the goal-setting process. Cost efficiencies and minimal downtime are two outcomes to thorough planning. Considering both current and future needs will allow facility selection and deployment to be successful.
Develop a Standard, Modular Design
The right data center design will enable you to replicate and apply the design across multiple data centers. In addition to leaving room for future growth, your plan needs to optimize cooling, air flow, and wiring. Depending on the size and scale of your data center, you may need separate floor plans, electrical systems, and mechanical designs. Always allow physical space for the support team.
Communicate with Stakeholders
Identify the people or departments who will be involved in the data center move, and what responsibilities each will have. The most logical choices are project managers and technical owners, including IT/Support and Security. Don’t forget to include groups that require data center access such as engineering, legal, finance, and HR, to develop an access strategy. Document any department- or group-specific requirements, as well as the overall business drivers, timelines, and objectives you wish to achieve.
Audit Current State of Data Center Equipment
Perform a thorough site audit of data center equipment in the current infrastructure. Identify mission-critical machines that might need to be moved first. Map all the dependencies between the physical and virtual environment and assets, including servers, routers, switches, security devices, load balancers, and other network infrastructure. Make a list with categories for upgrade, decommission, or replace. Then evaluate every single piece of equipment. The data center audit process is also an opportunity to upgrade to new equipment as part of the deployment planning.
Create a Data Center Segmentation Strategy
Segmentation increases your data centers’ overall security and makes other protective resources more effective. There are several different strategies to choose from such as environmental, tier, micro, or process. Using smart segmentation, you can match different types of segmentation to the different security requirements of the parts of your data center and cloud. Whichever segmentation strategy you choose, securing both the interior and perimeter of your data center is imperative in today’s digital world.
Phase in Deployment
Your strategy covers all data center equipment, both hardware, and software, as well as applications, users, and content. Regardless of scope or segmentation strategy, focus first on the most likely threats to your business and network. Protect your most valuable assets first. Breaking the deployment into phases will allow you to prove early success and demonstrate the value of your approach to stakeholders. A phased, thorough approach to server deployment keeps costs in check and ensures a digital infrastructure that is positioned for stability and growth.