A data center migration can be a huge undertaking. It’s a complex process spread over many systems involving multiple pieces of high-value equipment. The consideration of emergency power and cooling systems add extra levels of complexity to the migration and building shutdown process. State, federal and local regulations must be followed. Each system has a separate set of guidelines and requires a defined skill set which existing staff may not have.
In our complete data center migration checklist, we use five priority areas:
1) Invest Time and Resources in Creating a Plan
A comprehensive migration project plan is indispensable. Invest time and resources in creating a plan that includes:
- An assigned project manager/owner
- Prerequisites for:
- Key team players, both internal and external
- Key dates for each stage of your data center migration project
- A back-out plan
To forecast labor, determine the number of individuals and hours required to perform the work. Be specific about task requirements at every stage of the project. Include estimates of workflow requirements and work backward to set milestones. You may need to hire third-party resources so add time for background and security checks.
2) Use Careful Planning and Flawless Execution
Data center migration projects are task-dense, so make sure to be as granular as possible. You may need a combination of tracking sheets, templates, and hard copy documents. Consider the following as you prepare your data center migration checklist:
- Label cabling in both the existing and target data centers
- Backups completed
- DBAs and application administrators disable services
- Shut down and power off all data center equipment
- Network administrator checks cabling, switch configuration and firewall connectivity
- OS Administrator remotely connects to console access to reconfigure network settings for the service
- OS Administrator checks health of OS, network and storage connectivity
- DBAs and application administrators check services
- QA team tests all applications and certifies the data center environment
3) Test back-ups Ahead of Time to Minimize Risk and Downtime
- Be aware of possible migration risks and test how you would restore the data in the new data center should things go wrong
- Be ready with media and license keys for installing backup server client software if needed
- Ensure that your backup and build servers are ready to go in the new data center prior to the relocation date
4) Ask Key Questions Related to Time and Events
- Are all applications shut down?
- Are all databases shut down?
- Test shutdown and start up
5) As the Move Date Approaches, Double Check Everything
- Physical size of doors/elevators/stairwells and loading dock/truck ramp
- Moving tools: fork lift, dolly, flatbed cart
- Area for packaging and un-packaging in both data centers
- Identifying your development, staging and production equipment to avoid misplacement at new site
- Un-racking and racking at new site
- Time for cabling needs
To recap, here are the five priority areas on our complete data center migration checklist:
- Invest time and resources
- Use careful planning and flawless execution
- Test back-ups ahead of time
- Ask key questions related to time and events
- Double check EVERYTHING
The key to a successful data center migration is careful and comprehensive planning. You can download Silverback’s complete data center migration checklist here.
Two racks or two hundred racks, Silverback has successfully managed and executed data center relocation projects of many sizes and levels of complexity. We employ field-tested processes, techniques and tools developed throughout our many years in the business and thousands of migration projects.