Data centers are changing all the time, and for them to be successful in today’s business environment, they need to prove themselves to be constantly adaptable to the needs of the company in which it serves.
To help with this, a company’s data center may be one of the following. It may be one which operates on the premises, located in the cloud, or part of a “co-location” arrangement (where it shares space with the data centers of other companies).
Many companies are choosing more than one of these options, and it is projected this arrangement will become massively more popular in the next couple of years.
Data centers need to stay flexible and adaptable for a number of reasons. Businesses can change suddenly due to factors such as mergers and acquisitions, security concerns, and the need to remotely access certain types of data. This can lead to the necessity for a data center migration.
But a data center migration is not an easy task to accomplish, with many variables complicating the process. Among these are a lack of clearly defined needs, no expertise in what has to be done, and lack of management support. But if these problems can be overcome, data center migration can suddenly become a much easier task for all concerned.
According to Gartner, the common problem in data center migrations is significant time delays or unplanned downtime, which can afflict up to 70% of data center migrations, due to insufficient advance planning.
“Without proper planning and processes, data center migrations pose huge financial and operational risks to organizations. Understanding the steps required is key to identifying what is required to prepare your project for success.”
The Process of Migrating a Data Center
But first, before anything else, you need to get it clear in your own mind why you have to do the data center migration in the first place. You must construct a detailed plan showing every step of the migration process from beginning to end.
You then have to inventory all of your equipment. You may find applications and processes that you had forgotten about, or even not realized existed. Some may need upgraded, some may need retired or uninstalled. In the end, what is left is what absolutely must be moved. No more, no less.
With this done, begin the migration, and all going well, things should go smoothly. Finish off by testing and documenting everything to ensure there are no bugs and glitches.
The Easier Slower Approach
Instead of doing everything faster, another approach is to start slowly and scale up as and when needed. The benefit of this is that you have all the time you need to test applications before migrating them. It also means less risk in the migration process. You can do one stage and not move to the next until the current stage has been successfully completed.
In this scenario, you would migrate the lower priority elements of the data center first. The rest then get moved in pre-planned stages, after all necessary testing has been done.
But if you choose to go down this road, you need to calculate in advance how much data center capacity you require while the migration is ongoing and scale accordingly. Otherwise you may find you are paying for space you won’t need until much later, which is obviously a waste of money.
Getting a migration right is essential to avoiding headaches during the whole process, as well as ensuring that the company does not suffer due to unexpected and unwelcome downtimes.