Data Center Migration

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Migration, by definition, is “to move from one locality to another.” In the data center environment, successful migrations are those that do not disrupt critical business operations, do not incur data loss, and are completed on time and on budget.

Phases of a data center migration

Data center migration has been painted as challenging, stressful, and risky.  Even nightmarish. Yes, it is a compli- cated and lengthy undertaking.  A typical project may include a thousand unique tasks and involve anywhere from 10 to 100 individuals.  But with a clear understand- ing of exactly what’s involved, a data center professional is one step closer to a successful migration.  Below are the five main phases of a data center migration:

Phase one – project preparation

In this phase, the following tasks are completed:

»  Meet with stakeholders to determine risks

» Define project scope

» Establish project team

»  Identify vendor roles and responsibilities

»  Prepare detailed requirements plan

»  Develop move strategy

»  Determine project and budget assumptions

»  Perform review meetings

Phase two – discovery and analysis

In this phase, an inventory is collected of all computing, networking, storage, hardware, and software systems.  In addition, service availability/business continuity, disaster recovery, and capacity performance requirements are determined.

Phase three – design and planning

In this phase, the new data center layout is determined as well as the network and telecommunications design.  A plan is determined for the transfer of hardware, networks, storage, servers, and applications.  In addition, a technology plan is developed and migration sequencing is determined and documented.  Finally, quality assurance and acceptance are addressed.

Phase four – move implementation

In this phase, the actual migration is implemented and managed.

Phase five – post-project review

In this phase, a post-project review is executed to ensure that all work has been accomplished successfully.  In addition, final technical information is transitioned and any remaining administrative tasks are finalized. Finally, final project documentation is compiled and presented.

Data center migration best practices

Your organization has decided to execute a data center migration. Before you throw yourself wholeheartedly into the project, remember these best practices:

» Plan, plan, plan.  Before a data center migration is executed, clearly define exactly how it should go. Outline the migration step by step—no matter how minute a step may seem. The plan should also include taking inventory of every piece of equipment that is being relocated and where its destination is.  Finally, it is critical to determine relationships among all applications.

» Prioritize equipment.  Determine the order that the servers can be taken offline, migrated, and re-s» Perform an additional backup. Whether it’s regularly schedule for that time or not, perform a backup immediately before the migration.

»  Label everything.  Label equipment racks and servers by color.  Make it clear what servers go in which rack.  Label the equipment racks with their corresponding destination grid number.

» Conduct a post-move audit.  Always double check to ensure that the data center migration accomplished the tasks that were laid out, in the sequence that was determined, and with the results needed.


Data center migration requires focus and determination. Understanding exactly what steps are involved and following proven best practices will ensure a successful project. Bick Group has subject matter experts in this and many other topics. Talk to a Bick Consulting Services expert by emailing: