Move a Data Center
Moving the data center is best described as a controlled disaster where minute-by-minute planning is critical to success.
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Last Revised: August 13, 2010
- IT managers may only face a data center move once or twice in their professional lives, and therefore may have little knowledge of how to approach the project.
- Data center relocation requires thorough and rigorous planning that often involves input from multiple departments in the organization and third party assistance from consultants, contractors, vendors, and moving companies.
- Small and mid-sized organizations often lack the funding to hire all the third party agents necessary to perform a data center relocation and are overwhelmed by the complexity and detail required for the relocation effort, resulting in chaos, downtime, significant cost overruns, and ultimately loss of business.
- A data center relocation project is often undertaken as one large project but should be broken up into subprojects to make it more manageable and effective.
- Ideally, a data center relocation effort should be given 12-18 months from start to finish, however many companies are given much less time. Thorough and detailed upfront planning in the beginning stages of the project will identify issues early on, help to establish a budget, and save on the costs of third party assistance.
- Whether an organization is moving the data center from one to one, many to one, or to a co-location facility, the same process is applicable as each facility should be treated like an individual relocation project.
Impact and Result
- Understand the critical steps and importance of detailed planning in a data center relocation by practicing meticulous project management.
- Involve executives, employees, and vendors throughout the project to effectively communicate strategies and solicit cooperation.
- Gather requirements and conduct assessments on the new facility to identify issues early on.
- Establish a set of criteria to help select the right vendor for the move.
- Prepare minute-by-minute planning, and practice the final run through with table top planning to ensure nothing is missed and ensure a successful relocation project.
Get to Action
Engage in project management
Scope the project, create a budget, form the team and plan the plan.
Conduct a thorough discovery
Inventory applications and hardware, declutter the moving plan, develop a migration strategy, organize moving bundles and analyze risk.
Prepare move day planning
Select a mover, document a detailed migration strategy, and assess the go/ no go decision.
Ensure seamless execution
Perform a final project review, complete the move, and perform testing.
Close the project
Wrap up at the old facility, capture process issues, and debrief the project.
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