Data Centre Migration: An Ultimate Guide
Last Updated: November 27th, 2023 7 min read Severs Australia
If you are considering a migration of your Data Centre, you’ll find that the time you spend planning and preparing contribute significantly to the success of your move. By engaging in best practices, you can ensure that your data centre move goes smoothly and that you experience minimal downtime to your operations.
What do you need to know to plan your migration, make the move, and get up and running again as quickly as possible?
One of the few constants in business is change. Companies change ownership, merge, purchase other organisations, and move to new facilities. Over time, many businesses require a data centre migration.
What is Data Centre Migration?
Data centre migration refers to the process of moving an organisation's data, applications, and other business elements from one physical location to another. This relocation may involve transferring the entire data centre infrastructure or a subset of it.
10 Benefits of a Data Centre Migration?
1. Cost Savings
Data centre migration provides an opportunity for organisations to optimise their infrastructure and reduce operational costs. This might involve moving to a more energy-efficient facility, adopting cloud services, or consolidating servers to eliminate under-utilised resources.
Organisations often migrate their data centres to a more scalable environment to accommodate growing business needs. Cloud-based solutions, for example, offer the flexibility to scale resources up or down based on demand, allowing for more efficient resource utilisation.
3. Improved Performance
Upgrading hardware, networking equipment, and adopting modern technologies during a data centre migration can lead to improved overall performance. This is crucial for ensuring that IT systems can meet the demands of evolving business requirements.
4. Enhanced Security
Newer data centre facilities and cloud providers often invest heavily in security measures. Migrating to a more secure environment can help protect sensitive data and infrastructure from potential threats.
5. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
A well-planned data centre migration can enhance business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities. This might involve implementing redundant systems, geographically distributing data, and ensuring that backup and recovery processes are robust.
6. Adoption of New Technologies
Data centre migrations often coincide with technology upgrades. Organisations may use the migration as an opportunity to adopt the latest technologies, such as virtualisation, containerisation, and software-defined networking, which can lead to increased efficiency and agility.
7. Compliance and Regulatory Compliance
Migrating to a data centre that adheres to industry-specific compliance standards and regulations can help organisations ensure that their IT infrastructure meets legal and regulatory requirements. This is particularly important in industries such as healthcare and finance.
8. Streamlined IT Operations
Consolidating data centre or moving to a more centralised infrastructure can lead to streamlined IT operations. Centralised management and monitoring can improve efficiency and make it easier to implement standardised processes.
9. Energy Efficiency and Environmental Impact
Organisations may choose to migrate to data centres that prioritise energy efficiency and sustainability. Green data centres use technologies and practices aimed at reducing environmental impact, such as using renewable energy sources and advanced cooling systems.
10. Flexibility and Agility
Cloud-based solutions and modern data centre architectures provide greater flexibility and agility. Organisations can quickly adapt to changing business requirements, scale resources as needed, and deploy new services more rapidly.
Planning your Data Centre migration
When you decide to migrate your data centre, you open up myriad possibilities. You can spend some time cleaning house, so to speak, and streamline your assets. You can review your equipment and procedures, and you can make upgrades as needed. By spending time planning your migration, you increase productivity and efficiency in your new location.
Before you begin your move, consider the following planning steps:
Ensure you are moving to a tier rated data centre.
Determine the individuals in your organisation who need to be involved and the roles they will play in the move. Be sure to include representatives of your IT department as well as operations, and notify any team members who will be affected.
Consider your long-term technology planning. Do you expect changes in your company or your industry that may affect your technology needs within the next few years? Your move is the perfect time to plan for coming changes.
Before you begin breaking down equipment, check to ensure that all components and parts are present, and notify any vendors with whom you have ongoing contracts for service. Make sure you have all serial numbers and proof of warranties for all your equipment, and keep everything together. Ensure that you will not invalidate any warranties by moving the equipment.
You may determine that you need some new equipment and that you do not wish to move everything housed in your current data centre. The move is the ideal time to retire legacy technology components and transition to newer models.
Once you’ve completed the initial planning phase for your new data centre, you’ll need to attend to the details. Before you begin moving equipment, take the following steps.
Put together a specific plan, timeline and lists of tasks for the move. Consult your IT team, administrators and other stakeholders.
Create a comprehensive inventory of all items housed in the data centre, and determine what will be moved. Include the stakeholders that control each asset, along with the persons and departments that use the equipment.
Create a backup and recovery plan, or implement an existing plan. Before you begin your move, ensure that you have redundant, comprehensive, offsite backups of all data and applications. Use your disaster recovery plan to test your backups before you begin the move.
Pack and Prepare for the Move. Physically preparing your equipment to weather the move safely will be a big job. Be sure to assemble enough team members to help with both preparation and the move itself. Typically, such a move occurs during an evening or weekend, so make sure team members will be available when you need them.
Choose a time for the move that avoids any especially busy periods for your company, and make sure your team members for the move will not be needed on other major projects. Designate specific jobs for each team member — including individuals who will physically move items and those assigned to setup and testing in the new location.
Label all items clearly as you pack, and note the specific areas where the equipment will be installed. Be sure to recycle or find other environmentally responsible methods of disposing of any unwanted equipment and supplies.
During the move, have a plan to maintain security, and ensure that any equipment containing sensitive data remains under the watch of multiple team members.
Data Centre Migration Checklist
Assessment and Planning
Define migration goals and objectives
Assess current infrastructure
Scope migration details
Develop a detailed migration plan
Identify potential risks
Assess impact on operations and data
Develop contingency plans
Design new infrastructure.
Consider scalability and redundancy.
Ensure alignment with business needs.
Data and Application Migration
Plan data and app migration
Choose migration method
Test migration in a controlled environment
Testing and Validation
Conduct comprehensive testing
Perform performance and security testing
Validate data integrity
Deployment and Optimisation
Implement migration plan
Monitor in real-time
Optimise new infrastructure
Once your team has moved all data centre components to the new location, allow sufficient time for assembly and installation. When the move and setup are complete, you can begin comprehensive testing to ensure that equipment is up and running to your operational specifications.
You may be tempted to put the move behind you immediately, but take time to conduct a review. Speak with the team members who assisted, as well as company executives and system users, to evaluate what went smoothly and what can improve for the future. Create documentation that your team can use for any future data centre moves.
After completing your move, periodically assess the many benefits of your new data centre — from 24-hour support to high-level security and customised solutions. If you’re just entering the planning phase for a data centre migration or for your Colocation, use these best practices to make your move a success. Here's some Colocation options.