By the time businesses decide to move their data center, or consolidate multiple data centers at one location, they’re eager to get to work and finish the migration as soon as possible. But this task requires a lot of planning and coordination, and rushing the process can create big problems.

Following are some recommendations if you’re considering a data center migration.

Assign a project manager

What You Need to Know About Data Center MigrationThe first step in your data center migration is assigning a project manager to oversee all aspects of the move. Depending on the level of expertise your IT staff has, you may need to hire a person (or two) for this role. Ideally, you want someone who has handled a previous data center migration and has at least eight years of experience in an important IT role, as well as the interpersonal skills to work with multiple departments.

The project manager should assign ownership of every task associated with the migration and create a list of each step involved. The project manager should also ensure that any contracts with external vendors clearly outline the extent of their liability, as well as how you would be compensated for damage or loss.

Because this may not be the last time you move your data center, ensure that processes and documents associated with the move are preserved, along with a post-move evaluation that identifies any problems you encountered.

Map applications and interactions

Your project manager should ensure that someone is focused exclusively on application mapping – that is, determining how applications communicate with each other and which are dependent on other applications in order to function.

Plan downtime

Moving a data center means you will experience some downtime. Decide how much downtime you can tolerate, and how it will affect your customers, partner organizations and employees. Keep in mind that unexpected problems could arise, so always overestimate the amount of downtime you might experience.

Record inventory, and plan timing

Take an inventory of every piece of equipment that’s being relocated, down to the power cables. Your project manager should then decide which order equipment should be moved and connected. And be sure to check your inventory once the migration is finished to assure no equipment was misplaced.

Account for variables beyond your control

A sudden flu outbreak among your IT staff, inclement weather or traffic jams could cause a delay that you weren’t expecting. So in the early stages of planning your data center migration, look into how other businesses have anticipated and prepared for these types of occurrences.

A Boston-based company knew city traffic could slow down its data center migration. So it enlisted the help of law enforcement to get its equipment from one place to the next, without incident.

When you do decide to move your data center, it helps to have knowledgeable people on the receiving end. Lifeline Data Centers has experts on staff who understand how to get your data center up and running with as little downtime as possible. Schedule a tour today and learn more about how we can help you.

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Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.