Moving your data center operation to a new location or to the cloud is a complicated process. There are many factors to consider, and varying implications associated with relocating your application software, infrastructure software and hardware. In addition to the physical movement, data transfer is as crucial in order to not disturb business operations. It’ rarely as simple as ‘lift and shift’,
Here are five best practices to ensure seamless data center relocation:
- Know your data center
Fully understand what’s going on in your current data center before you do any moving. Every computing environment is composed of relationships: applications and systems that influence the function and behavior of others. It’s important to know how these applications and systems relate to each other to avoid derailing your relocation. If you don’t have access to all the information on components and interactions in your data center, there are network tracing tools that can help you establish that. It’s best to use them months in advance of relocating your data center to gain the best possible picture of how your data center works.
- Choosing the right relocation method
The only easy part of relocating your data center is knowing when you want to move; the hard part that follows is deciding on the method for moving. For each application, several different methods of migration usually exist. They include physically moving the hardware; reinstalling the application and data; restoring machine images; and copying virtual machines to the new data center. The best method will depend on the technology currently used by the application.
- Practice makes perfect
Once you’ve nailed down the methods, you’ll need to evaluate a trial migration – how much testing to do; and how rigorous the approval process should be. The more important an application is, the more likely it is that a trial migration is worthwhile. Performing a trial migration won’t necessarily guarantee that all potential problems are taken care of, but it’ll help you anticipate and correct many issues in advance.
- Consider legacy systems
Many organizations rely on IT systems that have been in service decades. Transitioning them to a new data center or the cloud will make the move much more complicated. Special attention will need to be put on applications running on systems installed in 1980s and 1990s. To this day, legacy systems have proved to be data center powerhouses and should remain in place if possible.
- Application Planning
Every application will have a place in your new network. You’ll need to consider domains, firewall settings, and know which applications are and are not compatible with your new data center’s security. In some cases, it may be necessary to rewrite aspects of an application to fit in with your new security measures. The alternative to this time consuming step is to loosen your network security measures on a case-by-case basis – which may not be a viable alternative.
Educating yourself is the first step in the data center relocation process. While it may seem overwhelming, you may want to turn to IT professional to ensure a successful move. To optimize the efficiency of your relocation and minimize the impact it will have on daily business operations, you can rely on the professionalism and experience of Advance Technology Service staff to ensure a seamless transition and a cost your business can afford.