Data center relocation (DCR) projects are not as simple as moving servers and plugging them into a new locale. Relocating data can be a complicated and challenging endeavor especially since the loss of valuable and critical information can lead to potentially devastating financial outcomes. The failure of any essential steps in the process can lead to expensive IT equipment being damaged which can result in critical systems going offline for hours, days or even weeks until the problems are fully resolved. In the long run, these issues can cost a company millions of dollars in lost revenue directly or indirectly. To ensure that a smooth and hassle-free data center relocation, here are five tips to planning a data center relocation project.
- Plan ahead
It is often the case that people managing the project underestimate the overall complexity of the task at hand. Planning ahead for appropriate resources may seem like an obvious tip, but it is often overlooked due to the limited budget or time allocated for the move. As such, overhead costs should always be taken into account to ensure a smooth transition. Outsourcing the tasks to data center movers can also be an option for DCR projects.
- Invest on good documentation
You first need to have high-quality documentation for the project. While there is no single formulaic approach to relocating data, the following documents are necessary to transfer your data operations successfully: Present Method of Operation (PMO) documents, Desired Future State documents, Design Plans, and Execution Plans.
- Determine all the objectives
The plans and information necessary for the data relocation project can be classified into these two main categories: Present Method of Operation and Desired Future State documents. The Present Method of Operation or PMO is what helps keep track of the current operation. This includes detailed lists of any hardware or software in use, any diagrams about all logical or physical interactions and support processes currently utilized. Desired Future State (DFS) documents details the framework for the new relocation project. The DFS also lists any system upgrades necessary for the project.
- Plan on how best to execute the project
Planning how to implement the project is just as important as setting your objectives. And a crucial part of this is proper documentation. The Design Plan includes documents which specify all the logistics necessary for a successful transfer. Lastly, the Implementation Plan focuses on the delegation of tasks and involves all the steps which have to be done to successfully relocate the data.
- Focus on special management skills
The overall project manager needs to have had prior experience in DCR since managing a DCR project involves identifying and pre-planning issues unique to the data center relocation that will impact the creation of timelines. It also requires defining and executing all the necessary steps and smoothing out all logistical problems involved in data center relocation. This includes determining the size and composition of the de-installation and installation teams. Depending on the complexity of the move, management tasks can be further delegated to other members of staff to ensure that the flow of the DCR project goes smoothly.