It is business-critical for organizations to have optimally-functioning data centers. Whenever a data center grows out of capacity or its operational costs become exorbitant and does not match up with an organization's growth, that might trigger the need to migrate the data center.
Several other scenarios such as regulatory requirements, end of lease, moving to the cloud, mergers & acquisitions, etc. can also contribute to the data center migration requirement.
Data Center Migration Procedure
There are five steps that are mandatory for carrying out a successful data center migration. These include:
Readiness Assessment: An organization's readiness to undertake the data center migration initiative is determined by an assessment of the existing IT infrastructure. The main objective of this assessment is to accurately evaluate the procedures and processes being implemented by the organization. Some of the major areas of focus include Service-level Agreements (SLAs), documentation, financial and asset management, change control, maintenance contracts, IT architecture, performance management, capacity planning and disaster recovery plans, etc.
Environment Assessment: In this phase, the environment is baselined and asset classification is done. This includes the combining and correlating of asset-related information and the creation of an asset repository that highlights the corresponding inventory along with the business and technical interrelationships.
Project Design, Planning and Validation: This phase involves the creation of an overall project plan along with detailed task plans and time budgets. It also includes resource, communication and contingency planning. In addition, validation of the command center structure is done by all the stakeholders involved.
Implementation of the Plan: In the implementation phase, all the activities are coordinated by the command center. The tasks undertaken include tracking and communicating progress along with problem management and escalation coordination. Additionally, all successes and failures are documented and utilized for process improvement subsequently.
Post-migration Environment Management: The data center migration is followed by the incorporation of information pertaining to the updated processes and procedures into the Information Technology infrastructure services support structure.
Top Benefits of Data Center Migration
A well-planned data center migration brings forth enormous benefits that can greatly impact the functioning of organizations.
Some of the major benefits include:
Cost Savings: Data center migration often leads to a reduction in the number of servers maintained, equipment and rent, etc. leading to huge savings in both the Capital Expenses (CAPEX) and Operational Expenses (OPEX). This in turn enables organizations to focus on product development, market expansion and other profitable expenses.
Increased Focus on Security: Data protection is vital for organizations. Migrating data to a new data center with up-to-date security and monitoring measures ensures preparedness for preventing any data breach.
Flexibility and Scalability: Moving to new data centers from the legacy data centers greatly reduces the risk of system failure in addition to enhancing the flexibility and scalability of services.
Improved Productivity: Data center migration enables organizations to evaluate their systems, processes and requirements and modify their overall operating environment with streamlined operations and improved productivity.
Best Practices in Data Center Migration
Successful data center migration begins with identifying the migration scope and establishing a migration methodology. An efficient data center migration strategy ensures the movement of a data center's devices, systems and applications with minimal disruption. While creating the migration plan, it is essential to consider the complexity involved and prioritize the business processes based on the hardware, application and other technology requirements.
Creating a detailed risk mitigation and contingency management plan is another critical requirement. It is also important to identify all external dependencies such as network service providers, etc. and plan accordingly.
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