In part 1 of this blog series we discussed best practices when it comes to planning your data center migration. In part 2, we will dive into the actual migration best practices, starting with your ideal location and colocation data center partner.
Select Your Colocation Partner
Finding the ideal colocation partner is often the most important step in any migration. Aside from core logistical considerations like physical location, infrastructure redundancy, and compliance certifications, you should also evaluate the provider’s commitment to customer service and transparency. A good data center partner should operate as an extension of your business and IT department. You should never be in the dark about your deployment’s status. Real-time visibility into infrastructure performance and instant access to vital compliance information should be core requirements along with a 100% uptime SLA.
Identify Deployment Needs
Regardless of what type of data center migration you’re undertaking, you’ll need to identify all the equipment required to stand up your new deployment once the migration is executed. This list should be exhaustive, including not just hardware, but specific cabling and infrastructure needs. With this data center equipment list, it will be easier to plan and execute a relocation smoothly. Be sure to assess your data center partner’s services and offerings carefully so you’re ready to take advantage of their connectivity and deployment options from day one.
Decide How to Move Data
Transitioning data, applications, and equipment between locations is a complex undertaking that can result in prolonged and widespread system downtime if not carried out properly. There are a few different approaches your data center migration team can take to ensure that data, applications, and workloads remain secure and available throughout the move.
1. Swing Migration
A swing migration involves moving data and applications from the source server to a temporary or “swing” server first, before transitioning them to the final destination. This process reduces the risk of downtime, as the original server can remain operational until the data is safely moved to the new location.
2. Live Migration
A live migration is a real-time transfer of resources, typically virtual machines, from one server to another without disconnecting the client or application. This method is often used in virtualized environments for tasks such as load balancing or avoiding downtime during maintenance. While it offers the benefit of continuous service availability, it requires careful planning and substantial resources to execute effectively.
3. Phased Migration
A phased approach to data center migration breaks the process down into smaller, more manageable parts to minimize downtime. This strategy reduces the risk of widespread system disruption and provides opportunities to learn and adapt as the migration progresses. While phased methods may extend the duration of the migration process, the reduced risk and increased stability often outweigh the additional time investment, especially for organizations looking to balance service continuity with the complexity of a data center migration.
Communicate With Users
Communication with users is a vital aspect of any data center migration. To ensure minimal disruption and maintain user trust, it's crucial to provide clear, timely information about the migration process, and any anticipated impact it might have on user experience. This could include potential downtime, changes in access, or modifications to services. By keeping users well-informed, you can effectively manage expectations, avoid unwelcome surprises, and contribute to a smoother transition that ensures the continuity of your business operations.
Prepare for Everything
A data center migration is a very complex process and there are a number of variables that may not be immediately apparent. By performing premigration assessments that explore potential risks and security threats, a data center migration team can identify potential complications or roadblocks that could impede the transition. These tests also gauge the effectiveness of the existing migration plan under real-world conditions, providing opportunities for additional refinement to ensure that the eventual data center move will be executed with minimal business disruption.
Monitor the New Environment
Following the migration into a new data center, it’s important to keep a vigilant eye on the new environment. Regular monitoring of performance metrics, security parameters, and system health can verify that the data center is functioning optimally and aligns with the organization's expectations. This proactive approach helps to rapidly identify and address any issues that might arise post-migration, ensuring stability, performance, and the ongoing satisfaction of your users. By investing in robust monitoring practices, you safeguard your new data center's performance and the reliability of your services.
While a data center migration can feel like a daunting task, it’s very often a necessary one. Many organizations grow so quickly that they outstrip their IT infrastructure long before they’re in a position to invest in their own data center facility, or they may decide that it’s simply not worth the hassle to do so. A data center migration plan provides a simple solution for these growing companies, allowing them to get all the benefits of a top-tier data center facility while also maintaining some measure of control over the pace of their growth.
Make Your Data Center Migration a Success with Evoque
With multiple colocation facilities across North America, Evoque Data Center Solutions has overseen countless successful technology migrations. Our experienced team adheres to best practices to help organizations transition from outdated, on-premises infrastructure to a sophisticated environment that supports future growth with scalable data floor space, cloud connectivity, and groundbreaking hybrid IT infrastructure.
To learn more about how Evoque can support your data center migration journey, talk to one of our colocation experts today.