Plan a successful data center migration to ensure your business data is secure and your infrastructure is up to date. More businesses continue to choose data center colocation to increase data center security, make maintenance easier and decrease costs and labor of in-house systems management. While migrating to a colocation center might seem like an easy choice, knowing how and when can often be confusing. Learn more about the process and follow our tips for creating your own data center migration project plan.
Types of Migration Solutions
You'll want to provision new network services in advance before disconnecting anything. Search for a colocation facility that provides strong security (both physical security and encryption). Inquire about rack space, onsite maintenance, and available hardware. Check for emergency preparedness including plans for natural disasters, flooding, and power outages. Discuss facility staffing concerns with your future facility managers and make sure you consider the provider’s equipment recommendations.
Depending on your business's specific needs, there are a few data center platforms you can think about migrating to:
- Cloud - Can make management more streamlined
- Converged - Simplifies the scaling process, as well as repair/replacement of parts
- Hyper-converged - Even more efficient than a converged infrastructure as it integrates all components into a single, preconfigured unit
- Traditional - Easily control your assets by keeping your data on-site at all times
When Is the Best Time to Migrate?
Many data centers begin in-house. This is a wonderful option for many facilities when they begin but, as they scale, it's common to outgrow your data center's initial home. Consider the following factors to help you decide if it's the right time to migrate:
- Are you prepared for natural disasters at your facility? Is your specific building or town more prone to trouble than other areas? Do you have backups in case of the unexpected, such as an earthquake or hurricane?
- How are your edge computing services keeping up? Are you fully utilizing the IoT? Do your users experience latency or caching issues? If your technology is falling behind, it might be time to migrate.
- Are your onsite data center costs increasing at unreasonable rates? Your costs include not only hardware but also security and staffing. If these costs are becoming unmanageable, migration can offer shared services to reduce this overhead.
- Are you at risk for a data breach? With DDoS attacks becoming increasingly common, cybersecurity is of the utmost importance.
- Do you fully understand compliance issues like HIPAA and HITECH? For those accepting credit cards or working with personal medical data, security and privacy should be a priority.
Migration Best Practices
It can be challenging to manage data during a data migration, especially if critical applications must remain on and usable during the entire migration process. Here are a few migration best practices to make your data center migration project plan more effective:
- Complete an audit of your current data center to identify all current components. Decide which items may need to be duplicated to continue service during the move. Allow for any planned downtime.
- Determine your budget and criteria for success.
- Establish a timeline with all of your vital milestones.
- Identify who will take care of uninstalling equipment and equipment transportation.
- Mark specific hardware and applications that need an upgrade, and verify system requirements with your colocation center.
Common Data Center Migration Challenges
It's important to map your existing functionality to your new data center. Don't trust key details to memory. Instead, visualize and document your plan. Know that, while a reputable service provider will consolidate as much information as they can, you will likely have to coordinate with multiple parties during your move. Explore new options in upgrades beyond just the next version, as you may be able to gain both added functionality AND reduced energy use or security features.
Finally, once you have a solid data center migration project plan, be sure to stick to it.