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4 Steps To a Successful Colocation Migration

Published 21st January 2021

Businesses migrate infrastructure to a colocation data centre for a number of reasons – often the need for greater capacity, availability and agility. More businesses than ever are choosing to move their infrastructure off-premise to ensure ease of access and 24/7 support.

This can seem like a mammoth task, with concerns over unplanned downtime and unnecessary cost. But with the right planning, and the right provider, you can minimise business disruption, risk, and impact on customers and employees.

Step 1 – Create a robust and detailed end-to-end migration plan

Careful planning is vital to ensure the process goes smoothly and efficiently. We recommend a full breakdown of tasks, including roles and responsibilities for both you and your provider, and setting out what you expect to happen and when. If you ask Amito to assist with your move, a dedicated team will work with you to create a comprehensive plan, which enables you to easily monitor progress.

  • Complete an audit. Assess your current IT environment, carrying out a discovery exercise to identify all equipment to be moved – including servers, switches, storage, and network infrastructure.
  • Plan what will move and when. Create a timeline with all vital actions and milestones– including all the necessary disconnecting, packing, shipping, receiving, configuring and reconnecting.
  • Decide who will transport and install the kit. Even if you prefer to handle most of the process yourself, getting a third party to help with the physical move – particularly of your servers – can be beneficial.
  •  Moving applications and data.  It’s vital that you think ahead about your applications and data.  Applications may need to be refactored in advance, and must be tested afterwards. Any data being moved will need to be supported, monitored and managed through the process.
  • Identify each individual task. Work out the dependencies between them, and the potential risks. Allocate each task to an owner.
  • Determine your budget. You’ll need a clear picture of the cost of each task involved in the move – including staff costs.
  • Plan for downtime. Identify applications and systems that need to stay live and usable throughout the migration, and the steps you need to take to ensure continuous service.
  • Communicate with stakeholders. Determine how the move affects customers, employees and business partners, and explain what’s going to happen, the expected timeline, and any contingency plans.
  • Test your migration plan. Rehearsing the plan in advance will highlight any potential problems, so you can address them before you start the process for real. You don’t want any surprises!

Step 2 – Establish your technical and resource requirements

The more your data centre provider knows, the better positioned they’ll be to create the optimal set-up for your deployment. Gather and share as much information as you can on your equipment, and what you require in terms of connectivity, power, networking capabilities, disaster recovery measures, and security. Estimating your long-term requirements as well as what you need now will ensure you can scale and grow.

Amito tip: Take the opportunity to improve efficiency and performance, by designing your new set-up to better meet your goals, and allow you the flexibility to grow and take advantage of future opportunities without having to move again.

Step 3 – Make a map for reconnection

Mapping your hardware to the new data centre is key!  Whoever is installing – be that your team or ours – must be 100% certain how to reassemble and reconnect post-move. Record all cable references, as well as switch and router connections – this will make reconnection easier and quicker. It’s also important to identify the potential risks of moving each component prior to moving day. From there, you can plan to mitigate the risk, for instance having spare equipment on standby to take over in case of emergency.

Step 4 – Execute the migration

In the days leading up to the migration, make sure everything is ready – including your power, in-cabinet patch cables and SFP, and your testing plan. Plan the access you need, checking all personnel in with the data centre’s security team. Amito’s service delivery team will set you up on our unique customer portal, from where you’ll be able to clearly see the location of your rack, the unique combination of your cabinet, and details such as how much power has been provisioned.

Foolproof the installation phase. Write detailed instructions on everything, including how many racks you have and where they are, what goes in them, and how everything connects. Include the order in which the power cables need plugging back in.

Check everything is online – and test it. Once all the kit is plugged in, run through the checks you’ve designed to make sure it’s all functioning properly. Is everything green? Give yourself extra time in case the equipment doesn’t come up as planned. If you’ve asked us to handle this part of the process, we’ll carry out all the checks you’ve requested on your behalf. The final step is to carry out functional and performance tests. This should encompass everything that has been relocated – including hardware, network, data, and applications.

 

Ask Amito: Ready to plan your migration? Ask us about our Data Centre Migration Checklist.