Data Centre Migration Checklist
Published 1st March 2021
Key considerations to ensure a successful migration to a data centre provider.
No two migrations are the same, and the process can be risky or challenging if not handled effectively. This checklist covers all the key tasks involved in preparing to shift infrastructure to a colocation data centre – stage by stage – drawing on Amito’s extensive experience. Setting out a clear, comprehensive migration plan well in advance is vital to ensure everything goes smoothly and efficiently. Preparing properly will enable you to safely unrack, transport and reinstall your hardware, while avoiding unplanned outages, downtime and costs.
- Audit and assess – make a full inventory of all equipment to be moved, including servers, storage and network infrastructure.
- Create a blueprint. Map your hardware to the new data centre. A representation of racks in the plan makes it easier to reassemble and reconnect correctly post-move.
- Plan what will move, and when. Decide who will transport and install the kit.
- Identify each individual task. Work out the dependencies between them and allocate each task to an owner.
- Determine the potential risks of moving each piece of equipment. Plan how you’re going to mitigate these – e.g. having spare equipment on standby to take over.
- Create a timeline. Identify all vital actions and milestones – including disconnecting, packing, delivery, configuring and reconnecting.
- Determine your budget – including the human costs associated with carrying out each task.
- Applications and data. You may have to refactor applications prior to the migration, and they must be tested afterwards. Data needs to be supported, monitored and managed.
- Plan for downtime. Identify high-risk applications and critical systems that need to stay live and usable, and define how you’ll ensure continuous service.
- Communicate with all stakeholders – explain what’s going to happen, the expected timeline, and any contingency plans.
- Test your migration plan in advance. Highlight any potential problems, gaps or barriers so you can address them before you start the process for real.
Technical and resource requirements
- Write detailed instructions on everything involved in the installation.
- Equipment: What it used for? What uptime do you need from it? How do you access the services on the servers? How many racks, or how much rack space, do you require?
- Power: How much power (amps or kilowatts) do you need per rack? Do you need to be able to grow or decrease power draw on demand?
- Connectivity: Do you need IP transit to the rack? Does the equipment need to communicate with any other data centres?
- Security: What compliance and governance requirements do you need to meet? Consider data and physical security requirements in transit.
- Ongoing management: How often will you need to come to the data centre? Does the data centre have a reliable, expert remote hands team you can use?
Preparing to move
- Documentation. Collate and organise all necessary documentation
- Book access in advance. Arrange access to the data centre for all personnel going to site; alert their security that a delivery is expected.
- Available facilities – check what facilities the data centre offers, such as loading bays, build rooms, and server lifters in case they are needed.
- Review your plan with your data centre provider – are they set up and ready for your arrival?
- Package equipment for transit – protect to prevent damage, and label all kit and boxes. Gather and label all cables and connections.
- Include all the necessary rack ancillaries – such as network patch cords (copper and fibre), power leads, cage nuts, rack mountable shelves and cable management.
- Testing plan – make sure your testing plan is ready.
- Getting up and running. Once all the kit has been plugged in, check that everything is back online and green.
- Implement your testing plan. Carry out functional and performance tests on all hardware, processes, networks and applications.
- Continuity testing. Test a failover between the high-availability network and the server equipment, to ensure once everything is online it stays online.
Appointing a migration manager at your end and making sure everyone understands their role means the team should all be aware of what needs to happen and when. Your data centre provider should work as an extension of your team to help address and advise on each step of your migration plan to confirm they fully understand your requirements and identify any potential pitfalls.
At Amito you can take advantage of our inhouse Migration Services – our experienced team will handle the entire process for you; from audit planning, unracking and packing, secure transportation right through to successful installation. Our dedicated service delivery and support teams will be in regular contact throughout the process keeping you up to date.