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Data Center FAQs

No two data center migrations are the same but there are common questions asked by almost every client. Here are some of those questions and our answers:

1.  What do you do to mitigate risk while migrating or moving servers?

  • An effective migration strategy depends upon a proven methodology for success.   The David-Kenneth Group’s Data Center Migration methodology incorporates two parts: 1) Assessment & Design and 2) Deployment & Execution.  Each part consists of several phases, activities and deliverables including a risk mitigation plan.
  • A complete Plan of Record (POR) is the key to success.  Based on discovery meetings and questionnaires completed as part of a blended IT team, the POR delves into items such as risk analysis, move group planning, infrastructure readiness and necessary hardware/software configurations and updates.

2.  How long will our servers be down for the move?

  • Clients and end-users must not be affected.
  • It is important to keep in mind any Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that you have with your end-users.  Contractual obligations are taken into consideration when planning move groups.
  • Server moves, virtual or physical must be considered.
  • Many data center migrations can take place over the course of one or more successive weekends.
  • The David-Kenneth Group provides a final hour-by-hour GO-LIVE migration plan with key milestones defined via a detailed communications plan.  This communications plan allows for proper preparation of planned downtime.

3.  We have an IT department; do you think that they can handle a data center migration?

  • While this might seem like a great way to save money, migrating a data center is far removed from most organizations day-to-day core competencies.  A data center migration is a complex process that requires a small team of experts well-versed in Data Center Migrations.  These experts involve stakeholders at the beginning of the Assessment and provide you with a detailed Plan of Record, walking you through the migration strategy prior to any live move.  The experts will help you avoid overexposure on your IT project.  Outsourcing your data center migration is the best scenario for success.  A team specializing in data center migrations addresses major concerns such as equipment needs/upgrades, downtime, service level agreements, maintenance contracts, power, cooling, network/telco, facility issues.
  • To properly mitigate the risk of your business’s ability to operate without downtime involves the following best practices:
    • Assessment, Planning & Design (download our methodology)
      • Readiness Assessment
      • Technical and Project Management Resources/Roles
      • Discovery Meetings & Questionnaires
      • Budget
      • Risk Mitigation Plan
      • Deployment & Execution –
        • Risk assessment
        • Move group selection
        • Dependencies
        • Resource allocation
        • Hour-by-hour strategy of Go-Live
        • Lessons Learned

Click here to read a comment from one over-stressed IT professional regarding his company’s data center migration.

4.  How scalable will my data center be?

  • If you build your own data center it is inherently cost prohibitive.  Most organizations do not have the capital to plan 5-10 years out for power, cooling, layout, configuration, lease renewals, space constraints, Green IT initiatives, etc.
  • A company that owns its own data center assumes much greater maintenance costs, security expenses and other risks.
  • If you lease, be sure the lease language looks to the future.  Does your lease include expansion provisions – make sure there will be enough space in the same location 5 years from now.  Do some research on your landlord as well.  Make sure the company has a good and established history.

5.  How much power and cooling do we need?

  • More than you think you do and much more for scalability.
  • You need to take into consideration as the whether or not the power and cooling are in balance.  Will one run out before the other?
  • Data centers consume up to 3-6% of all electricity generated in the US today. (Sources: IDC and The Uptime Institute)
  • Make sure your facility has access to multiple sources of electricity.
  • During The David-Kenneth Group Assessment & Design portion of a data center migration, our team conducts a site suitability analysis to encompass power and cooling needs now and in the future.

6.  How do you handle current and future Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity capabilities?

  • Data center migration and backup plans must be ready to be activated at a moment’s notice.
  • Our proven data center migration methodology incorporates an in-depth assessment which takes into account your current data backup plans as well as those during and after the migration.  Risk factors during a data center migration may include the following:
    • Loss of data
    • Loss of power
    • Security
    • Geographic location of servers during migration
    • Transportation of equipment
    • Damage to equipment during transport
    • Lack of resources to manage migration
    • Acts of God (fire, flood, earthquake, etc.)
    • Utility and technical concerns at new site (electrical, cooling, internet, cabling, racks, etc.)
    • As part of our assessment our data center migration team meets with your internal IT team, facilities department, network administrators, utility providers and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that all voices are part of a blended IT teamAn extensive list of questions is submitted to each group, discussed and completed as a team to address all disaster recover/business continuity concerns.

7.  We are thinking of possible hardware, application and/or operating system upgrades during the migration.  Is this a good time to perform these upgrades?

  • While most people believe that a migration is a great time to optimize servers and business functions, we don’t recommend adding additional risk to a data center migration.
  • We recommend that you go from steady-state to steady-state first.  After you are operating in the steady-state for a set period of time you may then optimize business functions with hardware, application and/or operating system upgrades.

8.    Are your data centers carrier neutral?

  • We work with a variety of data centers/colocation facilities across the nation.  Depending on your needs and which data center you decide to migrate to, you may be able to choose from a number of carriers for your data needs.
  • In our experience a carrier neutral facility encourages competition among the providers driving costs down.

Most IT departments are not staffed to handle a data center migration on its own.  Think of it as having your veterinarian perform neurosurgery on you.  Is that something you really want them to do?

Discuss your Data Center Migration Project with a David-Kenneth Consultant:

  • Call David-Kenneth at (888) 681-1988  |  no cost consultation
  • Email David-Kenneth using the below form

This post first appeared on Blogs | The David-Kenneth Group, please read the originial post: here

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Data Center FAQs


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