Most IT leaders will only be involved in a full-scale data center migration once or twice during their careers. It can be difficult to pinpoint and mitigate every possible risk. There are some concerns that stand out — data security, data center capacity, and minimizing downtime — but there are many more that you may not realize until it is too late.
Instead of writing another laundry list of what to do and not to do, we will paint a few pictures of relatable data center migration mishaps. Our hope is that it helps you avoid difficulties with your data center relocation.
Failing to Plan = Planning to Fail
With looming deadlines, Steve and his IT team dove headfirst into the full-scale migration of their data center. Everything was taking longer than expected and Steve’s fatigue was evident. Forging ahead, Bill and Melinda continued transferring the servers, data, and applications to the new infrastructure.
Also exhausted, Bill misinterpreted a crucial command during the server transfer causing a data blackout. Employees began to panic. After some troubleshooting, Steve fixed the problem and assured concerned executives that everything was under control.
At the same time, Bill relied on his memory while changing the IP address. His mistake — combined with the team’s failure to map out application interdependencies — caused a cascade of errors that disrupted operations yet again. On-the-fly decisions, incorrect assumptions, and faulty memories caused a domino effect of failures that could have impacted the company’s very existence.
A step-by-step plan is a strategic imperative that transforms a potentially chaotic endeavor into a well-orchestrated symphony of tasks. It provides the adaptive framework necessary for navigating the complexities of data center migration with precision and confidence.
The Only True Constant is Change
On the brink of a major technology upgrade, Alex’s team reviewed their data center migration plan. To ensure a smooth transition, the team diligently mapped out every interdependency. Preferring to ask for forgiveness rather than to ask for permission, Jake decided to boost the data center’s capabilities with new hardware — without discussing it with the rest of the team.
While moving a critical section of servers to the new infrastructure, the team discovered that the new hardware was not included in their interdependency mapping. The system went down; chaos ensued.
As Alex scrambled to fix the issue, frustrated employees and furious executives demanded to know how long the system would be down, fearing significant data loss. After restoring the system, he reflected on why this happened and how he could have prevented this difficult situation.
Change control protocols serve as the backbone of project management. Meticulous planning, systematic execution, and careful documentation are imperative for the seamless evolution of a data center infrastructure.
While pondering the more advanced infrastructure he would enjoy in his company’s new space, David geared up for data center migration. Instead of crating the equipment and using pallets to move it, they had the servers and heavy equipment carried out piece by piece.
It wasn’t until they saw the equipment being jostled that they thought about the potential for damage. At the same time, a server rack toppled over causing an outage. David’s team realized that by failing to consider safety measures in their data center migration planning, they would be held accountable for the cost of damaged equipment and lost revenue due to the extended downtime the outage caused.
A successful data center migration goes beyond meeting deadlines. It relies on prioritizing safety measures, such as using tip guards, proper crating, and a commitment to worker safety. The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides safety standards, strategies, and guidance to identify workplace hazards and prevent oversights like this.
Don’t Go It Alone
These stories illustrate common data center migration scenarios for businesses that attempted to go it alone. In each case, partnering with a specialized logistics partner could have saved them time, money, and productivity. These unfortunate scenarios, and others like them, could have been completely avoided with meticulous planning, adaptive change management, and an unwavering commitment to safety.
Interstate Technology Logistics partners with technology experts to facilitate smooth and efficient transitions to advanced data center infrastructures. We have been transporting and storing high-value assets for governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals for more than 80 years. Don’t risk navigating the dynamic landscape of data center migrations alone. Learn more about Interstate Technology Logistics’ strategic planning and technical assistance for data center relocations here.