Data Centre Relocation Project Planning

Data Centre Relocation Project Plan & Checklist

Before relocating to a new server room, data centre or colocation facility…

 

“Do you have a Data Centre relocation project plan?”

Physically moving infrastructure from one data centre to another, or migrating from a server room to a colocation facility, can be a time consuming and complex task but sometimes its a necessity for businesses of all sizes and in various industry sectors. It is crucial to mitigate risk as much as possible and it is imperative that your company does not lose any data and its crucial to  avoid any unplanned service outages and down time. For any priority mission critical infrastructure, and where it is not possible, failing an environment over to a disaster recovery solution would be advised, alternatively, any planned outages must be scheduled out of normal business hours.

 

Initially you should create a data centre or server room relocation project plan and incorporate an infrastructure planning document, this will ensure that the project is completed successfully and causes the minimal disruption to usual business activities. There are many critical details and considerations to be made and you need to implement a process to be able to track productivity. Understanding the current status at each stage of data centre relocation project and preparing a regression plan as a contingency option, is an essential part of the relocation process.

 

Where to begin…?

 

Physical hardware relocation…

A hardware relocation involves physically moving your current data centre infrastructure to a new location, either to a different server room within the current building or to a completely new data centre. At this initial stage, you will need to evaluate the potential new environment by looking at the new facility and the footprint size available, ventilation and power load capabilities for each rack. You will also need to consider what cabling and ISP infrastructure may be required. Its also advisable to coordinate an entire environment shutdown process, and to consider a thorough testing plan after the physical migration.

 

Careful planning of a data centre relocation or server migration will reduce the risk of hardware failures and issues due to incorrect patching. You should also make sure that all technicians have covered all risk assessments and safety concerns, this will ensure a successful move with minimal down time and disruption to critical services and usual business activities.

 

Ace IT Relocation will ensure that the entire physical relocation process is aligned with industry best practice and encompasses many years of tried and tested processes and procedures. All internal resource, including engineers and technicians are vetted, DBS checked and/or Security Cleared. Our fleet of vehicles are unbranded and fitted with various security and safety features, including Air Ride suspension, CCTV and GPS tracking to ensure the discreet, safe and secure movement of all types of sensitive IT infrastructure.

 

Creating an Infrastructure Planner and Data Centre Relocation Project Plan…

A thorough project plan is essential for a successful data centre relocation project and if executed properly, it will reduce service downtime and minimise the impact on usual business activities.

 

Things to consider…

 

  • Contract with a Specialist IT Relocation Company:  A specialist company like Ace IT Relocation will be able to guide you through all aspects of the relocation project and provide advice and points to consider throughout the entire process.

 

  • Assign a Project Manager: Weather this is your own internal resource or someone who is appointed by a specialist contractor, this person should be responsible for regular meetings to confirm the progress of the plan and the accomplishment of tasks in a timely fashion.

 

  • Critical Prerequisites: These should be considered as some of the most important aspects of the project and, if not considered early, can lead to delays during the relocation. These include failure to confirm resources, no pre-approved access for vendors to the collection and destination sites, and insufficient space in vehicles and flight cases to accommodate the hardware.

 

  • Project InitiationProject Initiation Document (PID) and other required project management documents.

 

  • DiscoveryAssemble background documentation (as appropriate and available) On-site equipment and audit of all devices.

 

  • Design: Review existing asset and connection information and create new environment build, cabling, patching and rack plans. Design new network and storage cabling/racking infrastructure. Design new data centre cabling/racking infrastructure.

 

  • PlanningMigration strategy. Technical infrastructure provisioning. Risk planning and management. Operational processes. Test and acceptance management.

 

  • ExecutionManagement of the new environment infrastructure build. Management of transitional and retained systems integration/change. Delivery of pre-cabled and prepared environment, ready for migration of equipment. Delivery and management of the migration of all hardware, potentially over multiple phases. Quality, testing and acceptance management.

 

  • Close: Preparation and handover of all asset and project information for operational teams. Formal close of all project tasks.

 

Useful Documents for a successful Data Centre Relocation

Infrastructure Planner – Should include Hardware and connectivity audits, project time line schedule, project road map & escalation points.

Project Plan & Checklist – Including detailed project plan, individual resource responsibilities, risk assessment and method statements and project completion checklist.

 

 

Detailed Project Plan Tasks

  • Contact information for all parties involved with the data centre relocation, including management escalation information.

 

  • Review each step of the detailed project plan. Confirmation that each task is assigned to an individual and includes an expected time frame to complete each task.

 

  • Confirm that backups of all infrastructure scheduled for migration have successfully been completed.

 

  • Relevant parties start the shut down process for mission critical and priority infrastructure.

 

  • All other infrastructure is shut down in accordance with project time line schedule and project plan.

 

  • Visual confirmation that all equipment has been shut down and all devices have been labeled with destination rack and u-position information.

 

  • De-Rack all equipment and pack into flight cases, all equipment should be packed so that the device at the top of each flight case will be installed into the bottom of the corresponding rack at the destination site.

 

  • Load all equipment into vehicles with the priority equipment being loaded last so that it will be the first thing unloaded and installed at the destination environment.

 

  • Confirmation that the destination environment has been pre-cabled and pre-labeled with all relevant cables hung at roughly the correct u-position ready for installation, and labeled in accordance with the preferred standard.

 

  • Network administrators to check cabling, switch configuration and firewall connectivity.

 

  • Power on all Network infrastructure and check connectivity, then power up storage arrays and other storage infrastructure.

 

  • Power on all other infrastructure and test all equipment in the new environment for network and storage connectivity.