5 tips for Data Center Migration

1. Risk Reduction
The main risks that you must recognize and mitigate when you are relocating your date center are potential data loss and extended downtime that was neither planned for nor wanted. The applications that the business is migrating will have a huge impact on the extent to which the business can tolerate the risks. If the applications in question are critical to the success of the business then the business will not function without them to any extent of time and as a result should minimize the amount of downtime as much as possible, regardless of how expensive it is.

This logic also applies to loss of data. If data is of more importance to the organization, then it has to be safeguarded more from loss during the migration process. Efforts at mitigation may include; backing up extensively, encrypting the data, recovery processes for disaster should be set in places which continue working even during the process of migration as well as purchasing of equipment that is robust and fault tolerant.

Conduction of a trial movement process in a controlled environment is critical so that you can ensure the software is compatible with the hardware in the new data centre. This will help in assessing potential problems that might arise and taking potential action.

2. Regaining knowledge
While you are planning to migrate your data, it is important that you understand that every task occurs in the current computing environment. However, some of the applications might be quite old and have been in continuous use for the entirety of their existence. Because of the extended period of time, there is no guarantee that the training manuals or internal reports will be up to date. This makes it easy to lose information and data. This means when having the server relocation the organization will have incomplete information on the running of their own data centres. This incomplete information may lead to some components of the servers being left behind causing defects in functionality.

3. Ensuring Compatibility
The software of the company may not be compatible with the hardware of the new location, in this case there are two options. The first option is physically moving the hardware from the old data center to the new one and the second is easing the entire process by the use of an emulator. The second option is not always possible and one cannot exclude the dire need for changes in the software code.

Code changes could be costly in terms of time and money but could benefit the company more in the long run. This is because using ancient systems could make processes inefficient and could also expose the company to risks. Allowances should always be made for possible code changes before data centre migration to make everyone aware of the extra work that may come with the movement.

4. Network Particularities
To make the migration as effective as possible, each of the applications for the company should have a pre-determined allocation in the new data centre. To ensure full compatibility while setting up the system, check all aspects related to the system such as domains, trust and firewall settings. You must recognize that your much older applications might not be as compatible with the security constraints of the new network. This calls for some advance planning in order to make a decision on how each individual issue is to be handled in the case it occurs.

The typical actions that you could consider taking are; relaxing the security networks, which is neither desirable nor recommendable, or rewriting the application’s aspects to make it compatible with the new networks, a process that could consume both time and money.

5. Limit latency
Migrating a hardware to a new location could affect its performance because of increased latency of the network. This is a factor that must be taken into consideration while planning for the move. Latency is a particular issue during migration as servers are often transferred in batches. This causes applications that were previously close to each other to be miles apart instead of the local area connection that they are used to. Knowing which exact applications work best together and how frequent they communicate will help the organization in planning for their migration timetable. They will ensure that the separation time of equipment that work best together is as low as possible.

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