I know what I want to do next week: move some servers….what fun! I might as well move some mountains while I’m at it. So, how […]

The Art of Data Center Migrations

I know what I want to do next week: move some servers….what fun! I might as well move some mountains while I’m at it. So, how […]

data center corridor flanked by cabinentsI know what I want to do next week: move some servers….what fun! I might as well move some mountains while I’m at it.

So, how the heck do you plan out a data center migration? With a notebook and piece of paper (of course):

1. Draw a picture of the servers switches and routers.
2. Draw some pencil connections between them.
3. Write definitions of all the equipment.
4. Use a different crayon color to visually show how the equipment will be moved to another location.

Hey, this can actually work if you have the right people at the end of the pencil and crayon. Truth be told, it may be a little easier and better planned if you use some sort of software tool to help with this.

What kind of tool? You could use DCIM — or if you have to, you could even just stick with Visio or a spreadsheet. Note: if you’re just starting out, and you have nothing, a spreadsheet may be easiest. No matter what you use, you need to make sure you’re ready.

To move as seamlessly as possible, first identify what needs to be moved (and make sure your inventory is up-to-date). Grade each asset by how critical it is to the organization and what it connects to. Find out how old your equipment is (and be sure that moving equipment won’t end up killing it, and if it does, that you’ve got healthy equipment on hand just in case).

You can use DCIM to accomplish all of the above — and you can rack mount as built today — as well as show exactly where the devices or racks will move into the new data center or space (or wherever all that stuff is moving to). You can also use DCIM for a virtual move — whether you’re moving physical to the Cloud or Cloud to Cloud.

Regardless of whether you use DCIM, a spreadsheet, Visio, or a crayon — with planning and communication, you can move your data center relatively seamlessly. Ultimately, I guess, it doesn’t matter what you use to document as long as you have some kind of documentation. Crayola has 152 colors….one for every device, perhaps.

Jason Sherman
Jason Sherman
As Graphical Networks’ Sales Engineering and Support Services Manager, Jason Sherman leads the pre and post sales cycle with the entire Graphical Networks software portfolio, and ensures current customers are able to use the software to its fullest potential.

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