Several needs inform the relocation of a data center: improved security, lower energy consumption, mergers, and accelerated business growth. Whichever reason it is, relocating to another data center requires careful planning and meticulous execution. This is to mitigate risks that can materialize to disrupt business operations and damage brand reputation.
Relocation vs. Migration
It is common to see relocation and migration used interchangeably, especially when talking about cloud data centers. In strict conventional terms, relocating a data center involves moving the physical equipment from one data center to another.
Migration is used when discussing moving the data, applications, processes, and data storage between computer systems. It is common to hear of a business ‘migrating to the cloud.’
However, the lines are becoming more blurred because of movements between cloud data centers where different movements happen. There is virtual infrastructure that can move from one data center to another. The equipment may be retained while the data, applications, and storage are moved. In this context, relocation and migration can be used interchangeably.
What Can Be Moved?
Relocation must be carefully planned with IT relocation services regarding what should move first and the order of equipment setup. Computing equipment takes precedence, including;
- Computers and servers
- Networking equipment including modems, routers, and switches
- Data storage and backup
- Peripherals and accessories including keyboards, mice, cameras and headsets, scanners and printers
- Electrical and networking cables
The second type of equipment to move is the power systems and backup generators. Cost-effective green energy sources like solar should be a top consideration for any new data center today.
Relocation will also include cooling systems to cut down on costs if necessary. Data centers generate much heat, requiring extensive cooling systems to avoid equipment failure. There are different types of cooling systems:
- Chilled water systems
- Free cooling systems
- Pumped refrigerant systems
What is the Relocation Mode?
There are two ways of IT asset relocation: in a phased fashion, or all at once a la the Big Bang. Phased relocation can take anything from a few weeks to a whole year, depending on the organization’s size and operations.
It takes time to duplicate the infrastructure set up and the IT processes for a seamless transfer. Relocating in phases also has the added advantage of testing if the setup is working. There is room for improving and optimizing before committing to the new set up.
The other way of moving is the all-at-once or Big Bang relocation, where the business shuts down for the relocation. Moving in this fashion can take a few days up to a week. This type of relocation is more appropriate for a small organization with little IT resources to move.
Moving Big Bang style comes with an advantage in realizing the benefits of moving to the new data center more quickly. Energy costs go down in the same month, physical and data security is hardened instantly, and the business can immediately scale up operations.
But it also comes with a disadvantage of significant disruptions to business operations. This risk can be mitigated with ample notification to the customers. Still, it is very inconveniencing to customers, especially those that rely on your services for their day to day business or work.
Methods of Relocation
There are different methods of relocating the IT infrastructure;
Physical to physical relocation (p2p)
P2P involves moving the physical IT assets from one data center to another. It happens, for example, when looking for a better operating environment. It could be a lower power tariff or better physical security for business operations.
P2P relocation is relatively easy to execute when the logistics are planned well. All that is needed is moving the hardware and duplicating the previous setup.
Physical to Cloud (p2c)
P2C is done by moving some IT resources into the Cloud while retaining some physical IT infrastructure components. For example, the business could move the CRM system and data storage into the Cloud but keep the physical networking infrastructure and the staff computers. The physical infrastructure could also be moved to a newer and more efficient data center. This type of relocation enables the business to benefit from the advantages of both platforms.
Cloud to Cloud (c2c)
C2C relocation involves moving virtual infrastructure, applications, and systems from one cloud platform to another. Cloud to cloud migration is becoming more common as many businesses relocate between cloud services providers. More cloud providers are coming online with better and tailor made solutions.
Relocating With Professionals
Data center relocation carries substantial risks. That is why engaging the services of IT relocation services is vital to successful data center relocation. These professionals can help come up with a feasible relocation plan. They can identify different risks and make plans to lower and mitigate these risks. They will make the transition smoother by managing the teething problems that will come up at one point or another.