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Data Center Migration Planning Tips

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Francis Miers writes for Data Center Knowledge, “A data center migration can be a tough process for even a seasoned data center manager to navigate. Relocating software and hardware is not simple and requires an analysis of risk, the data center environment, compatibility, the network in general, and possible latency issues.” Let’s take a look at his tips for data migration planning below:

First, accounting for risk will affect the migration process and budget. Identify your systems and data to be migrated and categorize them to importance to your business:

  • Mission critical
  • Business critical
  • Important
  • “Brochureware” (Mr. Miers gives identifies Intranet as a possible example)

Now, identify the risk level for each. Mr. Miers writes, “The risk will also affect the budget required for the migration; you may need a test environment, dedicated data center staff and additional software licenses.” Take into account the new network and the performance needed as well as latency.

Next is the discovery and compatibility review. Spend time reviewing all the connections, dependencies and components of the systems you plan to migrate. As an example, mission critical systems are also typically connected with disaster recovery so be sure to also investigate the impacts of migration on connected systems.  Sometimes if the system is older this can be time-consuming but it is necessary.  Compatibility is also very important. Is the system compatible with the new environment? There are different approaches you can take in your planning depending on the answer to that question.

Mr. Miers reemphasizes that with data migrations, “in any data center migration the main dangers are prolonged unplanned downtime and loss of data. The budget dedicated to the migration will reflect the damage that will be caused to the business if either of these are incurred. Good advanced planning and thorough testing (commensurating with the business importance of the application) will help the migration go smoothly.”

Share your thoughts on data center migration.