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Data Center Migration Best Practices - Part 2

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Whether your organization is looking to migrate services to the cloud or physically move to a new data center, migrating your infrastructure, data, and services is not for the faint of heart. It requires a tremendous amount of planning, resources, and energy to achieve the end result of a seamless move. In our Part 1 blog, Planning to Plan, we stepped you through the process of creating a Conceptual Migration Plan that provides your business and IT stakeholders with the estimated scope, effort, and forecast for your Data Center Migration. In Part 2 of our 3-part series, Data Center Migration Best Practices, we’ll step you through the Migration Planning phase and building a Detailed Migration Plan that captures all the necessary details to ensure a successful move.

The Migration Planning phase uses the Conceptual Migration Plan as a baseline for creating the Detailed Migration plan. Whether you are moving to another physical location or a cloud service provider, your plan must outline the detailed activities and the resources required to carry out the move. This is also an opportune time to identify where external expertise may be needed to carry out some of the activities. Depending on the scope and size of your move, the Detailed Migration Plan will likely be comprised of a number of sub-plans intended to manage the design, build, test, and final migration activities. Your Detailed Migration Plan should include:

  • A comprehensive deep dive into the environments to be migrated. The goal of this analysis is to understand exactly what is being migrated, what services or business processes are affected, how the environment is performing today, and what, if any, hardware / software changes will be required to support the future state environment. The outcome of this exercise will define how the move must be executed. For example, can it happen in a single move or will move groups need to be defined in order to phase the migration.

  • The design and build activities associated with building out your future state environment. This effort can vary greatly depending on the goals of the move, i.e. infrastructure modernization, automation, etc. The key is to ensure the guiding principles and goals identified in the Planning to Plan phase have been considered as you design and build out your future state environment.

  • Outlining test migration plans that will exercise the full scope of the planned migration. Through this effort you will identify the business and IT resources needed to execute migration activities. Their domain knowledge will ensure the plan considers any nuances within their respective areas, as well inform how much downtime will be acceptable to complete the migration.

  • Plenty of planned test cycles that test and re-test the migration activities. Don’t underestimate the time needed to carry out multiple test migrations to ensure test results are consistent.

  • Defining your Go / No Go point. Given the potential impacts of the unexpected, defining the point of no return is an absolute critical detail to know ahead of the final migration. Understanding the state of where your migration can no longer be rolled back will help minimize any negative business impacts if a No Go is declared.

  • Identifying all post-migration activities. This could include activities such as updating documentation, completing specific business processes, and getting the final “all is good” from your key business stakeholders.

  • Finally, planning for the unexpected. Even the best laid plans can go awry, so it’s best to be prepared. You will need to consider potential scenarios, their likelihood, and how to mitigate in the event they do occur.

Creating a Detailed Migration Plan that clearly identifies project milestones and dependencies, the necessary internal and external resources, and allocates the necessary time for multiple test cycles will dramatically improve your likelihood for a successful move.

Successful Data Center Migrations with Tsource

Tsource has been helping our commercial and government clients in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. maximize their potential, right-size their infrastructure, and achieve their business and technology goals since 2003. We've helped customers deliver faster leveraging an Agile approach, improved system availability and performance by modernizing their technology portfolio, and successfully matched hiring managers with great IT talent. Experience matters and with over 30+ years of IT experience in the most diverse and complex environments, we are passionate about helping our customers get the most out of their technology investments by providing them with cost-effective, right-sized solutions. Tsource is a ISO 9001:2015 certified Woman Owned Small Business delivering IT Solutions, Managed Services, and Staffing. If you are interested in working with us, contact us online or give us a call at 410-970-6669.

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