Why You Need Intelligent Migration of Data Centres
Running data centres is not cheap. In fact, data centre expenditures can take up over 25 percent of the IT budget of many organizations. CIOs are always trying to cut IT costs, which means cutting data centre costs is usually on the top of their priority list. One of the strategies used by organizations is to consolidate multiple data centres and create a more efficient configuration. Another option is to relocate data centres to a less expensive location. Or it could be a combination of both strategies.
It is certainly not easy to migrate servers and services that are critical to your IT infrastructure. Such changes can be highly disruptive for one, and even if the move was to go smoothly, as a CIO, you will have the challenge of justifying this high expense to the stakeholders.
But data centre migrations should not be that imposing. Sure, it’s won’t be easy and would take a lot of your time, but if you are really worried about the process and whether it would work out well, then you must work extra hard on the planning. You will also need to spend on the resources and invest as much time as possible in the process.
Use an Intelligent Migration approach to data centres, so that the project is successful at the first attempt. This approach consists of the following…
#1: Have a very good idea of what you’re going to do; plan meticulously.
One of the biggest mistakes made by organizations is to believe that they know everything there is to know about their IT infrastructure and the applications and services supported by it. This is more often than not a wrong assumption to make. It is in fact very difficult for organizations to retain the essential knowledge of their data centres because of high staff turnover and changes in technologies.
The problem seems to be that even if some organizations have extensive documentation and debriefing, when old staff leave, they take critical knowledge with them. Also, the documentation, even if it exists, could be inconsistent and written poorly. So this can affect the organization when they try to migrate the data centre. To avoid this problem, plan well; focus on the mapping and the discovery stages of the process. This will certainly help you achieve major savings in the long run.
#2: Be sensible! Don’t go overboard.
It’s so easy to lose your focus during the data centre migration and view the entire project as a part of a much bigger upgrade, while implementing a number of other changes at the same time. Avoid this temptation; don’t go overboard in your haste to save time and money. Taking on multiple projects at the same time is best avoided, and even if you were to do that, implement each project sequentially, so that there is sufficient time for the migration.
Make sure that you have the right number of staff to carry out the migration, so that you don’t miss out on any deadlines. Don’t make the mistake of overworking your employees, that never goes well. If your employees were to do the work related to the migration in addition to their normal work, then the quality of their effort would suffer by quite a lot.
#3: Make the migration a collaborative effort.
You should work hard to involve all parties in the migration, such as the as the concerned businesses and the IT staff, and make the process a truly collaborative effort. You should align the capabilities of the data centre with the specific needs of the business and work hard to ease out the bottlenecks in the way. The transition should be done so as to ensure a high return on investment.
What you cannot afford to have is any dispute with the stakeholders, or any delay in the migration. The approach used by you for the migration should address every concern or objection. Any conflict should be resolved immediately to the satisfaction of all concerned.
#4: Business as Usual may not always work.
You should make it a point to monitor the activities at the data centre regularly so as to deliver reliable, time and secure services. But quite often, even the best Business as Usual (BAU) processes of the client or service provider will not be able to deal with the pace of changes involved in a typical migration.
The data centre migration should be planned, approved and acted upon at various stages, using a set number of devices within a period of time. This is called the wave process. It cannot be seen as a number of small changes made sporadically, such as upgrades, decommissions or migrations.
The wave process has to be implemented at the highest level of management, and the changes should be implemented at the level 3 status. The objective is to stop overloading the BAU processes at the management level and to speed up the change approval SLAs at both the service provider and client side of the equation.
Another goal should be to minimize the group requests as much as possible and get the requisite approvals well in time. Any updates to the related configuration management databases should be done as bulk updates on a fixed schedule, rather than manually as individual requests.
Finally, regardless of how much planning is done, even the best migration strategies falter because they cannot deal with the sheer magnitude of the complications in the system. With intelligent migration, the discovery and the groundwork at the initial stages is taken care of, which allows your organization to be flexible even in the case of the worst disruptions. With forward planning and care, you can make fast, well informed decisions in order to get over the roadblocks in the way. So, as a CIO you will have the confidence you need to be able to cater to the requirements of your fast growing business.