There is no doubt that moving your servers to a data center is costly and high risk. There is nothing more frustrating than high server relocation costs, data loss, security risks, and employee downtime. I’ve included 5 expert tips for moving your server(s) to a data center.
Key factors to a successful data center relocation are preparation and experience. You will need to coordinate proper shutdown, de-racking, server packing, shipping preparation, re-racking and create a thorough testing plan. If you don’t have the internal personnel to execute these tasks properly, find a trained certified partner who can help. In the meantime, here are 5 tips from our expert IT Project Managers to help with a stress-free server moving experience:
Expert Tip #1 – Create a Server Room Inventory List
Perform a thorough audit/review of the equipment in your server room(s). This helps you recognize critical machines that will need to be moved first and understand the rest of the equipment that is dependent on those machines. This will also let you decide which machines need to be upgraded, decommissioned, or replaced during your server relocation.
Expert Tip #2 – Back up Your Data
So, we all know that data backups should be done, but have you ever tested these back-ups? Make sure you have a mirror back up of your current data a few weeks before the move. Double-checking your backups gives you time to fix the data backup process or the backup drives. Most importantly, you will need to then back up all data a few hours before the actual move.
Expert Tip #3 – Use Proper Server Packing/Labeling Materials
Proper and accurate labeling is critical to your server relocation. You risk incorrect hardware installation if your equipment and cables are not correctly and clearly marked. Ensure you pack your cables in an anti-static bubble wrapped pouch and clearly label them for each server blade/rack.
Expert Tip # 4 – Determine Which Equipment Goes First
It is paramount that you schedule the IT/server relocation during after hours or on the weekend. This minimizes downtime for your employees. Next, determine which IT equipment should be moved first and last and what time the server moving should happen.
Moving servers and IT equipment successfully is one of the most critical components of a server relocation project. To do so, we recommend a “Hot Truck” service. This HOT Truck puts mission-critical equipment all in one place and allows your mover to un-rack, pack, load your IT equipment and servers first and deliver them to the destination quickly. Your IT team can then re-rack and connect all components swiftly.
Expert Tip # 5 – Prep Your Mover
Will your current equipment fit in the new space? If not, should you consider options that increase the bulk of your environment? Can you get exclusive use of the elevator and the path from the loading dock of your building to your data center cage? You don’t want to compete with other move-related activities on the same day.
Finally, it is critical that the servers (and related components) are powered down early to allow the items to cool down and are ready for movement to your new space.
Key items to consider:
- Are your servers being moved in the rack or de-racked?
- If the rack is being moved full (servers intact), has the travel path been verified to ensure the items fit in and out of the buildings without tilting the rack?
- How long will it take you to power down the servers and related components? This process can take minutes to hours depending on your server room complexity.
- What’s your server relocation load and unload plan?
- Can you immediately find any device on the truck or in the staging areas at any time during the move?
- Is your mover providing Disconnect/Reconnect services for your desktop units?
- Do you want the mover PC Technicians on-site to assist you with this process?
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