Do you need to relocate your company’s data center? If so, it doesn’t have to be a difficult or daunting experience. Whether you have outgrown your current location, or it’s time to upgrade your network infrastructure and equipment and move it to a new and/or larger location, proper planning and preparation is definitely the key.
That’s because the successful relocation of your data center is dependent on the diligent planning on the frontend. This involves your internal personnel working in conjunction with the company that you hire for the move.
Ideally, there needs to be a relocation strategy in place that will ensure minimal disruption or downtime for your business as a result of the move. This is easier than it sounds if you have the right commercial moving partner to assist you.
Hiring the Right Moving Company
When moving your data center, it is best to hire a moving company that specializes in the moving of data equipment, rather than trying to tackle the project on your own.
While you might have the manpower and transportation means to get the job done, the average administrative employee does not have the experience or knowhow for such a crucial undertaking.
As a result, the physical move could take much longer to complete, and your company will assume 100 percent of the risk that’s involved. That risk could be to the equipment itself, as well as a safety or injury risk for your employees.
By hiring the right moving company, you are transferring that burden and potential risk, and allowing trained professionals to handle the heavy lifting for you. This can be a big savings to your company, both in terms of the hard costs and soft costs involved.
And, in terms of project management, the move and everything it entails will be carried out in a much more efficient manner.
Planning for your Data Center Relocation
We cannot overemphasize the importance of properly planning for your data center relocation. So, once you have hired a moving company, the next step is to design a move strategy with your mover.
That strategy needs to be built around your overarching goal. For most companies, that goal is the safe removal, transportation, delivery, and set up of the equipment, and doing so in a way that reduces the chances of hardware and software issues or failures, while causing the least amount of downtown or disruption to business operations.
We recommend having a project manager from your company who will be responsible for providing an inventory on the equipment that will be moved, and to act as a primary point of contact for the moving company.
This is typically an IT Manager who oversees your network servers and other equipment. Your project manager will need to work closely with the moving company to establish a workable relocation timeline, and create a checklist for everything that needs to be done before, during, and after the move.
Based on your needs, the moving company will need to determine how to best execute your move plan with you. So, you need to be sure to discuss any potential challenges or pain points that might exist.
This will help the moving company understand the exact logistics of the project and any precautions that might be warranted.
For example, a data center move within the same building could be very simple or very complex, whereas moving it across town is a totally different story, because it involves transportation. So, it just depends on your company’s unique situation, and what your data center move will require.
It can also be helpful to involve your company’s Operations Manager, because they can assist with coordination, the dissemination of internal communications, and set expectations for your organization.
Establishing a Move Timeline
The most common question is often:
How soon should we engage a moving company for the relocation of our data center?
Ideally, you should do that at least 30 days in advance of moving your data center. Again, this goes back to proper planning, which requires adequate time in order to successfully execute that plan.
As far as the actual timeline itself, that will vary. So, work with your moving company to establish a timeline with workable deadlines for completing all of the important tasks.
On a side note, if you haven’t allowed yourself that 30-day window, the moving company will typically still be able to assist you, but make sure that they are able to do so in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the safe transportation of your equipment.
Minimizing Disruption and Downtown
One way to minimize disruption and downtown when relocating your data center, is by moving it in segments. A multi-phase move has the advantage of not having everything get shut down at one time.
This is a good option for companies that have a server farm, and are able to have a portion of it go down during the move.
The other option is to take everything down and one time, move it, and bring it all back up at the same time.
This practice is generally preferred by companies with an IT support network, where their servers host proprietary software and they need to have it all go down and back up in one night with minimal problems for their customers.
Taking Necessary Precautions
In any situation, regardless of what you are moving, you should make a list of what you see as your ideal outcome and share that with your moving company.
This allows them to take the necessary steps and precautions on their end to customize their services to best achieve that outcome.
So, when relocating something as critical as your data center, the moving company that you choose can make all the difference. Therefore, that decision needs to be based on multiple concerns besides just the price.
There is much more involved than moving furniture from point A to point B, so you need to evaluate the experience that the mover has for this type of move.
Talk to them about the approach they will take and the methods that they will use to ensure the safe execution of the project.
Always ask questions, lots of questions.
This will give you the peace of mind that you have hired the right company for your move.
If you would like more information about relocating your data center or any of our commercial moving services, please contact us anytime!