N.C.W.S. Data Center and Computer Equipment Project Methodology Overview
Implement a Data Center Relocation Method
There are several options, and interpretations to a data center relocation method. There are probably almost as many ways to conduct a data center relocation or consolidation as there are consultants and I.T. vendors who offer these complex services.
The experience and skills of the people involved in planning and moving your data center significantly matter. While most I.T. methods share some basic commonalities, there can be significant differences based on the size of the project, the scope of the migration (local, across-country, or international), and the capabilities of the team that will be responsible for the project s success.
Project scale - Outside of the largest organizations, those with mature program and project management offices, the requisite skills and experience to manage a project of this size and complexity may be scarce or inadequately supported particularly for a data center relocation. That s where N.C.W.S. comes in.
Complexity - Unless your project manager team is data center relocation -experienced, the amount, diversity, and depth of detailed information that must be uncovered, analyzed, and acted upon will be a real challenge. Even to the most experienced IT personnel.
Focus - In many small systems and non-I.T. business or office relocations, the focus is more on completion the project. How it is accomplished just isn t as complicated as a data center move. In a Data Center Relocation, the how becomes critically important.
However, don t confuse an effective data center relocation planning method with a project management method. They are complementary, but different enough in a number of subtle ways as to contribute to significant problems later on if you aren t aware of the differences in focus, detail, and technique.
Data Center Relocation Methods
In the data center relocation setting, when is of course, important. But even more critical is how we plan to get there.
How is quite difficult. The focus of your data center relocation must be on how your systems, applications, and networks will migrate.
In a business environment, how you execute a mission critical project, such as a data center relocation or consolidation, determines your true schedule and costs.
When is merely a derivative of that function. As you begin to plan your project, you will quickly notice that no one has all the details not you, not the data center operations and technical staff, nor your vendors and consultants.
These details will be uncovered over time, but only with a lot of hard, gritty work by you and the entire data center relocation team. Learn the process (to be expanded on later) at the start and it will help you manage workloads and stakeholder expectations in the future. A good Method is based on many years of real-world Data Center Relocation and consolidation experience. Use it because it is a well-proven and cost effective approach.
Once the project is defined and the core team assembled, there are certain activities that are essential.
Here is a simple list of the ten most critical tasks that any data center relocation project manager must take care of:
- Inventories hardware, applications, and every component that will be relocated or consolidated. The inventories need to be detailed, accurate, and complete with equipment model and serial numbers, configurations, replacement value, vendor contacts, and a diagram of how each system is de-installed (before) and re-installed (after). You won t get the detail required without considerable effort. So, if this comes easily, you haven t done it right.
- Security the dominating characteristic of a large data center relocation is activity. Everything is in motion at one point or another. A good security plan will help ensure that data doesn t disappear, that unauthorized people are kept away, and that the business remains un-compromised.
- Planning from the early pre-planning phase through detailed data center relocation planning, to schedule development and the move days, you will spend far more time and effort on this area than anywhere else. else.
- Budget A data center relocation is expensive, very expensive if what you are relocating or consolidating is a major facility. The data center relocation budget must adequately cover new construction, renovation, site closure, equipment, staff, tools, and outside expertise from vendors and data center relocation specialists. Managing the budget and keeping your executive management well informed are major challenges.
- RFPs, SOWs & Contracts Vague RFPs make for poor SOWs. Poor SOWs make for terrible contracts. Take the time to work with data center relocation specialist s right from the start to develop the right RFPs and Statements of Work (SOWs) for your project.
- Use the data center relocation Specialists Selection of the right data center relocation specialist is important. But, do you need one single company to do it all? That depends on you. If you re internal data center relocation teams lack specialist skills, whether in planning, schedule (Move Domain & Move Days) development, or equipment de-installation, moving, and re-installation, then you will need to acquire that one company that can provide all of the required services. Not many data center relocation companies actually provide the services they offer,
N.C.W.S. does not subcontract any portion of the project, and is a specialtyself contained data center relocation and computer equipment specialist.
- Plan the Move Moving equipment is a critical part of the project. Systems must be broken down, packed, transported, re-assembled, tested, and re-certified. Racks and other equipment support systems must be ready, utilities and communication services need to be ready, and people have to be migrated from where they are now to where they will be.
- Prepare the New Facility, Close the Old One Inspections of any new or renovated data center must focus on more than the technology being installed. You must ensure that fire suppression systems are ready, tested and approved. Cooling systems must be adequate for projected growth. Utilities must be in place and operational. And, the place must be clean very clean. While you are necessarily focused on the destination, you must also do what is necessary to de-commission equipment that won t move and close the old data center facility.
- Backup the Data Your backup media will work (it always does, you should never have problems), but just in case it doesn t this time, you need to have a recovery plan. And that plan must be thoroughly tested, with practice runs conducted at regular intervals during the detailed planning phase. Virtualization tools can be utilized here to host systems remotely. But even there, a data center relocation based recovery plan is essential. And it s not the master DR/COB plan that everyone has, but too few organizations test enough to assure that it will function as expected when required.
- Migrate when it s time to move, stop planning and move. This is the moment when careful planning and capable project management result in a flawless move. When everything has been relocated or consolidated, the old systems retired, and the vendors have re-certified their products, you can take that well-earned vacation day. And then get ready for the next big project because management now has a better understanding of the business value of great project management. Risk of project failure is always present in any I.T. initiative, as it is in virtually every area of human endeavor. Industry data has long suggested that as many as 80% of all I.T. projects fail to deliver the benefits promised. For a data center relocation project failure can mean anything from minimal disruption and rapid recovery to substantial business interruption, loss of revenue, damage to your firm s reputation, civil lawsuits, and even government investigations. All of these are nice things to avoid.