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Data Center Exit

Data centers are often the heart of many businesses, storing countless amounts of crucial and sensitive information. Indeed, a company’s competitiveness increasingly hinges on its technological capabilities. Consequently, considerable thought and planning are put into a data center’s creation, operation, and management. However, sometimes situations necessitate a “data center exit” – essentially, the decommissioning of a data center, often accompanied by a move to cloud computing providers.

This process can be fraught with challenges, complications, and risks if not managed correctly. Therefore, implementing a comprehensive, strategic approach for exiting a data center is paramount. A data center exit strategy outlines the best-suited procedure to avoid downtime and data loss. For instance, a data center exit strategy example might delineate specific plans for hardware disposal after a successful migration, including environmentally responsible e-waste management. 

Decommissioning a data center should be conducted in a structured, phased manner to limit disruptions. Whether the intention is to transition to the cloud, shift to another data center, or merely close data center operations, an unplanned, hasty process could fail to migrate all the systems correctly. It can lead to data loss, downtime, interoperability issues, cost overruns, or even legal troubles related to data breaches.

Therefore, understanding the details of the existing data center data is the cornerstone of any exit. It includes insight into the types, amounts, and locations of data, application dependencies, and the underlying infrastructure. Documenting your data center data structure helps create a comprehensive knowledge base vital for efficient resource utilization during the transition. 

When a company decides to exit a data center, there are several factors to consider, and one of the most significant is the management of legacy IT systems. These systems may run on aging or outdated hardware or software, which can make the migration process more complicated. As part of the exit strategy, upgrading, replacing, or rebuilding these systems for compatibility with modern platforms could be a crucial aspect to ensure a smooth and successful transition. It is essential to evaluate the state of these legacy systems and determine the best course of action to avoid any disruptions to the business operations during the exit process.

The process of data center migration can be precarious, and organizations need to consider data center data storage, ensure business continuity, and cater to operational considerations while conducting data center migration. 

Of course, the decision to decommission a data center will have stemmed from organizational changes such as mergers and acquisitions, cost reduction initiatives, or transitioning to a more efficient IT infrastructure. Consequently, steps to close a data center are often part of a more significant strategic movement within the organization. Having an effective and carefully thought out data center exit strategy means that businesses can efficiently manage their IT infrastructure, ensuring the smooth transition of their technological services. It fosters business continuity, mitigates risks, optimizes resource distribution, and can lead to significant cost savings. Henceforth, mastering a data center exit strategy is a requisite skill for modern businesses striving to remain competitive in a technology-driven world.

Data Migration Project Plan

Data migration projects require keen attention to detail, meticulous planning, and precise execution. This is particularly true when the migration involves moving from traditional data centers to a cloud data center. As daunting as these projects may seem, a strategic approach, such as implementing a comprehensive data migration project plan and a clear roadmap for your data center exit, can ensure a smooth transition and mitigate potential risks. 

Your data migration project plan should enumerate all necessary steps to ensure a seamless data transfer. With a thoughtfully laid out strategy, the chances of data loss or inaccuracies occurring during the migration are significantly minimized. This plan would typically include processes for data validation, cleanup, and de-duplication, and it’s here where data center migration tools provide immense value. These tools streamline the migration process, reduce manual intervention, and minimize potential errors. 

One key data migration project plan component is your data center exit template or plan. This plan is a detailed guide that facilitates shutting down the existing data center. It outlines the tasks for decommissioning the older facility, the roles and responsibilities of the team, potential risks, and the timeline for the exit. Accompanied by a data center migration checklist, it ensures no crucial steps are missed during the transition. Interestingly, the defining character between a traditional and a cloud data center lies not in their purposes but rather in their physicality. 

Keep in Mind Best Practices When Exiting a Data Center

Following the best practices while migrating can strain even the most robust team, but it’s invariably necessary for a successful transition. It leverages the team’s efficiency by identifying potential pitfalls at the earliest stage. This, plus appropriate data center migration tools, yields effective outcomes. Clarifying the migration process also minimizes the inherent complexities and simplifies the journey. 

Understanding the nuances between a traditional data center and a cloud data center, adopting data center migration best practices, having a clear data center migration plan document, using practical data center migration tools, and preparing for data center exit with a precise exit template – all these are vital considerations which yield efficient and smooth migration; mitigating risks, minimizing data loss and business disruption.

Cloud Migration

The process of shifting an organization’s operational elements, data, applications, and other business processes from on-premises infrastructure to the cloud or from one cloud environment to another is called cloud migration. 

This process provides many benefits, from improved efficiency and cost reductions to unparalleled scalability. However, this digital transformation journey does carry its set of complexities, especially in the case of a data center exit, which involves the termination or removal of an on-premise data center.

But, the good news is that there are services designed to assist businesses with this crucial transition, which are often known as cloud migration services. These services often encompass initial planning, assessing readiness, application design, data migration, validation testing, and continued support for optimization and troubleshooting. 

Many businesses are now migrating to the cloud from traditional on-premise storage systems. Cloud migration presents several advantages, including flexibility, scalability, and reduced storage costs. However, organizations often face challenges when migrating legacy applications to the cloud. This involves moving older software applications to the cloud, which may not be compatible with modern cloud infrastructure. The outdated architecture and lack of cloud-native features can make this process complicated, but if managed correctly, it can lead to significant benefits. The migration process ensures that even the older applications can continue to deliver value under the improved operational conditions of the cloud. Skytap on Azure allows you to migrate legacy applications running on IBM Power to the cloud without costly and timely refactoring or rewriting.

Another core component of the migration process is legacy data migration. This refers to transferring an organization’s historical data into the cloud that is currently stored and maintained in older systems. This task must be done precisely to ensure data integrity and avoid losing critical business information.

It’s also important to consider how your business will manage its cloud infrastructure. Many cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) providers deliver infrastructure – servers, storage, networks – over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. With IaaS, businesses no longer need to invest in costly on-site infrastructure, significantly reducing capital expenditure.

Finally, it is critical to remember that a successful cloud strategy continues once migration is complete. Cloud infrastructure management is an ongoing process integral to maintaining and optimizing the cloud environment. This includes managing and monitoring cloud resources, ensuring security, and maintaining system health. In the face of technological advancements and changing business paradigms, cloud migration is a considerable leap forward.

Businesses can employ an effective migration project by understanding and levering cloud migration services, utilizing platforms like Azure, tackling legacy application migration, and ensuring precise legacy data migration. A significant element of this process revolves around adopting a cloud infrastructure-as-a-service model and effective cloud infrastructure management. By embracing these elements, enterprises are well-placed to seize the abundant opportunities the cloud offers and reap long-term benefits.

Data Center Exit Next Steps

Is your organization running applications on legacy IBM Power Systems including AS/400, IBM i, AIX or Linux on Power? There is a way to move your Power workloads out of the data center and into the cloud in their native format, without rewriting or replatforming. Skytap is a cloud service that natively runs traditional workloads on IBM Power Systems hardware in Azure. Click here to learn more about Skytap on Azure.

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