Data Center Migration Best Practices
Data centers are facilities that use a complex network, computing, and storage infrastructure to provide shared access to data and applications. The centers house computer systems and associated hardware such as networking equipment, storage devices, servers, and telecommunications equipment. Data centers may contain a few servers or thousands of servers. Data center migration to the cloud moves traditional on-site data centers to off-site cloud data centers. Moving on-premise data center infrastructure to cloud-based data centers involves a migration process.
Moving from on-prem to the cloud presents various data center challenges that must be addressed. Learning and implementing data center migration best practices can help data center migration go smoothly and help avoid some of the common challenges faced during migration. In addition, the challenges faced during migration vary with data center migration types such as physical to physical migration, physical to virtual migration, virtual to virtual migration, physical to cloud migration, or virtual to cloud. Challenges and best practices are type-specific; while some data center migration best practices will remain the same for each type of migration, some factors vary based on the specifications of the project.
One best practice for all migration projects includes a data center migration checklist. Each migration begins with making an initial investment in thorough planning. Planning a data migration takes time and resources. Taking the time and using all available resources in the planning process can help you execute a data center migration with flawless precision. Another crucial step is testing back-ups to minimize risk and downtime.
Data center migration best practices include:
- Setting well-defined goals
- Creating a detailed, testable plan
- Taking inventory of all current assets and creating a map of new location infrastructure
- Establishing checkpoints for measurable progress and continuous testing throughout the migration process
- Assessment of migration after the migration is complete
These best practices, among other crucial aspects of migration, will help migration teams plan and execute successful migrations.
Other aspects of migration planning and execution include determining resource requirements, including short-term and long-term needs. Ensuring data center migrations are optimized for scalability, and the ebb and flow of business fluctuations is essential to the migration process. Data center migrations also typically require refactoring of data before migrations adding a level of complexity to the migration process. Many enterprise companies have data centers that will require refactoring; it is a critical part of the process when transferring existing data to a new center. Alternatively, you can lift and shift workloads to the cloud as-is. For example, Skytap is an infrastructure-as-a-service that allows you to move IBM Power and x86 workloads to the public cloud without refactoring or replatforming. Learn how to migrate your IBM Power workloads to the cloud without refactoring with Skytap.
Data Migration Project Plan
Data migration requires extensive planning and expert execution. It is a complex process involving intense risk mitigation to seamlessly perform data migration without significant data loss, security risk, or business interruption. The process starts with a data center migration project plan. Often, IT teams use a data center migration project plan pdf during the initial stages of the project. Data center relocation project plan templates are also helpful when initiating a migration plan.
Data center migration checklist pdf steps include:
- Defining scope and objectives through clearly defined goals, understanding the why behind the migration, and the expected outcome.
- Taking an inventory assessment of the current environment, such as existing data center infrastructure, then identifying risks and vulnerabilities.
- Establishing a migration strategy with a clearly defined approach, timeline, resource requirements, and dependencies.
- Developing a migration plan including tasks, timelines, and responsibilities covering all aspects of the migration process.
- Target environment design and architecture for the new data center or infrastructure.
- Setting up a new target environment with necessary hardware configuration, network infrastructure, and software.
- Initiating data migration and transferring data to the new target environment.
- Testing and validation of the migration.
- Coordinating transition process planning for potential disruptions or challenges.
- Post-migration support to address any challenges that arise after the process is complete.
A data center migration plan document will include the following templates:
- Data center relocation project plan template
- Data center migration plan template
- Server migration project plan template
- Platform migration project plan template
- Data migration project plan template
There are several types of data migration and many data center migration steps. Storage migration involves moving data from one storage location to another. Data migration requires database management systems (DBMS) and moving from one DBMS location to another. Data base migration can involve moving current versions from one place to another or upgrading systems. An application migration project plan involves a software or application vendor change, requiring moving data from one environment to another. Cloud migration involves moving data from on-premises locations to cloud environments. Business process migration involves moving business applications and data to a new environment. Data center migration involves migrating data center infrastructure to a new location and may involve a physical move or moving data to a new infrastructure at the existing site.
Data Center Migration Tools
Data center migration tools are an integral part of the migration process. There are several types of data center migration tools to consider. They are on-premise tools, open-source tools, and cloud-based tools. On-premise tools are designed to work within an existing network, typically effective for medium to large enterprises. Open source tools are usually free or low-cost, community-supported, and community-developed. Cloud-based migration tools are implemented when moving data from multiple sources and locations to the cloud. Cloud-based migration tools are effective for many reasons, including the on-demand ability to scale up or down to meet dynamic data requirements. Data center migration tools must be reliable and secure to ensure minimized risk.
Legacy data migration is a complex process involving data transfer from outdated software or hardware that is still in use to a cloud infrastructure. Legacy IT systems are still in use by many large enterprise organizations. Large-scale, complex migration requires strict adherence to data center migration best practices. Enterprise data center technicians must have a clear understanding of what is cloud infrastructure to help successfully implement cloud infrastructure migration. Cloud infrastructure involves servers, networks, storage devices, cloud management and deployment software, and platform visualization. Data center migration checklist pdf documents will address data center migration to the cloud, including requirements, infrastructure assessment, design, and data migration planning, among other critical steps for seamless migration.
Additionally, data center migration tools help IT teams plan, manage, and execute the transfer of resources like files, applications, databases, operating systems, websites, storage, and servers. Data migration is necessary for many reasons, including maintaining or upgrading applications, replacing storage or server equipment, website consolidation, or data center migrations and relocations. It is a complex, tedious task requiring extensive knowledge, planning, and the right data migration tools.
Cloud migration is a complex process involving the movement of digital business operations to the cloud. Similar to a physical move, but involves moving IT resources such as data, applications, and IT processes from one or more data centers to other data centers without the need to pack up and move physical resources like servers and other hardware components. Cloud migration requires extensive preparation and expert cloud infrastructure management during and post-migration.
Legacy infrastructures are often built and in operation using outdated hardware and software applications. Typically legacy systems are less efficient and secure than more up-to-date solutions. Legacy systems are typically on-premises using massive amounts of space and equipment, such as aging servers, physical firewall appliances, and telephony systems. Enterprises operating with legacy infrastructure systems cannot experience the speed, security, scalability, and flexibility of cloud computing and are beginning to transition to the cloud.
Online demand and remote working conditions have increased the demand for cloud migration services, including cloud infrastructure-as-a-service. Infrastructure as a service is a pay-as-you-go service offering critical computing, networking, and storage resources, allowing on-demand resource allocation or the option to scale back when needed. Cloud migration has many benefits, including the ability to innovate more rapidly, cost reduction, simplified IT processes, cloud scalability, and improved performance leading to better management of customer expectations.
Data Center Migration Next Steps
Is your organization using legacy IBM Power workloads? There is a way to move your Power workloads 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 the public cloud. Click here to learn more about Skytap on Azure.