Migration Is Not Just Hardware

A Data Centre migration is just picking up hardware and moving it, reconnecting the networks and pressing the power on button…right? Yeah, right! When considering a data centre migration, it is quite easy to imagine that it is a simple lift and shift. However, almost all migrations are looked at as opportunities for change. This means data centre transformation – whether that is modernising applications, transforming into public and private cloud, assessing the colocation provider market, or developing hybrid cloud strategy.

The business units that rely on applications, which rely on IT Infrastructure, which rely on the data centre, need to consult to understand the business impacts of change and opportunities for transformation. Business processes need to be mapped to applications, to IT Infrastructure, in order to understand dependencies and how those dependencies will be affected when migrating.

Irrespective of the thoroughness of application dependency analysis, something will be missed therefore testing will be required to account for missing information. Pilot migrations will also assist in mitigating the risks of business disruption that could occur from a new migration methodology that the organisation has limited experience in executing.

Once a migration plan is place, the migration governance needs to be ready to ensure clear stakeholder communication is in place. This facilitates confident decision making from a migration team that has completed thorough planning and understands what they are doing. The migration team should understand the dependencies, risks and rollback plans for each migration wave, whether it be a logical or physical migration. Like any experienced project management practice, managing RAID logs, status reporting, maintaining financials and ensuring regulatory compliance are all key aspects of migration governance.

Finally, the target data centre – whether that be on-premise, colocation, public cloud or hybrid – may involve designing whitespace, designing the application and IT Infrastructure architecture, planning for hardware failures with spares, ensuring support mechanisms are in place during migration and post-migration, application testing and signoff, and handing back into operational support.

Data centre migrations are definitely not just about moving hardware!

About the Author

Emily Sclater is a Consultant in the Australian practice of CS Technology where she specialises in application migration strategy including the disaster recovery requirements of applications and how these align into an organisation’s business continuity.

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn here on the 7th August 2020. 

Choose your country or region