Any business owner knows that having a fully-functional data centre is not a luxury; it's a necessity for a successful business.
On average over 50% of businesses expect to move premises over the next several years, and of course, this will involve having to move their often quite fragile or complex IT servers.
Why are IT server moves so complicated?
One of the main issues with data centres today is that they can be quite old. Many companies we deal with at Restore Technology admit to having a data centre that is seven years old or even older. This means that the technology used in their construction wasn't really designed for today's increased power and cooling needs for more advanced servers.
Many business set-ups began with their data centres being located in facilities that were perfectly suitable five or more years ago, but don't really meet the needs of the company today, especially due to the growing amount of digital data being collected, processed and stored by businesses these days.
DIY server moves can be very overwhelming
For our expert team at Restore Technology that deals with professional IT server moves, it comes as no surprise to find that most business owners have no idea what is needed for a successful server move when they are relocating their business to new premises.
Quite often, whether you like it or not, you may have to consider consolidating or redesigning your data centre as part of your IT server move to a new location.
With our expert help and knowledge, you can do this as cost-effectively as possible and avoid any common pitfalls that can happen when you are attempting an in-house DIY data centre move.
Avoiding common pitfalls
Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls that can completely ruin an IT server move and consolidation. Let's take a look at the most common pitfalls and how you can plan to avoid them:
· Poor quality planning
When you are planning to relocate your data centre it is common for a business to underestimate the space needed and environmental conditions necessary to accommodate their existing servers, plus take on board their future needs for expansion or upgrades.
Failing to understand the complexity and requirements of a successful data centre move, as well as the time it may take, the necessary skills needed to do the job, the tools and equipment needed etc. is going to severely impact the success of the decommissioning, safe transportation and recommissioning at the new destination.
· Consider the build of your IT server
There are going to be extra layers of complexity with your IT server move if you take into consideration the heterogeneous environments that most data centre evolve within.
It is quite possible that your IT infrastructure is now very different from the first day of its original set-up. Over time there may have been many bolt-ons and home-engineered systems developments that have been added to the original structure.
Your data centre may have had many different IT company involvements and modifications that may be very specific to their operation. This means that you have no way of knowing how all of your interdependencies work and unfortunately there are no software tools yet available that can give you any insight into this.
In most cases, the background knowledge of any new implementations was not collected from the people involved at the time, and it would be an extremely time-consuming job to chase up all these details.
Your in-house IT staff will most probably already be working at capacity and the extra burden of an IT server move would be an impossible task to manage on top of their regular duties.
· Appointing a dedicated moving team
While most business owners and managers will want to make their business relocation as cost-effective as possible, it may actually be more costly to the company to not put in place a dedicated data centre moving team.
Whether you choose to move some of your own staff to dedicate their attention to the move full-time or you look outside of your company for professional help, it would be wise to do this as the whole job is not as easy as taking things apart and packing them into moving boxes.
This is where it can be extremely beneficial to hire in industry experts such as Restore Technology for our help with your IT server relocation.
· Do not underestimate your power requirements
Today's modern data centres require a lot of power per square foot. It is quite common for business owners to not understand or vastly underestimate the power needs for their IT infrastructure in their new home.
Have you checked the reliability of the local power-grid for where you are moving to? Do you know of any issues that the area may experience, such as regular power cuts to the neighbourhood, or does the building you are moving to contain old wiring that hasn't been updated in recent years?
It is important here to make sure that your IT department talks to your facilities manager because both parties will need to gain an appreciation of the power needs for their respective areas of expertise.
Good communications across all departments can be a lifesaver and have an understanding of each other's requirements can prevent any power supply issues turning into problems or complete disasters after your IT server relocation.
· Having a flexible moving budget
There is an old saying that goes like this: you cannot improve what you cannot measure. We realise that you will want your business relocation to go as smoothly and hitch-free as possible. We also understand that you will want the most cost-effective move possible.
However, it can be extremely difficult to determine the full costs associated with a data centre move because you never quite know what to expect. You also cannot compare and equate the moving costs of another company's server move with your own, especially if you don't know the technical details of your current data centre's infrastructure.
It is not about pulling a figure out of the air and expecting your move to come in on budget. It is more about understanding that you simply cannot put a final price on your move until it actually has happened.
One thing that our expert server-moving team at Restore Technology do know is that any changes made during your move will add risks, complications and extra expense to your moving project should you attempt to perform the move on your own, especially if none of your IT staff has been involved in a previous data centre move before.
· Taking the opportunity to upgrade equipment
Performing an IT server move will involve disturbing and disrupting an infrastructure that may have been sitting in place for many years.
Decommissioning, packing and moving all the pieces of your data centre puzzle means performing two very difficult tasks at the same time. Obviously, it is your priority to dismantle and securely pack the pieces of equipment for the move, but also to carefully tag or label each piece for easy reassembly at the other end.
However, many businesses don't take advantage of the opportunity their move offers for them to closely inspect their equipment for damage or flaws that may prevent a successful recommissioning at the other end of the move.
It can often pay you to purchase new cabling and networking gear and components to replace any damaged or degraded pieces. This will help to ensure that you don't need to waste your effort having to go hunting for a fault caused by a worn part when reinstalling your data centre.
· There is no substitute for real-life experience
While it is perfectly understandable that business owners want to keep the costs of their relocation down to an absolute minimum, it would be a false economy to expect your own IT staff to perform your IT server move perfectly, especially if they have never done this before.
There really is no substitute for practical experience with IT server moves and data centre relocations. Because moving your fragile server equipment isn't something that a lot of IT professionals ever experience in their career, it can actually be far more cost-effective to employ an expert company with many years of experience in the field.
The safe handling of sensitive high-density power and cooling components require highly specialist expertise, knowledge, planning and coordination.
Your company may well have the best and brightest IT staff, but often their training doesn't translate well into the understanding of how to move a complete data centre. Even involving your facilities manager with the move will not help as their knowledge would not translate well to the requirements of a modern data centre or what you will need in the future.
There is no denying that experience counts here so if your business does have a staff member with some previous experience, you should get them onboard with your moving team and make them the key person to liaise between your IT department and Restore Technology data centre moving team.
· Realise the consequences of your actions
No matter which path you take with your IT server moves, it is critical that your data centre can both facilitate your current operations as well as provide the necessary flexibility for expansion to cope with your future business growth.
Failing to plan for the future or performing a botched move with poor planning in place can stop your business dead in its tracks. The added extra expense of an emergency fix for any of these common pitfalls can leave you severely out of pocket too.
Avoiding the above listed common pitfalls can be planned to prevent a disaster happening with your move.
Why choose Restore Technology as your IT Server Move partner
The very thought of planning an IT Server Move as part of your business relocation project can give you a major headache.
The good news is that it doesn't always need to be as bad as you anticipate. All it takes for a successful data centre relocation is careful planning and making good use of some expert knowledge.
So, while you concentrate your efforts on keeping your staff and customers informed of your impending business move, you can leave the technical details of your data centre move in our capable hands.
Planning the move
Essentially, the success of your move is down to the careful planning of your moving team. Your server move is going to involve and affect a lot of people, including your IT team, your facilities managers, your accounts department, and of course – your customers!
Time is of the essence here, so don't leave it too late before drawing up a moving plan. You will actually need far more time to plan and execute a data centre move that you think. This is because there are many small and fragile server components that need to be carefully dismantled, labelled and appropriately packed in suitable packing containers for their safe journey to their new destination.
Planning your logistical move
Restore Technology will also work out all the finer details of the physical transportation of your data centre. Many business owners only focus on the actual dismantling and the nuts and bolts involved in the recommissioning at the other end.
However, not much thought is put into the actual transportation and movement of the fragile equipment once dismantled and packed.
We will carefully inspect and plan the origin and destination building travel routes, including any physical logistics of loading and unloading that also need to be looked at, such as:
· Are there any signs, door frames, door handles that will be a problem
· Are there any doors or building thresholds that will impede movement
· Are there any height restrictions that would prevent you from being able to fit equipment through passageways
· Are there any ramps involved in any of the travel routes
· Are there any steps to navigate in any of the travel routes
· Are there certain delivery time restrictions to consider
· Are there any vehicle height restrictions en route
· Does either premises have loading docks that can be used
· Is there any off-road parking available at either end
We will also take into consideration any planned road works that may be scheduled for your moving date as well as how the weather may affect your move.
If you would like to find out more about our IT server moves and data centre relocation services, do not hesitate to contact our friendly team. You can discuss your needs with us and we can work together to come up with a perfectly tailored plan for you!