A colleague of mine, Blaine Berger, just authored an awesome book, “What Everybody Ought To Know Before Moving a Data Center”. There was a great deal of relevant information that I’d like to share with you. Here are 8 questions that stood out for me. Of course this is a brief summary, so for more details I recommend you consider purchasing the book
1) Why are you moving your data center?
You may be out of space or out of power, either way you need to put together the reasons you need to move so you have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish by moving.
2) When would you need to move?
Timeline and lead times can play a huge factor in not only your location but in product lead times as well.
3) Do you have a plan AND a rehearsal plan?
Plan Plan Plan! What components are you moving? When they are moving? How are they moving? The more detailed the plan the more successful you will be! Also going over your plan in a “rehearsal” helps answers questions BEFORE the actual move day. For example, who is in charge of unplugging “X”…etc.
4) Have you done a Risk Assessment?
There can be quite a bit of risk when moving your data center and sometimes the gear and servers are so old that moving them could cause a disaster. It’s important to see what risks my lay ahead.
5) Who are the decision makers?
Understanding who needs to be involved and has to be involved at a early stage can help prevent delays in your move.
6) What about cloud?
Moving to the cloud can be an option as well? Or moving your cloud data center to another cloud provider….Blaine goes into detail about the options on page 125
7) Can you afford any downtime?
This can add a lot of additional cost if you need to transfer data BEFORE you move your actual hardware.
8) Have you chosen a location?
Location selection can be a very daunting task. Are you going to build your own? Are you going into to colo? Outside of the actual territory, you need to think about if you can hire qualified people in that area? Going to the Boon-docks is a great solution to get cheaper energy costs, but can you find someone there to manager your data center?