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Data Center Migration: The Process & Best Practices to Follow

Nxtra by Airtel | August 03, 2022

For every tech-enabled business, data is one of the most critical assets that requires meticulous management. Learn how to migrate your data center efficiently by following the best practices involved.

For every tech-enabled business, data is one of the most critical assets that requires meticulous management. With the help of data centres, be it private or cloud, companies can efficiently store, organise and manage their critical data and applications. However, changing business circumstances often necessitate businesses to migrate to new data centres.

To save data storage costs, enhance data security or locate their data closer to customers, there can be multiple benefits associated with data migration. To ensure the full realization of these benefits, it is imperative for businesses to carefully plan and execute the data center migration. For businesses planning data center migration, this 4-step process can help: 

Data Center Migration: The Process

  1. Discovery and Assessment of Current Data Center: In this step, the business needs to make a complete assessment of its data center. This step involves making an inventory of all relevant assets, operating environments, dependencies and third-party systems that will be part of the migration. Businesses also need to understand the existing hardware mapping, storage layers as well as security requirements. With a detailed overview of the current data center, businesses will have a clear idea of what to plan for in the new data center location to which they will migrate.
  2. Planning Data Center Migration: In the planning step, businesses need to form a team to steer the migration of their data center. This team will evaluate the present and future needs of the business, and accordingly compile a detailed plan of assets and resources that will be required at the new data center, such as electrical equipment, backup power and networking equipment. The team will also evaluate security and disaster management requirements for their business.

    Data center migration can be a prolonged affair, depending on the complexities of the business requirements. To ensure a smooth transition, businesses can plan the migration in waves, where logically similar resources are migrated in the same wave.

    After a thorough compilation of all requirements, the team can then proceed to create a shortlist of data centers to migrate to. Once the final data center location for migration is chosen, businesses can proceed to the execution of the migration plan.
  3. Executing Data Center Migration: Execution of the migration plan is the hardest and most critical step in the migration process. If businesses are opting for colocation data centers, then they need to ensure their data center partners are extremely reliable and proactive in seamlessly ensuring the data center migration. For example, Nxtra by Airtel works with business teams to flawlessly execute their data center migration strategies.

    The execution step is usually executed in waves, wherein logically similar resources are migrated in the same wave. In this step, businesses set up the planned data center layout – the networking and electrical equipment, the security arrangements, the firewall rules, the cooling conditions. Businesses also configure their applications with the new data center, and test for any anomalies. This step is an iterative step, where teams repeatedly test for any bugs and debug it in an agile manner.
  4. Post Migration Optimization: The data center migration does not end simply with the setting up of the new data center layout. Businesses need to constantly optimize the layout to extract reliable performance from the data center, and ensure their business objectives, as planned, are achieved in the long-run.

    Businesses can work in collaboration with their data center providers, to upgrade or replace any equipment, resources or infrastructure configuration. For example, Nxtra by Airtel provides 24x7 support to businesses, to help them achieve efficiency and productivity with their data centers. By optimizing for performance and efficiency, businesses can successfully complete their data center migration process.

Data Center Migration: The Best Practices

Data center migration can seem very overwhelming for businesses. Mistakes in any step can lead to cost overruns, delays in the migration or even worse, potential disruptions in the business operations. However, by adhering to certain best practices, businesses can make this process timely and seamless –

  1. Stakeholder alignment: In any business, different functional departments use the data for different purposes. These departments often have varying data requirements, be it in terms of security or performance. Whenever businesses need to migrate to a new data center, they need to ensure that all stakeholders, including any with conflicting interests, are well aligned with the migration objectives.
  2. Clearly defined migration roles and responsibilities: Migration needs to be very meticulously planned and executed. Businesses should set up teams for the conduct of the migration process, and clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. Further, if businesses are working with a data center provider, then they need to set up a team for coordinating with the data center provider.
  3. Plan the migration in waves: Data center migration can take weeks or months, depending on the complexity of the migration process. To avoid any disruption to business operations, businesses should plan the entire data center migration in waves. Logically similar resources can be migrated together in the same wave.
  4. Workflow scheduling during migration: Migration can disrupt the daily routine of business employees. Many employees have to perform additional tasks to facilitate the migration process, over and above their usual business responsibilities. To avoid overburdening or clash of priorities, businesses need to schedule the workflows of all employees involved in the migration process, weeks in advance.
  5. Documenting the entire migration: Businesses should always document each and every detail – be it the design and manufacturer of the data center equipment or the daily migration tasks to be performed by any employee. By creating a detailed log of every step, businesses will always be on top of the migration process. They will be able to detect any deviations and fix it fast, with the help of detailed logs.

Data Center Migration – Execution is the key

Clearly, data center migration can unlock several benefits for many businesses, such as entering new markets, scaling operations or cutting down costs. When it comes to data center migration, execution is everything. With a proven track record in data center migration, Nxtra by Airtel is the go-to provider for data center migration for leading businesses in India.

Nxtra by Airtel, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited, offers largest network of secure, scalable, and sustainable data centers in India to leading enterprises, hyperscalers, start-ups, SMEs and governments.

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