Start with a data center migration plan.

A data center migration can completely transform an organization’s overall operating environment, yielding significant and lasting benefits with an attractive return on investment.  It is a high-visibility, strategic project that can impact business operations, service level agreements, and performance availability.

A methodology specific to data center migrations helps to ensure operational stability.  It provides a healthy balance between overbearing processes and the appropriate amount of rigor needed to produce an on-time, on-budget migration.  It both guides and protects the organization.
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David Kenneth Group’s data center migration methodology consists of 5 phases:

Phase 1: Initiation

Phase 2: Discovery

Phase 3: Planning

Phase 4: Execution

Phase 5: Closeout

It includes a baseline of over 80 deliverables and a migration toolbox with over 15 proprietary tools.  Below is a summary of each phase with key decision points for each.

Phase 1: Initiation

The initiation phase launches the beginning of an organization’s data center migration and an internal dialogue about the following:

  • What is your business case?

  • What type of data center migration should you execute?

  • What is the scope of your migration and its charter document?

  • What is your resource plan and high-level timeline?

  • What is your communication plan for stakeholders?

  • Have you identified your organizational constraints and action plans to redress them?

 The initiation phase is a crucial phase as it lays the foundation upon which the other phases are built. An organization positions itself for migration success or failure here.

Phase 2: Discovery

The discovery phase primarily identifies and documents physical and application inventory. Incomplete and incorrect data will cause delays and serious problems with your migration.

  • What data is important to collect?

  • How will you document and manage that data?

  • What tools will you use?

  • What are your key technical and timing dependencies?

  • Have you identified assets that should already be retired?

Phase 3: Planning

The planning phase formulates an organization’s assets into move groups and coordinates logistics for the physical and/or virtual move. The goal is zero impact on operational stability and downtime while executing the migration plan.

  • Have procurement activities and transportation needs been addressed?
  • Have your move groups been identified?
  • Have to-be diagrams been prepared?
  • Has a detailed project schedule been prepared?
  • Has your run book been prepared?
  • Have interactions and interdependencies between assets been identified?
  • Has a communication plan been created for affected stakeholders?

Phase 4: Execution

The execution phase is the culmination of all discovery and planning efforts. It is in the execution phase where your previous work is validated. To mitigate risks, migrate from steady state to steady state.

  • Have you considered a “pilot migration”?Is your go/no-go process firm?Will you be virtualizing over the wire?

  • Are you prepared for final system backup and takedown?

  • Are you ready for physical pack, transport, and re-staging?

  • Are recertification and acceptance testing processes ready?

  • Are you consistently communicating to your stakeholders, employees, and vendors?

  • Are your contingency plans in place?

 Phase 5: Closeout

The closeout phase is a technical transition support period. Physical assets and the site of origin are decommissioned. The attractive financial benefits of the migration may not be attained unless disposition of assets, both physical and staff, are implemented.

  • Have you decided what retired hardware should stay behind in case of post-migration issues?

  • Are all vendor agreements updated as well as your disaster recovery plan? Have you trained your staff on the new processes?

  • Is your DR updated and retested?

  • Have you implemented your staffing adjustments?

  • Have you conducted your lessons learned meetings?

Summary

David-Kenneth Group’s 5-phased data center migration methodology is a robust process that has been market-tested and proven. It helps to ensure operational stability and business continuity during a migration and to realize all the benefits of a successful data center migration project. 
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