Data center migration refers to the deployment and shifting of existing data centers to new data center environments. So, this is a rather comprehensive process which must be planned systematically to ensure this migration is smooth.
Data center migration entails the operational relocation of an existing data center to a new facility or site. This new facility will ideally have to exceed future needs of this existing data center. It is also imperative that the new site is compatible with all existing applications. To ensure that data center migration takes place in a hassle-free way, it is advisable to test it in advance. The staff’s schedule and workloads should also be properly managed to make sure that there is minimal impact upon the existing business operations.
What are challenges faced during data center migration?
While data center migration is commonplace, there are still some critical problems which may arise unless the process if handled carefully. Relocation of any data center will entail upgrading of software, operating systems and hardware. Side by side, you will also need to shift many critical applications which turn out to be quite risky. But the advantages which the process offers often outweigh the risks involved.
- One of the first challenges which a business will need to look into is the risks involved and then it should take effective steps to reduce these risks. When you must relocate an existing data center, unplanned downtimes or data loss instances are not uncommon. These are the most prominent risks which need to be identified and mitigated. Depending on the kind of applications a business shifts the risks may vary. When applications being shifted are critical by nature, it means that these cannot stop functioning for a long time. So, the planned downtime period has to be cut short for such applications even at a huge cost.
- When there are high risks of data loss, the company must deploy proper safeguards to prevent these as far as possible. Mitigation measures will include carrying out regular data backups, data encryption and chalking out a disaster recovery services which will be operational during the migration process. Businesses must also invest in fault-resilient equipments which can withstand the change. When you are planning to shift highly critical applications, you should ideally test these beforehand. This is done to make sure that the software is compatible with this new setting.
- While planning for data center migration, very often businesses fail to take into account whatever is happening in the current data center facility. For instance, there may be some outdated applications which have been used hitherto but you cannot guarantee that all process documents are updated. When employees relocate the data center such data often gets misplaced. So, knowledge of all activities taking place inside a data center is not always complete. Some parts can easily get overlooked and left out in the process and this leads to many defects or crashes in the new system.
- Another significant challenge which data center migration often encounters is the lack of compatibility with legacy applications. Such apps may or may not be compatible with the new facility. In such a situation, either the business will use a “lift and shift” policy which means moving the current hardware to the new site physically, or use emulator to simplify this transition process. Such a move is not without difficulties because at times software codes have to be changed. So, companies have to first make provisions for possible code changes in migration before the process actually begins.
- Latency is another major challenge which data center migration When you change the hardware for an application it may affect the app’s performance negatively. So, businesses must take into account the latency factor and it is therefore best to transfer the servers one by one, in batches. Businesses have to identify applications that can work together and then chalk out a migration timetable. At times, a business will also need extra processing power to ensure a smooth transition.