Situation: A company has run out of space and is planning a move to a new and larger facility. The biggest challenge is that they maintain a live online data center upon which their clients depend. How do you move a live online data center?
Advice from the CEOs:
- This is not a rare event. Many companies with live online data centers have to upgrade their systems on a regular basis as equipment and software technologies evolve. Maintaining service during a move is not significantly different. Research what steps these companies have taken to minimize disruption during upgrades.
- Don’t try to do it all by yourself. Seek outside expertise to help you plan the move, and to develop options that will minimize both downtime and service interruption.
- Ask a trusted data center resource for a 3rd party audit of your move plan.
- When one company moved, they overlapped their leases by one month, and their Internet connections by 2-3 months. This gave them breathing room as they completed the move and allowed them to stay live uninterrupted through the move.
- Another company increased their back up servers and service. They also planned their move to occur during what they knew would be a low demand block of time. As a result, they were able to complete the move, plug in the servers and were only down for 30 minutes.
- If it is feasible, consider leaving your old center in place as a back-up data center.
- Conduct a number of practice shutdowns and restarts to test your systems.