Packing Up Your Data Center
So your current data center just doesn't cut it anymore. What should you budget for a move to one that can meet your needs?
Allow three to six months for planning, even for a small move. You'll need to determine the best time to move, and don't forget to see if any systems need to be kept up and running.
You may want to upgrade or replace equipment, "but don't do it if you are starting up the new center without keeping the old one running," warns Blaine Berger, president of Electronic Oasis Consulting in Longmont, Colo.
Large data center moves often require contracting with a hosting site for 30 to 60 days and running data in parallel until the new center is up to speed. If you're installing new equipment, get it running before you close the old center. You'll need to check with software vendors about licensing issues, and budget extra staff time.
What do you look for in a new data center? Reliable utilities and network connections, of course. Compatibility of connections with remote network storage. And you'll want a secure space that requires as little modification as possible.
Many busy data center chiefs turn to relocation consultants to help with or handle the job. Consultants can save money and time by, for instance, negotiating with property managers for space refurbishments. Any contract with a consultant should carefully scope out the work expected and the rates to be paid.
And try, if possible, to move on a weekend. Labor costs are higher, but interference with business workflow is minimized.