Avoiding Challenges during Data Center Migration

June 5, 2022

Whether it’s consolidating existing services, moving to another physical data center, or transitioning to a private or public cloud, data center migrations are happening everywhere.

Data Center migrations are complex, risky and expensive — and often disrupted by unexpected challenges. To avoid surprises, deliver on time and ensure quality, legal and compliance technology and analytics leaders can improve planning, proactively address data quality and rely on structured, technology-enabled execution.

For ease of scaling, accessibility and lower-costs many organizations have cut the ribbon on more private cloud or public cloud environment capacity or talked about significant investment plans to support increased usage over cloud.

With an understanding of the hidden challenges, managing the migration as part of the investment is much more likely to deliver accurate data that supports the needs of the business and mitigates the risk of delays, budget overruns, and scope reductions that can arise.

Researched Insights

  • According to Gartner 70% of data center migrations will suffer significant time delays or unplanned downtime, largely due to improper planning.
  • Report from Velostrata and Dimensional Research had similar findings. Their survey found that 73% of cloud migration projects took a year or longer to complete and 55% reported going over budget.
  • During Covid, an industry data has shown that spending on cloud infrastructure services alone increased by 34% in the first quarter, largely driven by the move to remote working sparked by COVID-19.

Yet despite the uptick, few people in IT today have hands-on experience going through an entire migration project. With most technology teams tackling a migration project for the first time, it’s no surprise that many of these change initiatives face issues.

6 Steps to Avoid Data Center Migration Challenges

Here we have identified 6 such reasons for unplanned migration delays to help you during your course of data center migration

1. Lack of Pre-migration Planning

Data center migration is a hugely complex process that requires a significant level of planning and a detailed plan Poor data capturing during the pre planning stage will lead to complexities and decision making will become highly strenuous exercise. One of the best practices would be to consider the entire infrastructure instead of just servers, failing to do so in sufficient detail is where many data migration problems arise.

Gather all information (system inventory & dependencies) by engaging all the applicable stakeholders—both technology and business. These input will inevitably impact your project plan, adding hundreds of new actions for both humans and machines to execute. Accurately capturing these actions, as well as seeing and understanding how various projects overlap and interact and how resources are utilized, is critical to controlling project risk.

If your technology environment is outdated, today’s system environment would have changed drastically. An on-prem environment on-prem data center ≠ to a cloud infrastructure environment. Even a Private cloud environment sizing will be different from your outdated hardware systems. Cloud expert teams help you avoid an undersized or over provisioned environment. Learn the best practices in this detailed blog.

An undersized environment will lead to unplanned delays with additional time for procurements and again involving decision makers for approvals.

There is a considerable shortfall post the evolution of the Covid for Cloud expert. While cloud users are trying to fill this gap with exhaustive efforts in training inhouse.

Expertise in Cloud infrastructure knowledge, Cloud security, Experience in Cloud networking, Data engineering, DevOps expertise, Linux expertise, Project management, Agile capability are just few expertise which may be involved depending on the scope of your project. Instead of spending exorbitantly on building a team for a once in a lifetime data center migration project, will not be a prudent effort.

Even Gartner recommends, to involve cloud experts as early on in your strategy and pre-planning efforts to ensure your migration project does not hit any road blocks.

After you’ve completed your walk-through and made any adjustments, a rehearsal is needed. This critical step allows you to test your process, analyze your dry run results, and optimize your hour-by-hour run plan. Your final outcome should be as close to a 100% successful migration as possible.

Run plans developed, refined, and tested during the rehearsals give the team confidence they are ready for the actual go-live day. Every step can be analyzed for possible optimization, and by performing more comprehensive, visual rehearsals, you can also reduce the number of rehearsals required, to further improve efficiency.

Depending on the complexity of the project there will definitely be roadblocks, however it is important to have requisite backup ready to fallback to start over. It’s a safe test workload. Since backup data is essentially a redundant copy of the primary workload, migrating it involves fewer risks than moving a mission-critical application first off. Also leading to reduced TCO and with a Simple integration, Backup data stored in the cloud can easily be integrated with cloud-native applications, workloads, and services. This opens the door to learning how to use the cloud before your full migration takes place. Read the ITC’s cloud backup & DR framework.

The role of a project manager is highly important to ensure all stakeholders are inline and everything goes as planned and agreed on. If the project manager is always complaining but does not offer any solutions, is not proactive and does not anticipate problems to manage risks, Unable to manage time properly, Lacks direction mid-project / closing the project the project is bound for failure. On the other hand a skilled project manager will pre-empt and eradicate all road blocks in your data center or cloud migration journey.

The reality is there is no pain-free solution to data center to cloud migration, but with proper planning, rehearsing the process, and improving communication among team members you can eliminate several issues that cause unexpected downtime.

You can further improve your chances of migration success by using IT Convergence experts who have rehearsed, orchestrated, and visualized the entire migration process for several successful migrations for customers.

Talk to Our Migration Experts