A data centre relocation might be challenging and expensive for a business, but it is becoming more popular as an overall optimisation plan. So what are the most important reasons businesses relocate their data centre operations? Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) rapid growth, and the ever-increasing demand for virtualisation all encourage firms to consider relocation. However, there are a few more prominent drivers at this time that are propelling data centre relocation and moving:
Data centres must keep up with ever-faster data rates, whether it’s the increasing number of IoT devices, internal company expansion, a rise in streaming applications, or greater server capacity. This frequently necessitates more room to support the higher performance demands. Meanwhile, organisations that shift more of their data centre operations to the Cloud may discover that their current data centre footprint is too big.
The main reason for relocating a data centre is to be closer to customer bases, other divisions of the firm, or other resources. In addition, natural disasters, inclement weather, and other security concerns may require a move.
While reducing size or energy consumption is unquestionably a consideration for a business to relocate their data centre, several jurisdictions offer tax incentives specifically targeted toward data centres to incentivise large technology firms to invest in fast-growing economies.
The NY Times released a critical study of data centre energy practices five years ago, in which it was noted that data centres could waste 90% of the power they take from the grid. This waste is caused by data centre equipment’s internal temperature control, which is essential for optimum performance. As a result, many businesses are moving their data centres to more suitable locations to minimise energy consumption and environmental impact.
There are many challenges that data centre relocations will always bring with them, but there are a few recurring problems that businesses frequently confront:
The most challenging aspect of a data centre move is planning. Accounting for the considerable workload or significant stress the relocation may put on equipment and system functionality is essential for a successful effort. Additionally, businesses should establish communication with application owners early to pinpoint the appropriate timetables for application migration.
Although a firm may have a large IT staff, its workers may not have extensive back-end technology installation and upkeep knowledge. The reliability of data centre equipment is exceptionally high, and an equipment failure may significantly reduce its performance in the future. Businesses who do not maintain inventory regularly or who do not take an exhaustive list before the relocation might find legacy equipment or software and hardwired IP addresses that will be difficult to migrate.
Data centre relocations are complicated undertakings that may significantly impact employee productivity. In addition, because data centre infrastructure is a network of interconnected servers and systems, establishing a practical timetable for server or application shutdowns is critical to minimise effects on employees and consumers. Finally, relocation planning and post-relocation testing might be pretty time-consuming. To reduce downtime, it’s essential to factor in the extra work for employees and internal systems.
Enterprise Application Delivery Optimisation (ADO) is a catch-all phrase for several vital data centre infrastructure components that enable rapid and efficient data traffic distribution across your servers. This lack of understanding of how the current collection of load balancers and other optimisation solutions will manage the move might severely hamper a firm’s ability to quickly get up and running in their new data centre facilities. If you do not have enough modularity in your existing configurations, you might see a drop in operational performance after the relocation.
While the consequences of a wrong decision can be disastrous, the key to overcoming these barriers—and any subsequent unforeseen difficulties that may surface—is to establish a proactive relocation strategy ahead of time.
If a company is considering relocating its data centre operations, it will be better prepared for success if it answers the following questions:
To better assess the strain a move will put on a company’s assets and personnel, make clear the scope of the relocation early. For example, is it necessary to expand an existing facility or entirely construct a new one? When moving a data centre, companies must also consider the equipment’s life cycle. When you’re planning for the long term and need to safeguard against future hardware obsolescence, making sure that the new data centre can accommodate the infrastructure—both in terms of physical space and power demands—will help it last longer and perform better.
Finding the optimal site for a new or growing data centre might be difficult, but carefully examining the proposed site’s size, power, and security demands helps companies avoid costly mistakes. For example, consider whether the location allows for expansion when determining a data centre’s proper spatial and capacity needs. Also, while planning, consider how many security measures—such as fences, locks, or badges—and any further requirements are needed to fulfil security criteria.
Companies should take inventory of their equipment and keep track of its movement from one site to another. Should companies rely on Cloud-based tracking software, or should they create barcodes and manually scan equipment in and out of each location? Cable loss, especially in a data centre where sophisticated hardware is required for operation, can result in system downtime and seriously impede a company’s ability to function. Instead, consider developing a simple approach for tracking and determining whether there are adequate resources to support it.
Ensuring that a new data centre is information security compliant is critical, primarily if it handles payment card information or Protected Health Information (PHI). Businesses should study previous audits to ensure that their data centre complies with the laws and regulations required for its operation. It can also be used to correct any gaps in subsequent audits.
Moving a data centre needs a lot of time and human resources. Data centre move necessitates employee overtime and extended system downtime, from taking inventory and breaking down servers to establishing equipment and testing functionality. Additionally, data centre equipment is delicate, and adequately integrating it at a new site necessitates extensive expertise. As a result, companies should consider the advantages of making a move in-house versus hiring the help of a Managed Services Provider.
Moving critical business assets, however, may be difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, careful preparation is required to ensure a smooth data centre infrastructure transfer. Furthermore, a well-planned move can minimise side effects on both employees and clients while simultaneously providing businesses with a chance for expansion.