Our three top tips for simple data migration.

Globally, businesses are increasingly recognising the ROI on colocation, big data, cloud mobility and security. In the past 5 years alone the growth of the colocation marketplace has been and is predicted to continue exponentially, from £24.1 billion in 2016 to a predicted £42.7 billion in 2020.  

Investment is hardly surprising given Dell’s 2015 Global Technology Adoption Index (GTAI), which states that companies investing in data solutions were seeing up to 53% faster revenue growth than their direct competitors.

But logistically, how easy is it to outsource the storage of your business critical data and applications? This article will highlight the best practice for your business, what to do when your planning to migrate your data and how to ensure minimal downtime.

1. Prepare to plan.
Fail to prepare or prepare to fail. When it comes to migrating your data, preparation is truly the key. Consider assessment of hardware and software you actually need to move, are you still using equipment that no longer serves a critical purpose?

You need 100% visibility of your assets, update your configuration management database and other systems that track your assets. Without doing this you won’t know what infrastructure contains and the challenges you may face.

Most often servers are migrated in batches. To ensure that latency will not become an issue after migration it is important to identify which apps work in conjunction with one another. Plan your migration timelines around avoiding keeping them apart for long periods of time.

For applications where you can’t find a background, the type that have been around for years working independently without update. Relearn how they operate with network tracing tools in the months running up to migration.

In doing all of the above you can create a concise and step by step plan to break down stages, time frames, allowable downtime and customer or department notice requirements.

2. Lose nothing – note down a thorough inventory and test your backups.
While a sizeable undertaking, it pays dividends to keep an up to date record of your complete data environment.  In identifying pre-existing workloads software and system planned backups you will know exactly what will and won’t operate during your migration.

The better your understanding of the source and target, the more efficiently you will be able to efficiently migrate your data from in house to external storage. For your own peace of mind it is good to be sure that data will not become distorted or duplicated when its moved (as can often be the case when new and old environments are using alternative data formats or profiles).

Take a full inventory of your equipment warranty information and serial numbers before physical relocation and ensure you keep enough backups to minimise risk. The best colocation providers will make this process simple and guide you through it. Find out how to choose the best colocation provider for your business.

3. Communication is key.
The migration of your data will have an effect on anybody who uses your applications. Be sure that everybody within your team is aware of their role. In most instances where migration doesn’t go to plan, it is a direct result of poor communication.

There are a number of factors to consider including practical, technical, business and legal issues. Making sure you know who is responsible for each of these areas is key whether that individual sits within your own business or is employed by your colocation provider.

A professional colocation provider will work with you in order to fully understand your plans and requirements. However the more information you can provide to them, the smoother the transition will be. Inform service contractors of your plans for migration and ensure they are compatible with your service package.

This includes the fine details like security clearances for individuals present to assist in migrating data and moving servers all the way up to licencing and contractual obligations. Ensure that you make the most of your colocation provider to ensure that everything is covered in terms of server, storage and software dependencies.

Finally ensure that you are aware of any latency issues or minimised downtime that may occur and inform your customers and employees. This will avoid complaints about the quality of your service and give software users enough notice to avoid service disruptions or productivity barriers.

If you would like to see how tailored colocation solutions could benefit your business, please get in touch below. Feel free to reach out to us on twitter or LinkedIn. What do you think is the most important thing to consider when you migrate data?

 

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