There are so many considerations that you need to think about and plan for well in advance of your physical server move. This is why Restore Technology recommend that you don't leave it to the last minute to start making plans for your IT and server move.
Let's take a look at some of the most important factors about your physical server move so that you are fully aware of the implications or consequences should anything go wrong. Implementing our tips and advice will help you ensure your data centre move goes as smoothly as possible.
Why should we use Restore Technology for our server move?
Unfortunately, not every business has the resources or skilled staff to hand that are required for a successful data centre relocation. There is so much to think about before your move including the disconnection of your network, dismantling of hardware, packing and storage or sensitive or fragile hardware, migration planning, transport considerations, checking over plans for reassembly at your new location, and trying to manage bugs, hardware and software fails.
It is not only the server move that you need to focus on either. Many companies will need to keep their day to day business functional and working as close to normal as they possibly can right up to the day of the move. You need to plan for this in advance so that you will be able to maintain at least a basic infrastructure that allows you to keep your business ticking over.
As a business grows larger and reaches a point where they have outgrown their current premises, they may have added on bits and pieces of IT equipment and extra data infrastructure over the years. This can leave you with quite a messy patchwork puzzle to figure out and dismantle.
If you choose to leave your server move to your IT department staff, this can often mean them taking on a very daunting task that they are not very well versed in dealing with. Usually, their main task is to solve issues to keep your current IT infrastructure in place and working on a day to day basis. They may well have never handled a company data centre relocation and will be ill prepared for coping with it.
Restore Technology has often had to jump in and bail out businesses that have become overwhelmed with their data centre move. Many times we find that the company has being doing their planning and testing phase for a while, but they simply cannot figure out how to do the physical dismantling and relocation stage in a safe and controlled way.
We also have had to rescue clients that failed to plan well ahead of their move and heard from IT managers that have been told to execute a server move with little to no time to prepare. Sometimes there can be a big disconnect between business managers and their IT department because the managers lack a thorough understanding of how a data centre operates. This means they can agree deals, secure new business premises and agree contracts and lease dates without first consulting with their technical staff to obtain a reasonable timeline for planning and executing a server move.
Physical relocation of your data centre
With our years of experience and valuable knowledge gained in this sector, Restore Technology are well placed to step in and organise your end-to-end server move and data centre relocation. We often find that the physical move aspect of a server move does get overlooked. Either that or the people handling the move fail to place enough focus on this particular area.
The slightest oversight with your server move can result in serious consequences. Quite often everyone's focus and efforts are poured into other areas of planning a company move, so not much attention is put on the physical move of your IT network and servers. When it comes time to actually physically move your network, servers, SANS, racks and cabling, your IT staff can often become overwhelmed by the process.
Remember that everything that is dismantled will need labelling and recording in great detail so that can be successfully reassembled in the same order at the other end of your move in your new premises. All this takes a lot of time and may take more manpower than you think to effectively execute.
Even packing your moving crates isn't as easy as you may expect! There will be some very sensitive and delicate pieces of hardware that will need to be packed in specialist padded carrier crates that are especially designed for the transportation of fragile IT equipment. It isn't as easy as simply stuffing as much hardware as you can into packing boxes and throwing the boxes into the back of a moving van.
Planning questions to ask yourself well in advance of your move
We have come up with a list of questions that you need to ask yourself when you are considering or planning for a data centre relocation. These questions are focussed on the actual physical move rather than the testing and planning section of your move.
Don't forget that you can hire the services of Restore Technology server move company to help you with every step of your move. We can supply you with our expert data centre relocation team to carry out the entire process of planning, decommissioning, transport and recommissioning. This means that the same specialist team that works with you to dismantle your server will also be responsible for delivering the whole process ensuring your project is delivered in the most effective way.
1: Cable management, server and equipment labelling
- Are all of your network, power, fibre cables pre-labelled accurately
- Are the servers, network, SANS, and computer equipment correctly labelled
- Are the destination rack elevations prepared
- Do you have a plan to label rail sets
The problem with most IT cabling and hardware is that it can all look quite generic and can be hard to separate and sort out should they be packed together indiscriminately and without any careful thought or planning. Peering into a packing crate full of unlabelled electrical cables will present someone with a complete nightmare of a task to sort out at the other end of your move.
This is why it is so important to have the correct labelling attached to every single piece of equipment that your dismantle and remove. Labelling has to be one of the most important steps to take to help the smooth transition and re-assembly of your data centre at its new destination.
Be sure that you apply your identifying labels to a secure area of your equipment that makes it easy to identify at the other end of your move. This means fixing it to a place that isn't vulnerable to being damaged or accidentally knocked off while being packed or unpacked.
Labelling racks and rails is another important task to complete. Many companies will simply dismantle and pile different rail sets of all sorts of makes, models and sizes into one packing crate. This means it will take a considerable length of time and cause much frustration for your staff having to sort out your rails and racks that house your company servers and data infrastructure.
Everything needs careful planning and logging right down to cage screws, nuts and bolts. During your decommissioning you may discover that some nuts, bolts or cage screws have been over tightened or stripped during assembly. It would make your whole move much swifter if you get some extra cage screws and nuts to cover any losses you encounter, but remember that most securing hardware comes in a range of sizes, so make sure you replace them with the appropriate fixing to ensure your racking is secure.
Piecing together your server move puzzle
Depending on the quantity of server equipment you need to move you can usually work out a plan of decommissioning and labelling while unmounting your equipment. If you operate a small company with only two or three racks of server equipment, you will obviously have much easier time of server relocation than a large company with multiple data centre racks and equipment.
However, no matter what size company you operate you will need to consider moving everything in a well-planned and organised manner that makes it as easy as possible to re-mount and recommission at your new business premises. This is where you can gain the best peace of mind by hiring in Restore Technology for your company server move.
Restore Technology understand how critical your data centre equipment is to the successful running of your business. This is why we take the very best care of your equipment right from start to finish, right down to the careful packing of your data centre equipment ready for transportation.
We will ensure that we pack your server equipment in a way that protects your precious hardware. We use specialist packing materials that completely cushions your server equipment and protects it from static, humidity, rapid temperature changes and shock. We understand how important it is to effectively maintain and preserve your server environment while in transportation to your new destination.
Another very important aspect of your data centre move is with the physical handling and movement of your equipment. There will be certain transportation liabilities to consider, for example, could you really trust the idea of your own IT staff performing a data centre move using their own cars? How much risk will you be putting your precious equipment at by doing this?
The insurance liabilities would be a nightmare should your staff be involved in an accident during the transportation of your equipment. Not to mention that this is a very insecure way of transporting equipment that contains some very sensitive company and personal data.
Should your IT staff suffer an accident while transporting your server equipment, or are simply careless with the equipment, it can leave your company exposed to data breaches that could cost your company dearly, especially because you will most likely be found in breach of current Data Protection Act rules and regulations.
Many business owners that don't have a great understanding of their IT infrastructure and will think about renting a regular removals lorry or even a self-hire van to transport their server equipment to their new home. While most removals services tend to cater for the domestic market and are perfectly fine for moving furniture and household possessions, your fragile company servers and IT equipment will definitely need an extra layer of protection and security for a successful move.
You should also ensure that you have the correct insurance in place to cover your data centre relocation. This is especially useful for covering damage to equipment such as IT equipment, moving staff accident and injuries, transportation cover and handling.
Physical handling considerations
Decommissioning and moving your data centre is a very physical job for all concerned in your relocation plans. You need to think through your plans to include protecting your staff from the physical risks of injury from heavy lifting. Not only should you conduct a thorough risk assessment well in advance of your move to ensure that you minimise or eliminate accident risks, but to also be mindful about the risks of damage to your equipment and data during your move.
You need to identify any equipment that may be situated close to access areas or passageways. These pieces of equipment will be at risk of damage throughout your moving activities. It can be easy to clip or run into equipment with moving trolleys or by carrying bulky equipment while squeezing past. If possible, you should look at removing these pieces of equipment first, or at the very least relocate them somewhere else if they are still needed to be used during your decommissioning procedures.
The physical layout and access points of your destination building also needs to be looked at in great detail. Another important issue that many businesses overlook is that of your intended travel route. You need to plan your physical logistics to ensure you account for every issue that may occur. Issues could include experiencing major roadworks on your planned route that can delay your move time, or the resulting risks with road conditions such as large pot holes, roadwork ramps and uneven road surfaces placing extra shock risks on your equipment in transit.
Getting help from a professional server move company such as Restore Technology can certainly make the whole process of your precious company server move a whole lot easier and smoother. Don't delay your plans with your data centre relocation – contact us today so we can make your move a success!
As well as a server move company, Restore also offer secure shredding services, records management services, information technology asset services and digital transformation services.