IT Room Migration Series

The migration of any IT room is possibly one of the highest risk and most complex IT projects. The IT room migration series will bring a wealth of experience, underpinned by a proven migration method and a portfolio of reusable assets, which would help to minimise risk, reduce costs, reduce delivery timescales and maximise the potential of a smooth and successful migration.

Overview

For performing the IT room migration a standard method can be applied. The method delivers cost-effective application, data and infrastructure migrations and avoids unplanned outages. It consist of five phases:

  • Planning and Control
  • Discovery and Design
  • Build and Test
  • Rehearse and Migration
  • Handover and Closure

Within the method, each of the five stages outlined above, has a series of pre-defined activities. In each activity there are a series of pre-defined associated tasks and outputs. The method does not represent the actual execution phases but provides a set of building blocks.

Planning and Control

Planning and Control provides the necessary activities to establish, manage and report on the entire migration. It also recognises that to get it right first time, migrations require significant and normally dedicated resources. It must be their core mission, not just a side project. Aiming to ensure everyone involved has a clear understanding of the project objectives from beginning to end is crucial, as is clear and strong project and technical management and governance.

Discovery and Design

With any migration, a single version of the truth should be the goal for all baseline data: hardware, software, application information, interfaces, middleware, shared services and support. The described model has been specifically designed for the entire lifecycle of an IT room migration

Once a trusted discovery baseline has been established, it is maintained throughout the migration to enable discovery management information to be extracted and detailed planning to commence.

There are many aspects to target design, ranging from the core infrastructure, through to disaster recovery and the target operating model. In addition, for the duration of the migration, the migration architecture is vital.

A migration architecture is the technology, method, process and procedures chosen to enable the migration of the applications and data, however, there are many factors shaping the detailed plan – either enablers or constraints.

Build and Test

‘Build’ is the process that establishes the technology foundations for the migration, including:

  • Data centre fabric – buildings, halls, partitions, cages, space, power and cooling.
  • Physical equipment – racking, servers, storage, structured network cabling, fibres, power distribution and outlets.
  • Production WAN and target data centre LAN – WAN and Internet connections, LAN switches, security stacks – firewalls/DMZs/appliances.
  • Migration facility – temporary network links, boundary controls for ‘test bubbles’, etc.
  • Tooling and automation – for the migration of images and data.

Testing span the entire lifecycle of the migration and it’s recommended to use a risk based testing approach for migrations. The benefits of a risk based testing approach are that:

  • It confirms the testing effort by identifying where the majority of risks lie in systems and prioritising those tests
  • It focuses on what really matters; to both business and operations
  • It focuses on the points of change

Rehearse and Migration

In the run up to a migration event, it is critical to perform a rehearsal aiming to ensure that the infrastructure, the people and the migration procedures and work instructions are ready. Just like any major performance, rehearsals are key to the overall success.

There may be several ‘migration events’ which take place out of hours. Careful resource management is vital to avoid ‘burn out’.

This series will provide several tools and techniques for managing migration events that make sure everyone understands their role, the critical path and associated activities.

Handover and Closure

Final handover and support, along with decommissioning remaining infrastructure are all critical tasks. There may also be a requirement to perform a disaster recovery test post migration.

Modular phases

Former experiences has provided insight that the IT room migrations series are not always used in there totality. The phases are therefore modular developed and could be purchased as separate entities when I will publish it online via Amazon.com. This will reduce the total costs for your IT room migration preparation and the decision can be made to order it one-by-one or as one bundle.

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