Establish discovery baseline

Discovery is a fundamental component of an IT room migration and provides information throughout the lifecycle to many audiences. It is therefore essential to perform a proper discovery of the IT room environment, structure discovery information and formalise its collection, maintenance and use to establish a discovery baseline.

A single repository for all of the data collected during the discovery is key to baselining and future migration planning. The IT room data repository is likely to contain server, application, storage, network, shared service, support, and database information with all of the appropriate relationships.

Baseline configuration

In configuration management, a baseline is an agreed description of the attributes of a IT room infrastructure device, at a point in time, which serves as a basis for defining change. A change is a movement from this baseline state to a next state. The identification of significant changes from the baseline state is the central purpose of baseline identification.

Typically, significant states are those that receive a formal approval status, either explicitly or implicitly. An approval status may be marked individually, when a prior definition for that status has been established by project leaders, or signified by association to a position above or below the established baseline.

A baseline is a single work product, or set of work products that can be used as a logical basis for comparison. The configuration of a IT room migration project often includes one baseline, the status of the configuration, and any metrics collected. The current configuration refers to the current status.

While marking approval status covers the majority of uses for a baseline, the baseline may also be established to signify the IT room migration progress of work through the passage of time. In this case, the baseline is a visible measure through an endured collective effort. If the baseline is measuring progress it can mark milestones.

The baseline itself is valued not only to use to identify the notable state of IT infrastructure components but also provide historical views of how it has proceeded over time. When an historical baseline is retrieved, the state of the IT infrastructure components in that subset share the same significance in their history of changes. This allows project managers to compare the relative progress of single parts of a project to the project as whole, which allows project leaders to identify individual items that lag or lead in progress toward better functionality or performance. For this reason, baseline identification, monitoring, and retrieval are critical to the success of configuration management.

Most baselines are established at a fixed point in time and serve to continue to reference that point. However, some baselines are established to carry forward as a reference to the item itself regardless of any changes to the item. These latter baselines evolve with the progression of the work effort but continue to identify notable work products in the project.

Baseline control

In many environments, baselines are controlled such that certain subsequent activities against IT infrastructure components in that baseline are either prohibited or permitted. These activities are selected and controlled, and again, depending upon the configuration management system, are also monitored.

Tasks

  1. Define the discovery baseline.
  2. Identify data sources and owners.
  3. Agree strategy for an IT room migration data repository.
  4. Establish requirements for discovery management information and dashboards.

Hints and tips

  • Discovery is not just for the project begin it will be a required process to the end of the IT room migration.
  • Ensure that the discovery baseline is supported by the necessary expertise.

Activity output

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