Rehearse the migration event

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The contents of migration event playbook and migration technical runbook provide an action plan that explicitly directs the rehearsal of the migration event.

If, as part of the IT room migration, application and / or data separation or transformation is required, perform the appropriate application and / or data transformation activities as part of the rehearsal event.

Pre-migration event testing, pilot migrations, solid backups, spare parts availability, stand-by support suppliers and a final Go / No-Go decision serve as gatekeepers for execution readiness.

Complete pre-migration event tests

Pre-migration event testing is strongly recommended for two reasons:

  1. Pre-migration event tests identify errors or performance issues already present in the system. It provides an opportunity to course correct before the migration thereby reducing risks during the move.
  2. Pre-migration event tests provide a baseline for measuring performance post-move.

If sufficient testing is executed now, it will minimize the potential pain of extensive post-migration event errors.

Pilot migrations are an extension of your pre-migration event testing. Consider them a rehearsal practice. By executing the low risk move groups selected during the planning phase, the IT room migration team increases their odds of success.

Executing a pilot migration should include the same key steps required for migrating a large move group including a backup, a Go / No-Go decision process and post-migration event testing. A post-migration event review allows for alterations to the plan, processes and procedures with minimal impact to the organization.

A pilot migration event allows for lessons learned without incurring significant risk to the business operations. It will:

    • Builds confidence and familiarization for the IT room migration team.
    • Accelerates IT room migration acceptance and credibility enterprise-wide.
    • Provides a tangible head start on the move.

Run Backups

The backup plan established in the planning phase of your IT room migration is the last line of defence against risk before you execute. Do not neglect this step.

The impetus behind a backup is to ensure a full restore is possible in the event of total equipment failure or data loss during the IT room migration. To that end, ensure that proper equipment and infrastructure to restore the backup is at the destination site.

Spare parts availability

Have spare parts available of the IT room equipment. Look in the IT room storage room is there are any hard disks, cabling, servers, motherboards, etc. available which can be used as spare parts in the case one of the IT room equipment is broken or failing.

Stand-by support suppliers

Inform the IT room equipment suppliers of the IT room migration and request if they could stand-by during the IT room rehearsal and migration event. If necessary, they could be reached for 3rd line support.

Decide Go/No-Go

While backups are your last line of defence, a go or no-go decision is your last chance to back out. Define and agree in advance what factors may or may not constitute a go. Think of it as a pre-flight checklist.

The focus should be on 3 questions:

  1. Are all IT room migration requirements completed?
  2. Have any unplanned events or circumstances emerged that might prompt reconsideration?
  3. Are the risks acceptable?

It is typically a quick decision that confirms an explicit “Go” with the decision staff. The IT room migration team should know in advance who is authorized to make the final judgment call. It is the best way to guarantee a clear outcome.


  1. Execute the activities in the runbook during rehearsals.
  2. Execute the application and / or data transformation activities in the runbook during rehearsals.
  3. Complete the application and / or data transformation activities.
  4. Manage logistics for all physical rehearsal activities.
  5. Migrate and reconcile application data.
  6. Commence the rehearsal event governance process defined in the playbook.
  7. Manage the rehearsal event through each decision milestone (Go/NoGo criteria).
  8. Complete the rehearsal event.
  9. Update the migration event documentation as required based on the findings from the rehearsal.

Hints and tips

  • Good preparation will now pay off. Be prepared for the unexpected and remain calm and professional if this occurs. Be of good humor and enjoy this, it is a rare and exciting opportunity to shine!
  • Be alert for team or individual ‘burn-out’ and watch out for each other (a people and team thing).
  • Application and / or data transformation and / or separation can significantly complicate an IT room migration. Specialist application knowledge will be required. Don’t try to do this with the IT room migration team, this is a specialist skill.

Activity output

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