What to Know About Data Center Migrations | Q90

Post by 
John Davidson
January 23, 2023

What to Know About Data Center Migrations

As your business grows, it will get to a point where your current data solutions will cease to serve your business needs. Your business will be unable to function optimally without a change in your data management systems. Maybe your range of connectivity options is too narrow or you have depleted your capacity to launch new applications. Either way, the solution is a data center migration.

In this post, we’ll dig deeper into everything you need to know about data center migrations. We’ll walk you through what data center migrations are, why they’re important, and some best practices to keep in mind.

Let’s get into it.

What Are Data Center Migrations?

Data center migrations, also known as data center relocations, refer to the process of moving an organization's existing data and processes from one data center environment to another.

There are several reasons why organizations do data center migrations. They include:

·   A need for organizational expansion

·   To fulfill regulatory requirements

·   To eliminate server sprawl

·   To reduce costs

·   A need to move to the cloud

·   To reduce time to market

·   To increase agility

How to Migrate a Data Center?

To ensure a smooth data center migration, there are a few things you need to do before the actual data center moves. Here are the steps you should take to smoothen your data center migration process:

1. Select The Right IT Infrastructure

The first step to relocating your data center involves deciding on the best tech platform to move to. Some of the most common data center migration platforms you can choose from include:

·   Cloud. Relocating your data center to the cloud will help you enhance performance by optimizing your tech ecosystem. Moving your data system to a diverse ecosystem will also help you improve interoperability and streamline management in your organization.

·   On-premise. Traditional on-premise data center systems come in handy when storing sensitive data because they give you more control and allow you to remain agile with other platforms that can help support your organization's workloads.

·   Converged. A converged data center treats data storage, network, and computing as one. This helps you simplify data management and minimize your data footprint. Converged systems also make it easier to scale, replace, and repair parts of your data center.

·   Hyper-converged infrastructure. This type of infrastructure will help you scale easily without leaving a large data footprint. It is better suited for organizations with small infrastructure systems and light workloads.

Deciding between these four infrastructures is not always an easy task. You must consider the cost of each option, its performance and flexibility, and how well it serves your business's current and future needs.

It pays to have an expert, such as a qualified IT service provider, help you decide on the right infrastructure for your workload requirements and data needs.

Once you have settled on the ideal infrastructure for your organization, it’s time to do some planning.

2. Plan The Data Center Migration

Planning is a crucial step in any data center migration. Planning involves selecting the best physical infrastructures, creating a relocation checklist, setting up the project's management, and selecting the right IT infrastructure.

As for the physical aspects of the migration, you must come up with a plan for the design, have the stakeholders concerned approve the design, make revisions based on stakeholder decisions, and conduct a final review before you begin the development.

3. Have a Data Center Migration Checklist

Data center moves are more than just upgrading to the latest technology. They require you to do a deep analysis of your workloads and business needs so you can streamline your operations and provide top-notch customer service.

Keep in mind that data center migrations involve moving your entire workloads and processes to a new location without losing data. It is a complicated process that involves a lot of strategizing and commitment to change. The process also takes significant amounts of time and requires buy-in from all stakeholders. 

As such, you must have in place a checklist to help you ensure that you have taken care of all the vital aspects before it’s time for relocating the data center.

Having a checklist will help you ensure that:

·   You have all executives and employees on board with the data center relocation plans

·   You prioritize essential tasks that are easy to execute, have lower costs, and bring immediate value

·   You focus on the workloads to ensure business continuity and minimal downtime

4. Conduct The Data Center Migration

Once you have a checklist in place, it’s time to conduct the actual data center migration. The data center move involves three major steps: development, validation, and migration.


This is where you build the physical infrastructure you’ll need to support your business processes as laid out in your planning stage. Once your infrastructure is in place, you should review the expectations of each IT infrastructure and execute any last-minute changes.

Next, you must ensure that all the stakeholders involved in providing support for the physical infrastructure have given their go-ahead. Getting support and the green light from major decision-makers in your organization is vital considering the costs of the new IT infrastructure.


The validation stage of the data center migration process involves making sure that everything you planned for, including network systems, security, and storage requirements are put in place. This is where you confirm that all the details you planned have made it through the development stage.

This is also the step where you cool down your equipment to catch any issue that may slow down the migration process. For instance, if you notice that certain hardware components fail to power back up in the visualization process, you can have them replaced before the actual migration takes place.


The final stage of the data center migration involves moving all your data and applications to the new location.

What Are the Benefits of Data Center Migrations?

There are several benefits that your organization can realize from data center migration. Here are a few:

A Faster Network

Relocating your data center allows you to reduce latency for application users by leveraging edge computing.

Lower Operational Costs

Relocating your data center to the cloud will help your organization cut costs. This is because the cost of hosted applications is usually way lower than the larger CARPEX costs that require you to cough up large sums of money every three to five years.

Improved Security and threat Posture

Moving your data center is also good for your data security and threat posture. Most hyperscalers have impeccable R&D investments that ensure threat detection and prevention solutions, lifting the burden of improving cybersecurity off your organization's shoulders.

Modern Hardware and Software

Data center migrations often present a chance for your organization to upgrade and modernize existing infrastructure. When your business has access to modernized equipment, your employees are in a better position to be more productive.

Regulatory Compliance

Moving your data center to a hyperscale cloud solution will help to comply with regulatory requirements at a cheaper price. This is because hyperscale solutions usually put a lot of resources into ensuring compliance.

Data Center Migrations Best Practices

Create A Viable Business Case

One of the easiest ways to get stakeholder buy-in is to demonstrate a clear business case for the data center relocation. When creating your business case, include a risk assessment, discovery phase, and implementation plan. You should also mention who will be responsible for running the project.

Get Buy-in from Stakeholders

Without stakeholder buy-in, data center migrations can become frustrating and they might end up hurting productivity in your organization.

Throughout the data center migration process, keep open communication channels with stakeholders and provide them with regular updates on the progress of the project. It also helps to ensure that each stakeholder knows how the relocation will benefit them and the different divisions of your organization.

Review Contractual Obligations

If your data center migration involves leaving one physical location for another, make sure you review any lease agreements you may have and terminate contracts in advance. This will help you cut unnecessary costs.

Establish Roles and Responsibilities

To smooth out the relocation process, it is crucial to appoint team members who will be responsible for different tasks such as managing the budget, tracking project status, developing migration strategy, and identifying risks associated with the migration.

Migrate Systematically and in Batches

It's much easier to migrate smaller batches of data than to move large volumes at once.  Smaller data batches are also easier to test for integrity.  As such, you should move your data in smaller, more manageable chunks. However, to be successful, you must have full visibility of your infrastructure before, during, and after the migration waves.

Develop Staff Schedules

When a data center moves, it impacts the entire organization. As such, you plan ahead and account for workflow planning. This will ensure that there is minimal or no impact on the business operations during the migration.

Optimize The New Environment

After the migration is over, examine the new environment to see where you can improve. Ask yourself where you can cut costs by eliminating services you don't require and adding features such as automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to free up your staff so they can focus on high-level tasks.

Final Thoughts on Data Center Migrations

Effective data center migrations can be advantageous for your business. From helping you cut costs, to improving efficiency and productivity and improving security and compliance, there is no denying the benefits of data center migrations. Although the process is complex, it is worth it in the long run.

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