October 30, 2020
When it comes to data center migrations and relocations, checklists are very important. They are a necessary tool to keep activities organized and to track task completion at a much simpler level than via a detailed project plan.
Migration checklists not only serve to unify team members in completing tasks one by one, they more importantly serve as a safety net to protect the project as a whole. To illustrate this principle, let’s turn to another place where a checklist is found: flying an airplane.
Flying an airplane safely requires not one, but many checklists:
⦁ Preflight inspection
⦁ Before engine start
⦁ Engine starting
⦁ Before taxiing
⦁ Before takeoff
⦁ After takeoff
⦁ Before landing
⦁ After landing
⦁ Engine shutdown and securing
and more. As you can see in the discipline of flight, multiple system checks are utilized in order to fly safely. When it comes to flying planes, checklists are considered imperative and they supplement flying skills, experience and flight planning.
As Above, So Below
In data center migrations, likewise, you cannot just use “a” checklist, but rather many checklists, and your IT team needs to use them at different critical points in the process. To list a few, there are checklists used at the beginning of the project; during the discovery of assets; in profiling application heuristics; calendar-date-driven checklists such as “30-days Before a Move Event,” “2 Weeks Before a Move Event,” and “Just Prior to Opening the Move Command Center.”
All of those checklists are part of a data center migration method used to organize and relocate a data center in conjunction with the use of high-level project plans, schedules and detailed project plans.
If your organization has determined the need for a data center migration, an example of a checklist used to begin that project would be:
- Gain full upper management support
- Identify all stakeholders
- Define the acceptable level of transparency for the migration; in other words, will users know or notice the relocation activity is happening?
- Define the overall timeline at a very high level
- Perform a pre-project readiness assessment or “RoadMap” to understand each technology area’s ability to perform the project
- Secure the high-level budget
- Engage a knowledgeable partner to assist in the project such as “Altus Technologies Corporation”
Another example of a checklist used much further down the process to prepare for a data center Move Event would include items such as:
- Ensure that agreed upon change freeze is in effect for all moving components and applications
- Ensure that appropriate OEM vendors have been contacted and engaged
- Ensure that warranty items are complete for moving components
- Validation teams identified
- Communication plan is in place
- Pre-Migration steps are complete (another checklist!)
- Go/No Go meeting scheduled for required technology teams
Not only does a data center relocation project require a multitude of checklists, data center migration consultants have learned through years of experience what items need to be included on those lists—things that would not necessarily occur to a company who is moving their data center for the first time. Furthermore, there needs to be experienced oversight for the multitude of checklists that are generated; they need to be managed. These checklists must be reviewed by teams, agreed upon, assigned responsibility, tracked, revised, updated, and distributed.
As mentioned above, there are often checklists within a checklist.
Altus Technologies Corporation has been performing data center migrations for many years and have refined our experience into the pioneering Altus Move Method. We would be happy to explain how we do this. Make sure to include THAT meeting with us – in your next checklist! Get ahold of us here to get started.