Data Center Migration Project (DCMP) are usually expensive and considered risky. I personally believe and proved several times that it is an opportunity to improve infrastructure deployment and exercise standardization & tech refresh as economies of scope than just refreshing compute, storage and network platform. We mostly find that most organizations just limit the scope of DCMP to refresh compute, storage and network platform and miss the huge opportunity to kill multiple birds in one shot.

Data Center Migration Project Strategy pillars are Migration Waves, Migration Methods and Migration Validations. Using these pillars, one can develop DCMP strategy and plan that's suits their organization values, culture and applications portfolio:

  • Migration Waves: It is critical to divide your application portfolio into multiple waves based on business, application and team needs. At the minimum, you are at least planning two Migration Waves for a DCMP. Usually the first wave that is also known as Wave Zero consist of standing up core infrastructures of compute, storage and network with core system services such as DNS / GTMs, AD / Single-Sign-On, Firewalls Stage One, L4 Load Balancers / LTMs, Mail Relays, Monitoring, Central Logging, Outbound Proxy, Backup and Recovery, and Misc Services (VPN, SVN, Terminal Servers, Jump Servers). These core systems services usually could co-exists with current production either independently or in-collaboration.
  • Migration Methods: Selecting a method is key that is dependent on availability needs of business function, application design, tools capabilities and skills of the team. The commonly known methods are first green field build, second clone the currently running production server from backup and third clone the currently running production server fresh. Each migration method has costs, benefits and risk associated with it.
  • Migration Validations:I usually refer this as minimum verification plan that needs to created carefully. We all do great jobs with specific verticals and the migration issues falls in cross-boundary. Identify and develop cross-boundary validation and have an enterprise solutions architect (who understands applications and infrastructures components) available to provide the technical oversight for solving cross-boundary issues faster and cheaper.