Data center migrations must ensure that sufficient uptime, security and accessibility are maintained for all enterprise applications. When services shift from one data center to another, the interdependency of applications needs to be considered and included in your migration plan. One common approach to managing this is to create application groups having common resource dependencies. Services including Active Directory and DNS commonly remain in both the originating and destination data centers until migration is complete.

Lift and shift hardware migration

This method is conceptually easy. Prior to moving, complete backups are taken. Then the hardware is loaded onto a moving truck and installed at the new data center. This strategy can be risky, as hardware and backups can be lost through breakage. In such a physical transition, distance can be a factor affecting transition time.

Using data replication for hardware migration

In this approach, data migration can take place over a leased circuit. Two hardware options are: (1) Physical to physical (P2P) migration. Using this approach, hardware and applications can be migrated with minimum downtime. (2) Physical to virtual (P2V) conversion. This involves converting a physical machine to a virtual machine and migrating over a leased line. With this type of migration, a more secure move can be made to another data center.

Data migration can be complex

The most popular method for data migration is via a leased line. V2V, P2P or P2V migrations are options. A dedicated connection between data centers can employ hardware or software synchronization. When connecting data centers, dedicated connections separate end user data and data center data traffic. These ensure that the two very different types of traffic don’t interfere with one another.

Preparing for data migration is the best way to ensure your success. First you must locate the data to be migrated and determine what form it will take at the destination data center. Be prepared to audit the data migration process and create clear audit trails. Second, make sure of your data integrity through an extraction and deduplication process. Move data in a systematic way during off peak hours. After migration, test and validate your data so that you’ll have confidence in its integrity.

When you plan a data center migration, execute your plan while maintaining an audit trail. Test your data center integrity after migration and produce formal results for analysis. With planning, test and verification you’ll be well on your way to a successful transition.