10 Best Practices for Data Center Consolidation

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10 Best Practices for Data Center Consolidation

by Chris Preimesberger

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Map Out Capacity Needed

Plan the capacity required to support the move, the time it will take, the skills required, and the interrelations between software applications and the systems that support them. Poor planning is the No. 1 reason for a failed or overbudget data center consolidation and migration.

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Communications Lines Must Be Open

Ensure that facilities and IT managers talk. IT professionals frequently underestimate power requirements and power costs, particularly if facilities management pays the bills, which is quite often the case.

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Prepare a Way to Measure Progress

Establish preconsolidation baselines to measure success before moving into your new data center. Lack of success metrics can result in dissatisfaction of the project results.

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Keep It Simple, Stupid

Minimize changes during the move, planning and execution periods to reduce risks and complications to the project.

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Experience Counts

Include someone with data center consolidation experience on the moving team. Since a data center move is generally a once-in-a-career event for IT professionals, few companies have the expertise on-hand to do it well. Find someone who has the expertise if your organization does not.

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Align with Business Needs

Understand the needs and requirements of the lines of business before getting a consolidation project moving.

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Take Roll of All Assets

Develop as complete an asset picture as possible prior to starting a data center consolidation. Too often, data center asset information is spread across the organization in spreadsheets, Visio diagrams and handwritten notes.

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Use a Tool Set You Can Trust

Plan for capacity issues by using tools for understanding capacity utilization in addition to tools for longer-term capacity modeling.

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Applying Best Practices Is Always a Wise Choice

Use best practice processes and solutions to automatically discover IT assets, visualize the physical infrastructure, model the consolidation, control data center processes and personnel, report on the progress, and predict capacity resources well into the future.

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Test, Test and Test Again

If anything can go wrong, it will. Develop a test environment and do rigorous testing under production conditions.

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