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10 minute readHow to Avoid Data Center Migration Mistakes and Reap the Full Benefits

Temporary Downtime During Migration

During migration, it is perfectly natural that your business might experience some temporary downtime. This downtime, however, may beprolonged due to technical glitches which, in turn, could affect customer service and potentially cost thousands of dollars. Avoid such incidents by handling the transition phase by phase, and creating a roll-back plan using automated tools.

Moving information from one point to another sounds simple enough. In the very olden days, we typed and copied our information. Word processors, then computers, made the system easier. We once used floppy disks, then hard disks, then thumb drives, for small amounts of material. As data storage needs became larger and more complex, the process of moving data became more involved and standard Data Center Migration (DCM) processes became a necessity. Irrespective of the industry, such migrations likely tend to elicit a string of words like: “Painful,” “Outages,” “Stressful,” “Slow,” and, “No, thank you.”

In today’s corporate climate, you need an infrastructure that amplifies the value of the data your organization collects and preserves. This gives you a competitive edge, allowing you to break into new territory. In addition, international hackers are always a threat, and the Covid pandemic increased cybercrime by 600%, further reinforcing the importance of data center security and transformation.



Data center performance needs to be continually monitored. You need to ensure that your current spending is appropriate for the system you use. The cost of a legacy system includes more than financial considerations – downtime, decreased productivity, increased stress, and inefficiencies can all result.

Legacy systems naturally needed to change as advances were made in the IT industry. Technology changes quickly and we must change with it! Our original systems paved the way for new iterations and increased efficiency and productivity. With the on-demand availability of resources, thanks to the cloud, corporations find themselves with multiple data centers, thus the increased need to syndicate information, merge data center locations, or migrate data centers to the cloud is the logical result.


Global spending on a DCM is projected to increase in 2021


Your legacy system may not be capable of protecting sensitive data from sophisticated cyber threats. If you are anxious about any of the realities mentioned here, then it is time to take on a Data Center Migration.

The good news is that companies around you are doing the same. According to Gartner, Inc., global spending on a DCM is projected to increase by as much as 6% in 2021–an estimated $200B.


Unknown Risks

Every project has known and unknown risks and challenges. These projects also have identifiable strengths and opportunities. IT leaders should know exactly what to expect so s/he can look for challenges before any arise. Experience is what allows an engineer to convert more unknown risks into known challenges. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, he theorizes that a person’s plight toward becoming an expert, on any given subject, will take an average of 10,000 hours. People with such a vast amount of experience migrating data centers are much better suited to identify the common, and not so common, risks of complex migrations.


Data Loss

Many data center migrations suffer from data loss due to poorly backed up systems, or too many corrupted, incomplete, or missing files. It is paramount that your disaster recovery failover and data backup processes be as robust as possible so you can restore any data lost in the transfer to back its original state if necessary.

Many data center migrations suffer from data loss


Compliance violations, misconfigured servers, insecure APIs, contractual breaches, malware, automated data retention policies, insider threats, external attacks, and accidental errors are just some of the security risks that are closely associated with data migration. Be forewarned and ready to handle compliance and security challenges that may occur.

Wasted Money

Organizations incur more costs than necessary when they fail to appropriately plan for the end goal of data migration. In the process, they end up paying more on the systems that aren’t necessary for the business or they find that they can’t leverage the full potential of the available systems. Either way, they waste money.


Common Mistakes During Data Center Migration

The above challenges, if not addressed properly, can lead to errors that may ruin your efforts. Consider the potential errors along with tips to correct them.


× Lack of Infrastructure Assessment

Proper infrastructure assessment includes a rack-by-rack and U-by-U documentation of each device and related applications. Organizations often take this lightly and hamper their migration project at the discovery phase. Pro Tip: Include operational and technical interdependencies and take note of all network devices and network topography.


× Upgrading Infrastructure Without Measuring Dependencies

This is probably the most common mistake. Upgrading old infrastructure to the latest version during migration is a good choice as it can easily be implemented. Even a fractional upgrade, however, may have a significant impact on interdependencies. Pro Tip: Note all upgrades and their dependencies for rigorous testing during the validation phase.


× Lack of Business Validation

During the validation phase, all associated teams, including security, IT, network, and server teams, are often too busy completing the checklists causing business as usual to be ignored. Your business will definitely face some changes due to the migration. Pro Tip: Spending a little time in business validation saves you days, even weeks.


× Not Setting a Realistic Timeline

It can be difficult to estimate a realistic timeline for a Data Center Migration. Err on the side of caution and set an extended timeline longer than the test migrations. Production migrations require more care and attention to detail hence the required time frame is more than the test phase. Pro Tip: Use test migration data to assess actual time spent. You will want to add several extra days, or even to the production migration to ensure sufficient time. You will look like a hero if you complete the migration ahead of schedule.


× Lack of Post-Migration Monitoring

Yes, Data Center Migration is a detailed and tedious project so it’s only natural to get overwhelmed while it is being completed. Post-migration monitoring is a vital part of the process and you should deploy both business and technical teams to keep eyes and ears on everything. This step is critical, it’s important to be sure you know how to monitor, what to monitor, and for how long you should monitor the post-migrated systems in production to be sure your migration was a success. Pro Tip: Spend at least 72 hours on proactive monitoring after the completion of a migration. It is natural to be excited about having a project completed and behind you, but after all that work, you need to keep going. Take a few days to ensure that everything is working at peak performance is paramount to your continued success.


Benefits of Data Center Migration

Yes, there are multiple benefits, which makes Data Center Migration worth your time. You will see a cost savings as you replace existing equipment with faster options. Modernizing equipment means you’re modernizing your security system to the latest standards. You will see improved efficiency with a successful Data Center Migration.


Cost Savings

Despite a potential initial sizable investment, Data Center Migration can save your organization thousands of dollars. Removing unnecessary data and legacy equipment means more space on your servers and more modern equipment that leads to faster processing, reduced outages and downtime, and the benefits that come from changes to your physical size or new data center location(s).


Improved Security & Compliance

Protecting your business data is incredibly important. Moving data to an updated system ensures that the security measures are modernized. At the same time, you will be in a position to maintain stricter regulatory compliance requirements. You are also taking better care of your customers as well as your employees.

Improved Security


Improved Efficiency

Sometimes organizations grow faster than their data storage capacity can allow. This forces an organization to buy or rent small, temporary solutions that decrease efficiency due to a lack of synchronization. Data Center Migration paves the way for data consolidation and weeds out inefficiencies that may have gone unnoticed.
A well-planned migration can change the overall operating environment of your business in a positive way. These changes have significant impacts on day-to-day efficiencies and overall business processes.

Improved Efficiency


You Have Options

While you’re going through your DCM, you need a solid company you can rely on to keep your existing Data Center equipment running at peak performance. You can trust Reliant Technology to help you avoid mistakes and enjoy the benefits of a seamless Data Center transition. With Reliant Technology keeping your existing Data Center running well, so you can focus on migrating your data center faster, more efficiently, and with fewer headaches. It’s our responsibility to provide you with the best support during your transition.

Reliant Technology also offers Third-Party Maintenance and Third Party Maintenance Optimization. We listen to your requirements and plan every stage meticulously. We also have end-to-end physical solutions that cover everything from initial audits to the delivery of full cabling solutions.

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology

As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.