Data Center Migration Project Plan


The idea that sparked this blog post was me looking for a data center migration project plan that I could share with clients that wanted to brave that task themselves.

For the 1st topic of our Data Center VLOG series I thought I\’d talk about why organizations leave one data center for another. Internally, we use our own project planning software when we help people migrate, but we didn\’t have anything that was easy to share in a typical format like a word or excel.

Click here to download the Data Center Migration Project Plan Sheet.

The Rest of this Post is the Transcript to our Video: Data Center Migration Project Plan

Since talking about a spreadsheet for 5 minutes would be painful to you and me, I instead outlined the reasons why folks leave data centers and then ultimately end up downloading a data center migration project plan.

Reason 1 – Chronic Outages

Folks move out of their server rooms so that they can leverage an economy of scale built by others which should offer better reliability BUT, Power, network and HVAC outages will cause IT managers to think about alternatives. I\’d also like to mention that while these systems are inherently redundant in most data centers, a lot of times it\’s the auto switching mechanisms will fail negating all the redundancies put in place by the facility.

Reason 2 – Power Density Mismatch

Another reason why folks leave data centers is due to what I call a power density mismatch. Here\’s an example: someone moves in the data center with traditional server hardware. We\’re talking about traditional 1-4U servers that may only need 4 kW of cooling. As that hardware gets near the end of its life, a decision is made to increase computing density by way of blade servers.

Here\’s the problem, their cabinets are only able to cool between 4 to 8 kW and the blade servers if you stack them up can go way higher than that. 12 to 20 kilowatts is not unusual these days and so here\’s what happens: you end up having to buy more cabinets and leaving some half filled so that the facility can keep up with cooling those cabinets.

Slightly off topic comment here – you can also get the opposite issue let\’s say you purchase space in a datacenter that has very high density out of the gate like 20 kW+ and your equipment isn\’t anywhere near that.. you\’ll probably will end up paying a premium per cabinet and not getting your moneys worth since the build out of that data center was more costly to provide higher density in power which they have to pass along to you in the monthly fees.

Reason 3 – Bad Data Center Logistics

Logistics – Don\’t get me wrong, security is important but chronic issues getting into a data center (especially after hours) will cause clients to leave. A data center thats offers 24 hours access but a ticket or phone call is required outside of business hours is problematic as waiting outside a data center at 3am for someone to let you in is very frustrating.

Reason 4 – Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and Acquisitions and Going out of Business. Reason number four we see is business model changes so you can have corporate mergers acquisitions that cause consolidations and unfortunately sometimes businesses go under meaning that they end up cancelling their colocation contracts.

Reason 5 – Vendor Data Center Consolidations

Datacenter consolidations – The fifth and final reason that we\’re going to talk about today is a move initiated not by the client but by the datacenter themselves . Let\’s say for instance a data center company has 2 facilities, each with 30% occupancy. There\’s a good chance that at 30% occupancy, neither facility is profitable so they will close 1 facility, force those clients over to the other facility brining their occupancy up to 60% which makes them profitable but upsets their clients even if the move cost is fully borne by the data center themselves.


So the point of this video was to offer you a free downloadable tool that helps you plan your data center migration. It’s a full data center migration project plan in excel format and you can download it using the links on this page and so if you are planning to make a move anytime soon, please refer to this video for key questions to ask before signing a contract.

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