The 5 Must-Have’s For Planning a Data Center Migration

We’ve talked quite a bit about how to know when to migrate to Data Center. But once you’ve decided it’s time for your organization to make the upgrade, what’s next? What should you do to prepare for a successful deployment?

That’s the question we’re answering today.

In this post, we’ll provide an overview of must-have’s for planning your Data Center deployment. These 5 best practice pre-requisites are what we cover when planning any migration for our clients.

It’s important to front-load as much of the resourcing, operations, and chain of command as possible to ensure you can quickly bypass obstacles and troubleshoot problems if and when they arise during the migration.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, please download our whitepaper on planning for a successful deployment. For now, let’s get started on the 5 must-have’s for a Data Center migration.

Must-Have #1: A skilled project team

Every organization is different, and therefore, every migration will be different. The perfect project team will really depend on your own needs, staff availability, and skillsets. You might find that a single person can handle multiple pieces or that a small team must share multiple tasks.

With that being said, the following suggestions are just that, suggestions to help you get started building your own team and define their roles in the migration. 

The Application Administrator

The Application Administrator will perform QA during the project to ensure that your Data Center application is functioning as intended. He or she will also determine which apps will be deployed in the new Data Center environment, and oversee user permissions during the transition.

The System Administrator 

The System Administrator gathers all the hardware and software needed for deployment and performs the installation. In addition, this person will also ensure that the load balancer, file system, and additional nodes are all configured properly.

The Project Manager

The Project Manager will be tasked with making sure milestones are occurring on time and everyone is staying on track. He or she will own the project plan, follow up on task completion, facilitate cross-team communication, and keep stakeholders updated.

The Executive Sponsor

The Executive Sponsor serves as the decision-maker if any roadblocks occur during the project, and facilitates budget approvals.

Must-Have #2: A review of your existing environment

Another important step in planning a migration is to conduct an assessment of your existing environment to understand your unique needs and identify areas for optimization during the migration.

Create a benchmark

This is your baseline measurement for performance and functionality in your existing infrastructure. This is important so you have something to compare deployment testing to and quantify improvements from your Data Center upgrade.

Tune-up your Server application

While assessing your existing infrastructure, it’s crucial to identify and correct any configurations that are less than optimal. Catching these performance indicators early on will ensure you get the most from your Data Center application once deployed. 

Assess and Uplevel Governance

It’s critical to understand how users utilize your application prior to deploying Data Center. Don’t provision access liberally. To ensure an optimally functioning Data Center, you should limit user access as needed and restrict scripts that make REST calls as well as unsanctioned integrations.

Review Apps

Do not simply lift and shift your existing applications from Server to Data Center. Audit your apps and remove any that are no longer needed or aren’t crucial to your system functionality.

You also need to ensure that the apps you’re keeping are compatible with Data Center. If not, you’ll need to find equivalent apps to replace the lost functionality.

Must-Have #3: Process documentation

After you’ve picked your project team, and surveyed your existing environment, the next step is to document all of your existing Server processes. Understanding how you use your existing application will dictate configuration decisions during the Data Center deployment.

Additionally, this information will also help to create process modifications that optimize workflows and create a clear indicator as to whether issues that occur are new or existing.

Must-Have #4: Required software and hardware

Preparing for your deployment in advance by reviewing and selecting all required hardware and software, will expedite the process of getting your Data Center production-ready after deployment.

One of these pivotal decisions is how you will deploy your Data Center instance. Will it be clustered or non-clustered? Will you deploy through a hybrid cloud environment like AWS, Azure, Yellowbrick, or on your own hardware?

If you’ll be using your own hardware, you need to assess and select your load balancer, file system, and application nodes during the planning phase.

Must-Have #5: A defined implementation and testing strategy

After obtaining each of the aforementioned components, it’s time to take action. Here are the steps required to take you through deployment and testing.

Build your cluster

If you’ve chosen to deploy in a clustered environment, you’ll have to set up your load balancer, database, and file system as well as size the application nodes to make sure they meet your requirements.

Install your product

Once your cluster is set up and your application nodes are prepared, you can install your application. Atlassian provides numerous guides to help you through installing your chosen application.

Test your application

To be confident that your Data Center deployment is optimal, you should run tests on functionality, performance, and any integrations. Doing this will vet your installation and help you to determine if your infrastructure can maintain performance indicators during heavy loads.

Monitor your deployment

It is critical to monitor your instance’s health routinely, not just after deployment. Be consistent in tracking the same metrics and which thresholds indicate that performance may be beginning to decline.

You should also have a plan in place to address these issues if and when they occur. This will indicate whether your existing configuration is still optimal, or if it should be adjusted for growth.

Need a hand to guide your Data Center upgrade?

There are steps you can take, such as following the guidelines we’ve laid out, to help your Data Center migration run smoother. However, for some, the complexity can still prove to be more than you’re comfortable with.

Others just prefer the peace of mind of knowing their migration was done expertly, the first time. Regardless of our reasoning, if you’d rather not go it alone, Coyote Creek can help!

We have the expertise to handle hands-on system integrations, deployments, and upgrades. We’ll work with you to customize your Data Center infrastructure and tailor your environment to suit your particular needs- whether you have complex requirements or need onsite assistance.

To learn more, reach out today!