There is both a science and art to making server rooms run smoothly, and anyone involved knows how quickly things can get complicated if not engineered and executed correctly. Similarly, data center relocations are far more than just disconnecting, packaging and moving equipment.
Proper planning is key to relocation success. And a central step in any executable plan is a thorough, careful asset inventory – both before the move and after a move.
1. Lost equipment
Just think about what could be lost. Everything you’re moving to the new data center needs to be inventoried, whether its part of the server network or the power and cooling systems. Misplaced cords, cables, trays, tools, nuts and bolts can all slip through the cracks, throwing a major kink in your operational capacity.
At worst, major losses like server equipment can cause enormous disruptions to your business and dents in your bottom line. Inventories also prevent against theft, and make it easy to respond more effectively to an unplanned calamity (fire, auto-accidents, etc.).
2. Lost time
What takes longer – numbering, color-coding, and taking apart a 10,000-piece puzzle in a coordinated way, or putting back together that same puzzle after its been crumpled up and dumped back into the box?
Server room down time is money down the drain – both from any business disruptions the migration might cause, and from the labor costs you’ll be spending while trying to sort out and put back together a disorganized, un-inventoried mess. Conducting a careful inventory before you move does take time, but not nearly as much as you’ll waste with a hastily-performed account of everything needing to be moved.
3. Lost opportunity
Let’s say you decide that a thorough inventory just isn’t worth the time and effort, or that a haphazard approach to pre-relocation planning is sufficient. Even if you somehow manage to avoid losing any of your assets in the big move to a new data center, a failure to conduct a careful inventory still comes with enormous opportunity costs.
In other words, there’s probably not going to be a much better time to thoroughly asses and account for all the little pieces that make up your operation than before and after a data center migration. During normal working times, you’d have to shut down at least parts of your operation to properly ensure that all the pieces are still in place. If you conduct an inventory when your relocation is already underway, you’re basically killing two birds with one stone.
You’ll arrive at your new facility confident, fully accounted for, and ready to move forward.
Kate Matthews is an expert in the computer and technology industry. Kate specializes in design, construction, and furnishing of corporate data centers, computer rooms, Liebert air conditioning and mission critical infrastructures.