How to move a data center without having a heart attack

Before the event, consider everything that can go wrong, make contingency plans, exploit opportunities to upgrade, and label everything

As the dust settles in the aftermath of a successful physical data center move, I'm nursing my bruised and cut hands, kicking back with a Scotch, and reflecting on what went right. I said "successful," but actually there's no such thing as a failed data center move: If something's going wrong, there's nothing you can do except keep working until everything's up and running.

But a successful data center move is no accident. Whether it's a data center relocation or new data center build-outs, detailed plans must be made months or even years in advance.

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There are a number of ways to move a data center. If budgets and skill sets allow, the easiest method is to build a brand-new data center in the new location, drop high-bandwidth links between the two, and use virtualization tools to migrate all the virtual machines from one site to the other -- live.

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