Cloud-based services are here to stay, and for good reason. They liberate data for use by many, improve accessibility to essential productivity tools and promote an organization’s performance by delivering transparency in data storage.

But this data doesn’t live “everywhere and nowhere.” It’s stored in servers, whether they are tucked away in a server closet or carefully managed by server technicians and IT personnel in server rooms on server farms. And like the organizations they support, there may come a time when these servers will need to move.

Planning a data center relocation for your server investment doesn’t have to be a painful process. There are components of a server relocation that require server technology handling experience, but with thorough server move planning, you’ll be able to relocate your server from Point A to Point B with minimized downtime and no loss of data that are crucial to your organization’s operation.

The first step to planning a server move is defining the project’s scope. What this means is defining which components of your existing server setup you need to move and who you want to move it.

Complete this step before you contact a server relocation company or a server relocation specialist. You’ll end up with a more concise vision of your project expectations, which will greatly help your server relocation provider in delivering exactly what you need.

Step 1: Take an inventory of your current server assets

Take an inventory of the servers you’re working with, along with any supporting technology that helps that server operate such as server racks, sliding shelves, AC or DC cables, Ethernet cables and power sources. Make a master copy of that inventory available to all the decision-makers in your server migration, such as your organization’s CTO, IT specialists and your server relocation project manager.

Step 2: Identify each server’s function

Knowing what you have is half the battle. The other half is knowing how your organization is using your server assets. Does Server A keep a backup of all user data, while Server B houses all your website information? If Server C is in transit, can its data be transferred to Server D in order to stay live?

The key pain point we’re addressing is preventing the loss of downtime for your organization while you’re undergoing a workspace transition. (And yes, your servers are a core component of your workspace.) By keeping your servers’ functions in-mind, you can start thinking about ways to execute on your server migration in phases, in order to minimize downtime.

Step 3: Determine the level of service you’re looking for

This is the hard part of planning a server move. Are you going to de-rack your servers in-house, or will that be included in the project scope for a server relocation provider such as Apex? Will your server racks be making the big trip with your servers, or will your servers have new racks to call home?

Even the move process calls for some reflection. How much oversight do you want to have on that move from Point A to Point B? Do you need GPS tracking or secure-seal server storage and transportation services? Will the server relocation team also be responsible for re-racking your servers, possibly replicating your original server setup at your new server facility?

Take yourself through this planning exercise before you connect with server relocation service providers. The exercise will help you develop a vision of your ideal server move. It will also give you the necessary tools to evaluate your server relocation options, including the service providers. A server relocation provider worth pursuing will also be able to help you work through the details of planning your server move.

To learn more about Apex’s technology services offerings, including server relocation services, click here or call us at 206.686.3357.