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Series: Issues facing today's IT operations and maintenance teams
[Part 3] Server Migration

[ Jan 25, 2018 ]

Building a flexible IT infrastructure that adapts to a variety of business demands.

The server environment is an important component of an IT infrastructure that adapts quickly to the changing demands of the business. In this third article in our series, we explore how to review server environments, with a focus on considerations for server migration and the use of data centers.

ICT Trends

According to surveys conducted by NTT communications, creating and managing operating environments are among the most common issues facing ICT. Creation and management tasks include network environment optimization, security enhancement, support for aging equipment, expired maintenance, countermeasures for disasters, facility revision, and new system installation. When asked to estimate where operating environment management resources are consumed, only 30 percent of respondents indicated that they use both cloud and data center environments. The results show that many customers still run their servers on-premise, highlighting the crucial role of server migration.

What to expect with server migration: Three key points

IT environments are dynamic and regular server upgrades are essential for efficient management of operations. However, migrating servers is never straightforward. Even a simple, well-planned migration can run into difficulties.

  1. Configuration changes
    Changing server configuration during a migration is generally discouraged. For example, upgrading and consolidating maintenance backlogs or development will significantly increase the complexity of a migration project. Any tasks that are not directly related to the server migration should be performed before the migration. This will ensure that all servers are up to date and fully tested before the migration project begins.
  2. Timing problems
    • Testing
      Make sure you budget enough time for testing. The more time you spend testing, the higher the chances are that you will catch issues in the migrated environment. Also, consider who will be assigned to testing. Service owners might consider conducting tests in-house to reduce the chance of overlooking issues.
    • Re-launch timing
      Pay attention to re-launch timing. Consult with line-of-business staff and make sure they have a plan for unexpected events, such as unanticipated downtime. Ensuring staff are available to support the migration will reduce the chance of problems.
    • Delaying migration
      If servers are failing and there is a clear reason to migrate, perform a server migration. By delaying, problems that would have been solved by server migration will be exacerbated. Do not leave servers until they are too old to migrate.
  3. Migration costs
    Migrating servers is complex. Projects must be managed effectively and migration performed swiftly. If you lack in-house resources for server migration, consider hiring a contractor who can help you plan a successful migration. Be sure to make realistic estimates of the expected workload by analyzing current server status and system configurations. Do not underestimate the size of the migration task in order to save costs. A poorly planned migration can result in problems that quickly escalate costs.

Data Centers consideration

Before performing a server migration, be sure to consider the impact on the data center.

  1. Legality
    If an application service is running in a different country from where the server is located, service owners may face a variety of legal restrictions. Since each country has different standards for data centers, you must make sure the destination data center is compliant with the standards of the country where the service runs.
  2. Security
    Make sure the data center operates according to expected standards of security. Consider what security measures are taken and the data center protocols for emergencies and disasters.
  3. Accessibility
    Some data centers do not allow any access to server rooms due to security constraints. This may affect server migration. If no access is permitted, all migration tasks must be performed through remote access. This can require additional preparation and will most likely increase the workload. Be sure to confirm the location of data centers. In case of an emergency, you may have to visit data centers to sort out problems.
  4. Electrical capacity
    If you have multiple servers hosted on several racks, pay attention to the electrical capacity of the data center. Allocation of servers and the number of racks may differ depending on how many amperes the data center can carry.
  5. Optional services
    Always ask the data center service provider about the services included in the price and any optional items. If you need specific services and you find out in the last minute that they are optional, it could result in unwanted extra costs. Make sure all the support and services you need with the data center are covered.

Servers are the foundation of the corporate IT infrastructure. If servers are not built appropriately they can create a needless burden on management operations and can complicate the IT environment. Servers require routine maintenance checks, including fixing and replacing old parts and components, even after deployment. If these tasks are not planned and executed appropriately, it can introduce new risks and increase costs.

Tips: Thailand

Nowadays many companys move from insource server room to outsource Data Center of service provider. About server migration, there is challenge for IT team to process server migration such as completion of data migration or the difference between the original system to destination system. The IT team must have the knowledge and skill to support server migration because if not, the team may face the migration processing problem and the incomplete data migration. It causes of business interruption and the company will not be reliable by their customers.

Comment from Mongkolsak Thammavimutti, Director, Sales Consulting Department at NTT Communication Thailand

"NTT Communications Thailand provides the colocation service and server migration solution for customer. NTT Com takes care the effectiveness server migration and the complete data migration for customer. Moreover, the customer will get cost-efficiency benefit in energy-saving and cooling designs as well as cost reduction for data communication through networks and cost reduction for management."

Thailand Bangkok 2 Data Center

NTT Communications provides data centers with highly reliable and secure environments to ensure your business continuity.
World-Class Quality & High Specified Data Center.
Low-Risk Location
Bangkok 2 Data Center is located in Amata Nakorn industrial area, 4 km away from the closest river and 7 km away from the Gulf of Thailand. The area has a low risk of natural disasters. It is also less subject to political demonstrations.
First in Thailand
It is the first purpose-built data center in Thailand. It has a total floor area of 9,600 m2(approximately 1,500 racks). All the facilities are fully redundant in 2N configuration, the electricity stability is guaranteed system with 2N and the facility configurations are flexibly customizable to meet a variety of needs.
BCP Annex
The data center includes office space inside the data center building, for use during business continuity planning (BCP). Bangkok 2 Data Center is located an appropriate distance from the center of Bangkok and is an optimum location for a business continuity planning (BCP) site.

How was the article? Next time let's look into another topic.
[Part 4] Network virtualization

Related Articles
[Part 1] Network optimization
[Part 2] Network monitoring
[Part 4] Network Virtualization
[Part 5] BCP (Business Continuity Plan)

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