When it comes time for a data center migration, you need a plan. This plan should include several steps and best practices, and you should know the budget and downtime allotted so the process moves as smoothly as possible.

There are several different practices that you can follow that will help your team move swiftly and keep your customers satisfied even during the migration. If you’re preparing to partake in a data center migration soon, here are the five most important best practices you should keep in mind.

Evaluate Your Equipment

If your company has grown up and out in the last few years, you’ve probably notice data center sprawl which makes it difficult to know your inventory and document changes. Systems often work off of each other as well, which makes documenting changes even more challenging.

To counteract years of build-up and change, you should evaluate your equipment. Doing this will help you assess the scope of your work and give you a timeframe of how long it will take and how difficult it will be to enact your data center migration. This step will save you many headaches during the migration itself.

Plan Your Budget

Like any work task, you need to know exactly what your budget is before you move through with your plans. Many companies don’t plan according to their resources, instead haphazardly moving their centers and costing themselves a small fortune in the process. You need to know the risks involved, especially if you exceed your budget.

Many companies don’t allocate the proper number of resources or real dollars into the process and end up paying for it in real-time. Always make sure you know what your budget is and where the money is going during the process.

Know the Purpose of the Move

There are potentially dozens of pieces of equipment that will be moved during the migration process. You should know the purpose and importance of each of these pieces and move them according to their specs, requirements, and configurations.

There are always risks in moving equipment and you can greatly mitigate these risks if you know exactly each piece of equipment in and out. Before the big day arrives, you should catalog what you have and thoroughly look through every piece of information you have on that individual piece of equipment.

Data Backup and Replication

It’s not uncommon for data to be lost during a migration. You should make sure to back up every piece of data you have so that if this does occur, you know where to find the backup. Replicating data is critical because there’s no telling what pieces of it could end up deleted or lost forever. You should also replicate the data which you think is most likely to be damaged during the move for whatever reason. You can also hire a third party to construct temporary data environments, which come in handy if you’re moving large quantities of data during the data center migration.

Always Think About Future Growth

The pace of technology and innovation is absolutely at lightspeed in the modern era. You should keep in mind that the new data center you move your equipment to may be obsolete in a matter of just a few years.

You should always keep the future growth of your company in mind to ensure that the migration you’re enacting isn’t irrelevant sooner rather than later. For example, you can use equipment such as structured cabling to both reduce downtime risks and easily upgrade your center in the future, like making network and 5G improvements.