How To

The Smart Guide to Datacenter Migration

The plight of modern business involves managing IT system’s limitations. You rely on your applications and data, and you know that you will continue to run an exponentially-growing number of workloads in your datacenters with each passing year. It may be time to consider a datacenter migration when it becomes clear that your current IT solutions can no longer accommodate your workloads.

Key Takeaways:

  • Datacenter migration is transitioning your data and workloads to a new infrastructure when your current IT systems can no longer accommodate the business’s needs.
  • Many large organizations experience impediments toward modernizing their IT operations because of a reliance on legacy systems, emphasizing the need for new infrastructure.
  • The entire migration process can take many months and bring about downtime in your services, meaning a comprehensive plan and timeline are absolute musts.

As you learn more about your options for future-proof infrastructure solutions, it may become apparent that infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is the right path forward for your organization. The Nutanix hybrid multicloud platform is one such solution to consider as you envision the datacenter migration process that your company will follow.

What Is datacenter migration?

Datacenter migration is relocating your current datacenter environment to a new location or infrastructure that can better accommodate your data, applications and workloads. You might relocate to another physical datacenter with greater storage capabilities or migrate to a cloud-based solution.

In addition to meeting your organization’s data storage needs, migrating to a new infrastructure type can also lead to more cost-efficient overall operations. The transition from legacy systems often implies greater security, increased employee efficiency, and lower upkeep costs for hardware and software. According to Forrester, one Nutanix customer saw a 90% faster time to deployment, enhancing business agility and competitiveness when running on Nutanix.

A productive datacenter migration entails moving to a new infrastructure that will easily scale capacity and performance for both storage and compute over time, thereby optimizing utilization for when it’s required. It is also essential to consider whether your current applications and workloads will be compatible with your chosen infrastructure solution. Full compatibility will be seen through support of capacity and performance requirements, along with support for all files, blocks, and objects interchangeably.

Migration is a large-scale task that will likely involve many teams, leaders and stakeholders in your organization. You will also carry out a highly collaborative project that you will carry out alongside your infrastructure provider. The project can take many weeks or months to complete, so it is vital to plan accordingly so that the process will be faster and have minimal impact on your customers.

Know when to upgrade your infrastructure

Taking advantage of the latest technology in the IT space can be a fruitful investment. Datacenter migration becomes necessary when legacy systems impede your business operations.

An Insight survey report indicates that 64% of IT executives consider outdated infrastructure is a significant barrier to IT transformation. The same report also shows that 65% of large companies stall or completely abandon IT transformation initiatives due to insurmountable challenges.

It is crucial that IT leaders monitor their infrastructure resources and respond in advance before storage limitations or security concerns become critical pain points for the entire organization. Breaches, downtime and stunted growth can quickly become much more costly than the expense of datacenter migration.

Assessing the future needs of your business can inform the type of infrastructure that the company should adopt. Stakeholders might prefer an on-premises datacenter, or it might be more prudent to migrate to a cloud solution. Consider a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) as an efficient and future-ready alternative to legacy datacenters. HCI offers a future-proofed platform that runs on servers which can be at the edge, in the datacenter, or in public clouds. This allows customers to migrate apps and data much more easily in the future across their hybrid multicloud environments.

Plan the migration

Planning the transition to a new IT infrastructure is crucial, so it's important to have a checklist that facilitates a smooth and efficient data transfer. Your datacenter migration plan should include the following:

  • Getting to know your infrastructure provider and selling stakeholders on migrating to a new service.
  • Designing your migration plan around how you will train your team, details about any systems you need to build or reconfigure, and the amount of storage space you need so you can comfortably grow.
  • Creating a project timeline, acknowledging that there will be downtime during migration.
  • Reviewing and revising the plan as necessary to ensure it will meet the interests of all teams and parties involved.

The first step is understanding what your provider will do for you during and after the datacenter migration. Familiarize yourself with the services of your chosen IT provider before committing, and confirm that its team will be there for you throughout the transition. For example, Nutanix offers disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) to give you extra peace of mind throughout the transition and beyond.

Adopting new infrastructure also entails preparing a team to manage and oversee workloads running on the system. Alternatively, choosing a cloud solution that provides IaaS removes the burden from your organization of having an in-house team that can keep pace with the growing complexity of datacenter management.

Work closely with your provider to create a timeline for the migration project before you begin. Datacenter migration involves a certain amount of downtime during which your customers, employees and business partners cannot access the data or apps running in the system from which you are migrating. Your timeline projections should prioritize the uptime of workloads throughout the process so operations can continue relatively unimpeded.

Take a look at this customer success story to see how the city of Lancaster has used Nutanix to save on hypervisor and storage licensing costs while improving performance and administration after their migration.

Put your datacenter migration into motion

Only when the full scope of your datacenter migration is put to paper as a comprehensive plan should you begin to develop the physical infrastructure and necessary support networks. When opting for an IaaS solution, however, you will outsource the development process to your IT provider. 

When your newly developed infrastructure is in place, validating the system before performing a migration is crucial to ensure it will function without interrupting your operations. For example, validating an on-premises datacenter might entail performing a cooldown check to verify that the hardware will successfully come back online after a full shutdown. 

A fully developed and validated datacenter can receive workloads and data from your previous infrastructure. Remember that minimizing downtime during the migration process is pivotal, meaning performing a test migration using backup data may be prudent to reveal the time requirements or any possible pain points.

Learn more about modernizing your business with cloud infrastructure and how Nutanix can manage all stages of your datacenter migration.

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