Data Center Move Checklist Primer

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Most project managers tasked with their first data center relocation begin a search for a data center move checklist to get them started. Some even hope to find a completed work breakdown structure (WBS) that they can customize. A data center move, however, is unlike most projects you’ll encounter and consists of more than the mechanics of shutting down servers and moving them to another location.

Data Center Move Playbook

You might be surprised to learn that you’ll need more that a checklist to move your data center. What are the main elements to consider?

  1. Budget and Pre-Move Decisions – Nothing happens without money and you’ll need some fuel to complete your data center migration. Understand that these preliminary budgets are often inaccurate as key decisions have yet to be made.
  2. Data Center Move Governance – Most Enterprise organizations have some form of IT Governance in place. However, these structures are often inadequate for a data center relocation. Getting governance right is one of the critical success factors for a well planned and executed data center move.
  3. External Customer and Internal Staff Communication Plan – Make sure you allow plenty of time to communicate key messages about your relocation to your customers and to your employees. Sending out a last-minute e-mail is a prescription for resentment, lost business, and missed critical components.
  4. Data Center Move Resource Plan – Who will be working on developing the data center move mechanics? Are you double-counting resources expected to do their normal jobs and overloading them with a data center move? Your resource plan should include your vendors, outside help, and the testing resources required.
  5. Data Center Move Plan – Grab our Data Center Moving Guide to learn about planning your data center relocation.
  6. Dry Run of major move elements – Rehearsing your data center move can illuminate weak points in a complex plan and test the ability of professionals to respond to scenario-driven events. These exercises should be standard operating procedure as a way of removing surprises and gaining practice for your data center relocation.
  7. Post-Move considerations – Data center relocations often expose organizational issues catching management unprepared after completing a complex technical undertaking. Unexpected management and staff losses, forgotten clean-up items, and neglect of normal business processes are common.

Every data center relocation is different and grabbing a plan from the web is a great way to commit assumption errors and miss the critical elements that are unique to your move. Get the help you need early on to make your move successful.

What Everybody Ought to Know Before Moving a Data Center

This book pays for itself in a few minutes by saving you days of searching online.

I wrote this book to strip the mystery from a data center move, and to:

  • jump start project managers who want to understand the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) category foundations
  • inform Executives about their budget process and cost model
  • warn Stakeholders to get Governance right
  • slice the Gordian Knot of decision paralysis
  • arm Human Resources to recognize key contributors versus the lazy, blanket recognition that demoralizes technical staff

Written in plain language, and organized to accelerate everyone’s understanding, the book is particularly useful for on-boarding others as your data center move progresses.


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