In order to minimize the risks associated with data center upgrades an impact assessment might be necessary.
Data centers are in a state of continuous flux. Retail data centers are designed to meet the needs of the customer so scalability is key. Upgrading a data center without incurring downtime requires careful thought.
IT staffers should think about how the upgrades can affect business as usual. Creating a checklist is helpful but communication is paramount.
Many organizations downplay the live upgrade causing surprise when normal operations are affected. This isn’t how it should go down. Follow these 3 Steps to make sure things go as planned:
Once the decision has been made to upgrade an existing facility, inform everyone that may be affected. Knowing that business could be affected during an upgrade allows workers to get organized in hopes to work around a possible outage. Adding contractors to the mix also helps speed up the upgrade process. You don’t want to take IT staffers away from their other responsibilities. Make sure contractors understand their role in the system upgrade and work together accordingly.
Before departments upgrade their IT systems they must take a careful inventory of their existing equipment. How much power do they consume? What are the cooling requirements? How will the new equipment integrate into the older infrastructure? Also, take a look at all the cabling in the facility. Does it look worn or frayed? A careful audit of IT equipment will determine what is needed in the upgrade process. Space is another concern. Some servers are bigger than others and may require a reconfigured rack-space.
In order to minimize the risks associated with data center upgrades an impact assessment might be necessary. The impact on your organizations productivity should be at the top of the assessment. Business continuity planning is an extension of this practice. Pay extra attention to security within your facility. Data centers are supposed to remain secure at all times. Know who is coming and going. Since the data center is about to become a work zone do your best to minimize clutter and stay organized. IT equipment is sensitive to both air temperature and quality. In other words, mind your dust.
Data center upgrades can and will affect normal day-to-day operations. Although careful planning on behalf of contractors and IT staff can decrease the risk of downtime. If downtime is unavoidable then proper communication beforehand is paramount. Give other departments a chance to come up with a business continuity plan. The success of a upgrade project depends greatly on specialized knowledge as well as experience. If you upgrade your data center make sure your stack holders know it’s for the better and that you can get the job done on time.