Data Centre Relocation and Management Services

Data Centre Relocations

Data Centre Relocation is the physical movement of related IT Equipment from one Data Centre to another Data Centre. This includes servers, storage devices and their associated SAN components, network components, cables (power and network), and all media required for the successful operation and maintenance of the environment being relocated. Data Centre relocations are highly complex and sensitive projects requiring a high degree of expertise and experience to achieve success and minimize the risks of unplanned system and application outages.

Tri-Paragon applies a rigorous approach to managing the risk of a data centre move using its proven Data Centre Relocation Methodology (DCRM). Planning the relocation is the most time-consuming activity to ensure all risks are identified and mitigated, application maintenance windows are respected and the move is carried out in an appropriate timeframe.

A team is required with ample experience to save time, costs and most importantly potential errors. Our DCRM describes in detail the processes for site selection: discovery and due diligence: planning of the new data centre: detailed execution plans: risk identification and mitigation strategies: power, cooling, cabling and layout requirements; project initiation, execution and close out processes. Tri-Paragon’s years of experience planning and executing data centre relocations provides our customers with a level of comfort that their critical assets are receiving the care they deserve.

Data Centre Consolidations

Data centre consolidation is a common consideration for organizations that plan to reduce the size of a single facility or merge one or more facilities in order to reduce overall operating costs and reduce footprint.¹

Some duplication of data centre assets is advisable to provide the basis for disaster recovery and business continuity. Yet many organizations have multiple data centres that exist simply because no efforts have been taken to rationalize them. For those organizations, data centre consolidation should be under consideration to reduce OPEX.²

Tri-Paragon’s approach to Data Centre Consolidation based upon many client engagements, is to first consider the applications running in the source data centre and determine if they are required or if they can be consolidated into applications available at the target data centre.

This has two implications. The first is the potential to reduce the number of applications running and supported by IT and the second is to determine the business implications if the application were not available. Once the rationalization of the applications is completed the next step is to create a complete inventory of the remaining computing equipment with its detailed configurations and to identify how this supports the business.

For each application the scheduled downtime must be included as well as the related storage to support the application. A series of mapping processes have to be undertaken where the current state in the source data centre is completely mapped to the target data centre. This should include all of the interdependencies that exist in the source data centre and how they relate to the target data centre commonly referred to as the dependency mapping.

The detailed plan of execution including all required resourcing is then prepared for execution. During execution all equipment is transferred from the source data centre to the target data centre. If it is the intention of consolidating equipment through virtualization and cloud migrations it is highly recommended that this be done either before or after executing the move to minimize risk.

Data Centre Decommissioning

As a Data Centre tenant in an office building the usual requirements built into a lease at the end of its term is to return the space to its original condition (usually “bare-wall”) when the lease was signed. This means the removal of all “leasehold improvements” must be done unless otherwise formally and legally agreed with the landlord.

The next step is to determine if any of the equipment is currently operational. If it is a plan must be prepared for the relocation of this equipment to another data centre. If it is not operational steps for the equipment decommissioning must be applied. The sequence of events should include the identification of municipal requirements and preparation of plans for permit and approval submission. To avoid additional lease extension costs adequate lead times must be built into the schedule for municipal approvals.

Concurrently, plans for the decommissioning and removal of the computing equipment and peripherals should be completed as these activities can be executed while waiting for permit approvals. Once permit approvals have been received the removal of ancillary equipment such as HVAC, power redundancy, raised floor and all power and network cables can be removed. Any additional modifications required to the facility can then be executed.

Similar plans must be prepared where the data centre is a tenant in a co-location data centre facility. The main difference is that there usually is no need to remove the raised floor; however, the underfloor cables must be removed. If it is a caged area there may be a requirement to remove the cage depending on the requirements of the lease. The last step in both of these situations is to perform an exit audit with approval sign off to ensure there is no further liability.

Data Centre Real Time Capacity Management

According to Sunbird ³, a DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management) Software supplier, electricity consumption increased an average of 20% a year from 2001 to 2013. During the same period average hydro rates increased just over200%. In 2013 hydro rates were projected to increase 42% by 2018.

With these projected escalating OPEX costs for the foreseeable future it becomes increasingly important to plan and manage capacities of data centres to effectively reduce the associated OPEX costs.

Not only must the capacity requirements for power be managed but also the capacity associated with space, cooling, and available data connectivity be managed to minimize associated OPEX costs.

Program and Portfolio Management

As businesses address the ongoing challenges of changing economic conditions they must continuously improve their business processes and automation capabilities to protect their viability and competitiveness.

The changing of business processes to achieve these improvements are typically set up and managed as projects. For management to gain a view into the status of multiple projects and provide the necessary governance and risk management to ensure project compliance with requirements and the value expected, a project management office is a necessity.

If the PMO is established with a clear vision, strong sponsorship and a solid approach, focusing on governance, risk and compliance it can be a vehicle for creating tremendous organizational value.

The State of the PMO 2010 survey of PMO leaders and other project professionals found that 84 percent of organizations currently have one: a jump of 36 percent from 2000. Companies that have made the leap are reaping benefits.

Organizations with a PMO report significantly more projects coming in on time, on budget and meeting intended goals and business intent compared to those without a PMO. According to PMI’s 2011 Pulse of the Profession Survey.

PMOs help:

  • Reduce failed projects
  • Deliver projects under budget
  • Improve productivity
  • Deliver projects ahead of schedule
  • Increase cost savings

“Not taking advantage of PMO value can be an expensive way to operate,” says Michael Cooch, director of global portfolio and program management propositions, PricewaterhouseCoopers, London, England.

And that view is expanding beyond the project management community. “It is not just the PMO practitioners that are talking about PMOs—it is everyone seeing that there is something there,” Mr. Cooch explains. Unfortunately, not everyone is clear on the benefits: In “The Global State of the PMO: Its Value, Effectiveness and Role as the Hub of Training”, 60 percent of respondents reported that the value of their PMO had been questioned.

This disconnect can be caused by a number of factors, from structural problems to inadequate metrics to lack of executive support.

To secure the buy-in support needed to survive and thrive, PMOs must always be aligned with organizational strategy—no matter how often it changes. Companies must also understand that PMOs are not a cure-all for organizational woes.

Tri-Paragon has established PMO’s for project governance in multiple national and international organizations as well as in provincial and federal government departments.

REFERENCES:

  • ¹ http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/D/data-center-consolidation-it-consolidation.html
  • ² http://www.computereconomics.com/article.cfm?id=1923
  • ³ http://www.sunbirddcim.com/
  • ⁴ The State of the PMO 2010, PM Solutions. Results based on more than 290 respondents from around the world and across a variety of industries, including PMO leaders, team members, project and program managers.
  • ⁵ 2011 Pulse of the Profession, Project Management Institute. Results based on a survey of more than 1,000 PMI members and credential holders.
  • ⁶ The Global State of the PMO: Its Value, Effectiveness and Role as the Hub of Training, ESI, March 2011. Results based on a survey of more than 3,700 respondents from around the world.
  • ⁷ The State of the PMO in 2011, Forrester Research. Results based on an online survey of 693 PMO leaders conducted from April to May 2011 in conjunction with PMI’s Program Management Office Community of Practice.