4 Tips for Successful Technology and Data Center Moves


Moving data centers and IT equipment is a complex task with many moving parts. There are a number of perils and pitfalls in relocating sensitive technology. While this is not an exhaustive list of considerations, it does touch on some very important elements that need to be considered.

1) Planning Ahead

It is absolutely critical to have a detailed plan. As Ben Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. While he never had to deal with IT equipment and servers, it is just as true today as when he said it hundreds of years ago. It is also important to create a plan as far in advance as possible.

The first step in any plan is to designate a team and team leader who will create the plan, outline tasks, and set timeframes to accomplish them. These individuals must have the technical knowledge to understand the current set-up and be able to help plan the new arrangements. This team will also communicate regularly to the company and management to ensure they are informed and involved as required. If your organization is small and thin on resources, it may be advisable to bring in an outside consultant, who will ensure the relocation goes smoothly and that the technical details are properly attended to.

After roles have been assigned, the next steps can happen in tandem. One of which is finding the moving service provider. Movers can book up quickly, so it is advisable to get your date on their calendar as early as possible. This is especially important if you are planning to move during nights or weekends. Nothing can derail a plan faster than not having a company available to do the work. You also want to make sure you have the time to properly vet that company, so you know you’re getting the right professionals for the job (more on that later).

At the same time the mover is being selected and booked, there a number of other important planning steps that need to take place:

  • Create a master schedule of responsibilities and their due dates – who will be doing what, what they are responsible for, and when it should be completed. These can be revisited at regular meetings to ensure the schedule is adhered to.
  • Contact all service suppliers and vendors several months ahead of time to give them move dates and requirements for the new space.
  • Review the infrastructure at the new location to ensure that all the cabling meets your requirements, and there is time to make any changes/updates required prior to the move.

2) Create an Equipment Inventory/Audit

Moving your technology equipment presents a great opportunity to evaluate your old systems and replace outdated items. If you plan appropriately, you can have all the new equipment installed and ready to go when you arrive at the new location. Steps to take in evaluating your equipment include:

  • Creating an in-depth inventory and reviewing of all your current equipment.
  • Evaluating items to determine age and suitability in consideration of your needs going forward.
  • Creating a list of things that will require replacing.
  • Evaluating the needs of your new space/server room and ordering both replacement and new equipment in a timely fashion.
  • If anything is leased, arrange for its return and replacement, if needed.

By knowing what you have and what needs upgrading, you can also identify the most efficient order to move things over to the new site, prioritizing critical equipment that needs to be in place in order to have the smoothest, most efficient move.

3) Creating Backup Systems

Creating several backup copies of you information and storing them to the cloud or a secure data center off site is critical to ensure an uneventful move that covers any contingencies. While many companies already store their data to the cloud as part of their routine backup procedures, if you don’t, it is a good time to start.

Always test the backup. It is one thing to have a backup, but it has to be working properly to avoid major disruptions. You do not want to find out when you need it most that there are issues.

Additionally, have all the media and license keys handy when reinstalling. You will need these to restore applications.

4) Find the Best Expert for the job

Using a team of experts for your move offers a number of significant advantages. To name a few:

  • It frees up your employees to focus on their work, causing less disruption to your day-to-business.
  • Having expert handlers significantly reduces the risk of damage to equipment.
  • You have access to experienced individuals who can help you plan for any contingency – for you and your staff, this is a new experience – for professionals, this is an everyday occurrence.
  • The services you require are customized to your needs from professionals who are knowledgeable in identifying risks and creating comprehensive plans to complete your move and keep your equipment secure.
  • A wide array of specialized equipment is used to ensure secure transportation, including anti-static packaging and computer carts.
  • There is insurance coverage to cover the rare occasion of damage.

With so many movers out there, it is important to find a company with the experience and expertise to provide these advantages. They must also be large enough to have the manpower and resources to work within your schedule and requirements.

A company with the capacity for moving your technology equipment successfully will have project managers with in-depth backgrounds in coordinating these projects, and their crews will have the training and experience required for handling delicate equipment and servers.

At Sterling, you will be working with a host of experts. Your dedicated project manager will work with you to coordinate every aspect of the move. They will guide you and your team through the process to ensure a smooth relocation. All of Sterling’s crews and supervisors go through rigorous training before they are sent into the field. We never use temporary labor, and everyone receives a thorough background check when hired.

Sterling has the capacity and proven track record to ensure that your equipment arrives at its new destination safely. Our history of success is unparalleled in the industry.