If you’ve got a big office move planned, you’ll likely need to relocate your server. This might sound like a relatively simple task, but in reality, it can be far more difficult than most people imagine.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to moving a server, and there’s a lot that can go wrong too. Whether your server is simply moving to another room in the same building, or it’s traveling much further to a brand new HQ or a data center, you’ll need to take care over the move and plan accordingly.
IT professionals usually have the required expertise to move a server without any issues, but if the task is more complex it’s sometimes worth hiring specialists to manage the entire process for you. Here are just a few things you’ll need to consider before you decide how to move your server.
Planning your server relocation
Like any complex IT task, the job of moving a server should be planned in as much detail as possible. There are many factors that you’ll need to take into account before you begin the process, so take a step back and formulate a bulletproof plan with the help of your team.
The first step of the planning process will be deciding how long you think the move might take, and how you’ll support your teams while the move is underway. If you’re using a moving company, ask their advice and find out what their expectations are for the move itself. Make sure lines of communication are clear between your team and the moving company, and that both teams are fully aware of what’s involved.
Consider how much it’ll cost to move your server. We recommend having a set budget for the task because, if you don’t, then costs can soon get out of control. Don’t overlook hidden costs such as any overtime you might need to pay your team and any additional work you’ll need from either the moving company or your own in-house IT professionals.
Think about wiring and cabling, and make sure you have a detailed plan as to how these will be organized. It’s a good idea to create a written plan complete with diagrams so that no one will be in the dark if they’re asked to help with the moving process. Remember that tasks might not always be completed by the same person, so the more information you have written down, the better.
Miscommunication can spell trouble during the server moving process, so it’s vital that all team members involved in the process know exactly what their responsibilities are. It’s also a good idea to inform all team members as to what they should do if something goes wrong, so any errors are quickly reported to a member of staff capable of dealing with them. Make one senior member of staff ultimately responsible for overseeing the process, and ensure that they have all the resources they need to keep everything running smoothly.
How to move a server
Once your move has been planned and teams are fully briefed on what’s happening and when you’ll be able to start the real process of server moving. Of course, having a detailed plan should make this simple, but there are often unforeseen challenges once the task is underway. So, prepare for potential problems, and make sure your whole team knows what to do in every eventuality.
Malfunctions are common after servers have been moved, so don’t be alarmed if you encounter these at the new location. Server equipment is highly specialized and very delicate; even the most careful moves can cause damage. Prepare for this by making sure all important data is properly backed up and recovery tests have been run before the move. Sometimes a complete recovery is the only way to get servers back up and running after a move, so make sure your team is prepared for this possibility.
Suppliers are essential partners in a server move, particularly in the event of an emergency. If you regularly work with technology suppliers and you’re about to move your server, make sure they know about it. Talk to your suppliers well in advance of the big move. Give them all the dates they need so that they’ll be on standby in case their support is required.
When it comes to packing up your servers, labeling is key. All equipment should be carefully labeled, with one team member responsible for recording this information along with details on the condition and warranties of the equipment in question. If this information is on hand and all equipment is well labeled, then the task of unpacking will be far easier. Remember, it’s not just the equipment itself that should be labeled for the move. Cables and wiring should also be carefully labeled, before being packed according to their specific usages.
Consider security when you start moving equipment, particularly if your organization handles sensitive data. Pack data storage hardware in separate moving vans for the journey, and make sure that all hardware is well secured before you move it. This will reduce the risk of any errors occurring after the hardware has been moved.
How to safely move server racks
Sometimes, companies choose to move their server racks when relocating. But this isn’t always necessary. In fact, in many cases, it can make the task more complicated than it needs to be. Even the latest server racks are difficult to move, and of course, server racks should never be moved when loaded with equipment. To make life easier, we always recommend setting up new server racks in the new location.
Whether your company is moving offices, your requirements have outgrown the physical space available in your server room or you’re looking to start using a specialized data center, you’ll likely need to relocate your servers. While this can be a complex task that requires a degree of skill and planning, it shouldn’t be cause for alarm.
Make sure your move is well planned and consider partnering with a professional moving company for complete peace of mind. That way, the move will run smoothly and your server will soon be up and running in its new home.