Colo Planning Guide: Ready, Set, Go

You’ve decided to move your data center assets to a colocation site. And you’ve decided on a specific facility. Before you actually implement the move, however, here are five questions to answer first — based on our own real-life experience with our clients.

1. Will you use your colo move as an opportunity to refresh technology, network architecture, server architecture? This could increase the cost of your relocation project, but you might be able to eliminate redundant hardware and underutilized systems.

2. Does your entire team fully understand all the complexities that will be involved? Colo implementation calls on many disciplines, and they must all be carefully coordinated. To ensure that you grasp all interdependencies — at the application level as well as at all seven layers of the OSI model — document every detail. This will enable you to conduct a realistic pre-flight of the migration process and provide your team with a reference for implementation troubleshooting.

3. Are you and your colocation company on the same page? Understanding who will provide each component is vital. For example, will your colo company provide racks/cabinets, cable trays, data cabling, power strips, monitoring services, and other elements — or will you? Get it all in writing.

4. Are you and your colo company working off a clear plan, including a detailed timeline for the move? Have you scoped out all dependencies? Does your timeline allow for schedule slippage? Do you have a ‘plan B’ in the event Murphy’s Law strikes? We encourage the use of checklists so your team and the colocation provider can coordinate closely on every detail.

5. Is your upper management fully read-in on the project? Do they understand the reasons for your colo move, and do you have full management support? Are they up on your latest timeline, contingency plans, and — perhaps most important of all — your colo budget? Silence is not a sign of agreement or understanding. Management feedback and affirmation is essential at every step of the process, from early decision making through implementation and evaluation.

Depending on how you approach important planning activities and decision points, a colo site move can be a minefield of expensive challenges or a well-orchestrated transition to new and improved IT functionality. We invite you to consult with Compu Dynamics at any stage of your colo project. It’s never too early to contact us. If fact, the ideal time is when you are just beginning to examine your options.

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