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Brace Rennels

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Blog Post

Five Tips for Consolidating and Protecting Your Data Center

Maximize your data center uptime while facilitating a move, migration and/or consolidation

There are several challenges when attempting a data center move or even just consolidation. Availability is the number one priority. All the systems during the move need to be available so production operations are not interrupted. Depending on the technology you use some solutions will require more downtime than others. If you are consolidating to a blade or virtual machine infrastructure then you also need to prepare for provisioning new servers rapidly. Here are a few tips to help maximize your data center uptime while facilitating a move, migration and or consolidation.

  1. Availability – Host based replication software like, Double-Take Software, can provide real time replication of the application, system data and even operating system all while the production systems remain online. This type of solution can reduce your downtime to near zero as you have the ability when to chose to failover to complete the data move. These solutions are also hardware independent and allow you to provision a duplicate copy of the server onto new or virtualized infrastructure and not requiring the same hardware.
  2. Power and Cooling – If you are moving data and or even consolidating you need to be aware if your power and cooling resources are still adequate. Power companies like, APC, state that consolidating to a blade and virtual infrastructure can actually increase heat in a condensed location and cause more cooling consumption in order to reduce those workloads to an optimal operating temperature. Planning will be required to assure you maximize your efficiency with the power and cooling solution.
  3. Footprint & Networking– If you can reduce your overall data center footprint that will help save additional money. Virtualizing the data center infrastructure will help do that but there will need to be a disaster recovery solution to keep those virtual host sharing the same storage highly available. Don’t forget about the network, if moving to a consolidated virtual infrastructure there will be more requirements for NIC or Ethernet cards as well as potentially HBA’s and or switches for the environment. Some virtual infrastructures require one port for monitoring, one for backups and another for networking. Check with your hardware vendor and make sure your network infrastructure will be sufficient before you begin moving the data center.
  4. Provisioning Blade Technology – If you are looking to move to more efficient blade technology then you will want to have a good provisioning process for rapidly deploying new workloads. Installing the OS disks from scratch or restoring from tape won’t be sufficient. Using a netboot solution where servers can be pointed to disk images residing on an iSCSI device can boot up the servers immediately. This can also help from a security standpoint in to help further protect from viruses or data theft. This will help make the new data center architecture flexible so that many servers and or workstations can be provisioned efficiently and rapidly.
  5. High Availability- Once you have moved and or consolidated the infrastructure you have likely cased a single point of failure that wasn’t planned. When physical serer workloads are consolidated to a smaller more efficient virtual host there is an issue of all of the virtual guests residing on the same physical server as well as sharing the same shared storage. Having a solution that will allow you to provide live migrations of entire virtual host workloads will keep the systems highly available. However, the solution should be flexible enough to be able to easily move those workloads across greater distances for disaster recovery in the event of sustained disaster event at the primary data center.

No matter what technology is selected for moving, consolidating and protecting the data center planning will be important for a smooth deployment and ensure production operations continue while the migration effort is in progress.

More Stories By Brace Rennels

Brace Rennels is a passionate and experienced interactive marketing professional who thrives on building high energy marketing teams to drive global web strategies, SEO, social media and online PR web marketing. Recognized as an early adopter of technology and applying new techniques to innovative creative marketing, drive brand awareness, lead generation and revenue. As a Sr. Manager Global of Website Strategies his responsibilities included developing and launching global social media, SEO and web marketing initiatives and strategy. Recognized for applying innovative solutions to address unique problems and manage business relationships to effectively accomplish enterprise objectives. An accomplished writer, blogger and author for several publications on various marketing, social media and technical subjects such as industry trends, cloud computing, virtualization, website marketing, disaster recovery and business continuity. Publications include CIO.com, Enterprise Storage Journal, TechNewsWorld, Sys-Con, eWeek and Peer to Peer Magazine. Follow more of Brace's writing on his blog: http://bracerennels.com