3 Types of Data Center Moves and How They Can Save You Space, Power, and Energy
May 19, 2016

Data center managers often find themselves making data center moves in response to changing business needs, technology updates, government energy mandates, and other demands. Regardless of the type of move, the goal is often the same: savings in terms of space, power, and energy.
 
However, data center managers need to choose the type of move carefully. The best move for a particular situation may depend on how complicated the move will be, where the data center manager wants to focus, and the expected benefits of the move.
 
Pro tip: Before undertaking a data center move, make sure to include identifying ownership, understanding workload demands, and securing permission in the planning stage before your data center move. This not only helps to ensure that services will not be disrupted and that business can continue as usual but also improves your chance of success on moving day and beyond.
 
Most of the moves that data center managers have at their disposal today fall under one of these three categories:
 
1. Rack- or room-level moves. The most basic type of is at the rack or room level. This type of move is centered on utilizing space and maximizing storage, whether this is within servers in a single rack, multiple racks within a single room, or even an entire facility.
 
While the major focus is on moving the physical location of individual data center assets, it is also important to consider whether small moves can lead to big reductions in the power and energy being used within the data center. Reducing energy in individual racks can be accomplished by moving or retrofitting power and cooling. Additionally, reorganizing the network cabling structure in conjunction with moving assets can help to maximize space. Finally, validating power usage and eliminating zombie servers in the network can be used to free up space and reduce power and energy.
 
2. Software-level moves. A software-level move focuses on moving and migrating services that run a data center, including the servers and associated applications within. This type of move also incorporates moving to or from virtual machines. Generally, a business will look towards this move as a way to upgrade current services or consolidate antiquated processes.
 
Moving, consolidating, and migrating services benefits the data center as a whole by reducing the number of servers running and consequently the associated space, power, and energy consumed. Implementing a DCIM solution to manage equipment, applications, and operating systems and to monitor power, energy, and environment can provide additional savings.
 
3. Facility-level moves. The largest type of move is at the facility level, moving to a new building or to a third-party hosting facility such as a colocation. This type of move generally occurs when a data center has moved out of space and needs to expand, or it may occur when a business is looking to consolidate or reduce its internal operations expenses.
 
A facility move incorporates both the rack- and software-level moves. While this is the most complicated type of move, it also provides data center managers with the opportunity to review their overall operations and expenses and make recommendations that can save space, power, and energy costs well into the future.
 
Depending on the capacity of your data center facility and what you are trying to accomplish will determine the type of move needed. Whether it is on the smallest rack or room level or the largest facility level, a data center move can help you better operate the data center by reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
 
Want to learn more about how to successfully move a data center?  Check out our DCIM webinar on Common Pitfalls to Avoid in a Data Center Move and gain insights from the experts at 451 Research, F5, and John Wiley and Sons into the challenges of moving a data center—and how to avoid them. 

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