There is no easy way to move a data center to a new location hundreds of miles away. The job is fraught with potential risks and complications — not the least of which is being able to get all the equipment up and running at the new site. A seemingly trivial oversight in the new site’s architecture could mean a rack of servers isn’t getting enough power, delaying the project and ballooning its cost.
How does a global pharmaceutical manufacturer accomplish this feat of logistics? Here’s how one company partnered with OnX to make it happen.
The U.S. division of the company chose to relocate one of its data centers from a campus in North Carolina to a facility in the suburbs of Chicago. Five major challenges confronted OnX and its client:
- Understanding all of the potential business risks associated with a major relocation of IT hardware
- Developing an IT architecture for the new site that optimized repurposed assets while meeting clients goals for the new data center
- Sourcing the best colocation facility from several potential providers
- Finding a practical, low-risk way to move delicate, expensive equipment more than 800 miles
- Coordinating with a new IT colocation facility the company recently hired
With so many moving parts in a data center move, the client needed a trusted technology partner. OnX had provided effective technology solutions to the company successfully for several years, which established trust and paved the way for this project. Our ability to offer a full suite of sophisticated solutions and services, along with our skill at helping clients assess, design, build, secure and manage their environments, gave us the confidence that we could handle the complex logistics involved in relocating this client’s data center.
OnX and the pharmaceutical company devised a six-step process for the move:
- Site selection: OnX started with a list of colocation candidates to host the new data center. Once proposals came in from the most promising candidates, OnX scored each based on all the pluses and minuses of their facilities, shortlisted the top finalists and helped the client choose the best of the best.
- Technology: An inventory had to be created for all the equipment at the client’s current location. Much of the storage gear was in fine condition, so it would have to be moved. The networking equipment, however, was mostly obsolete and had to be updated.
- Architecture: The suburban Chicago site needed a new IT architecture. OnX handled the entire process, from design to configuration and testing to implementation.
- Coordination: OnX worked hand-in-hand with the client’s new colocation provider to make sure all IT processes kept running smoothly.
- Physical move: HPE Relocation Services was leveraged to pack up the equipment and truck it from North Carolina to Chicago. OnX consultants followed the shipment to be on hand in case anything went wrong.
- Implementation: After the equipment arrived at the new site, OnX coordinated the entire installation to get everything up and running with minimal disruption to the company’s IT operations.
The project helped the client in four ways:
- Moving to the new facility reduced operational costs
- The data center was relocated with minimal disruption to their business
- Upgrading networking hardware boosted their overall system performance, ensuring the entire facility runs at peak efficiency
- With a well-designed IT architecture in place, the company has laid the groundwork for moving more IT operations to the new location, which can boost overall efficiency and effectiveness in the years ahead while reducing costs even more
- Collaborating with OnX helped the company identify inefficiencies and find new ways to rein in IT costs
This project required a significant amount of upfront analysis to determine their specific business objectives and technology challenges.
Our assessment of their current environment was key to determining the best way to move their data center while reining in IT expenses.
Our upfront investment in understanding the company’s goals and challenges, along with our collaborative approach to the project, led to a solution that will control costs and scale as the company grows. And our experience with this project ensures we have the expertise to help them deal with any problems that arise at the new location, giving the company the ability to focus on its core IT initiatives and achieve their desired business outcomes.