Moving house is one thing, but relocating a whole business is certainly far more difficult. The reason behind this is that a lot of specifics need to be taken into consideration when moving IT equipment and there are a lot of preparations that need to be made beforehand.
Generally, the IT team is responsible for making a server relocation plan and completing the relocation. Also, after the move is completed, it’s their job to test the servers.
In this article, we are going to discuss the topic of how to move a server from one location to another correctly. You can find everything from planning the move to helpful tips compressed into this small guide. But first…
Some of the major challenges when moving a server:
Safety of transport;
Data backup strategy and execution;
The layout of the new IT department;
Implementing new technology;
Space for other hardware equipment such as computers, printers etc.
Ventilation at the new address that meets the requirements of the server;
Contingency planning (a strategy for the time that a business can afford to stay offline with their servers not operating);
Communication with utility providers and emergency contacts;
Protecting critical business data;
Preparing for unexpected errors.
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Thoroughly review the new server premises for any potential risks like moisture, leaks from the ceiling, and etc.;
Test the electrical installation at the new address well in advance. Having power issues on the day of the server relocation will slow down and postpone the whole process;
Upon disconnecting all server hardware at the old location, double-check the condition of all electronics before loading it on the server racks. Run the full list of tests to make sure quality assurance requirements are met.
How to physically move a server
Now that you’ve completed this planning process, proceed with the actual transportation of the servers. Theoretically, following your plan would result in a problem-free server relocation but in reality, the scenario is a bit different.
There are plenty of things that can go wrong and you should be prepared before initiating the IT hardware relocation.
Prepare for malfunctions
Even perfectly secured and properly transported servers may refuse to operate after the relocation. After all, this is highly sensitive equipment that can get decalibrated during transportation.
Run recovery tests before the move as training for emergency situations. In case of data loss during the server relocation, you may have to complete recovery on the day of the move.
Give your tech suppliers heads up
Contact your suppliers, they should know that you are about to relocate your servers. This way they will have time to react if your equipment needs emergency repairs or you’re short of something at the new location.
Finish Data migration
Make sure that the data migration from the servers is fully completed, run all necessary tests.
Follow Data protection protocol
Carefully prepare for the execution of the data protection protocol in your company.
Pack your servers
Pack each server station in and label it accordingly. It’s also a good idea to add numerical labels with the exact order in which each station was packed. You can later unpack in reverse order for maximum efficiency.
Label all cables and electronics for faster unpacking and installation at the new address.
Make sure the hardware is well secured in transport
Keeping all hardware completely stable during the relocation will minimize chances for errors.
Relocate Data storage
Transport physical data storage hardware in a vehicle different than the moving vans for additional security.
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When planning to move your entire server racks, take into consideration the fact that most models are supported by small legs instead of casters. This is not an issue if the whole weight constantly lies on all four legs. However, if you have to tilt the entire rack, you risk damaging the server. This makes almost all types of server racks unsuitable for transportation and relocation.
Modern server racks have better mobility properties but are often hard to relocate, too. Also, having multiple static objects in a server room hinders the process of moving a server rack from one place to another. Transportation of loaded server racks is the main reason behind damaged hardware and data loss. Plus, this equipment could be a bit on the heavy side and cost you a good fine if you don’t pay attention. Overloading your van can result in vehicle gross weight fine.
One of the most comprehensive ways to install new server equipment after the relocation is to set up new racks.
Make sure to plan out the whole moving process and create a thorough server relocation checklist. This way you’ll spare yourself a lot of unexpected (and probably unpleasant) scenarios.
Don’t try to move loaded server racks. You risk losing all of your data.
If you want to minimise potential chances for damage, hire a team of professional removalists to relocate the server for you.
We hope our article on how to move a server from one location to another informative and helpful. Feel free to share all your thoughts and moving experiences in the comment section below.
*** Do you have any interesting ideas on how relocating server equipment can happen easier and faster? We would like to hear them in the comment section below.