Andy Abbas: Hi folks. This is Andy Abbas with Data Agility Group. Data Agility Group, affectionately known as DAG, we specialize in data center transitions. We've been helping our customers for well over 10 years. What we're going to be discussing today, is the assessment phase of the best practices of data center transitions. There are a total of eight different areas that you could potentially perform an assessment on. Now, that doesn't mean that you have to do all eight assessments but, we're gonna be discussing key areas to kind of give you a taste of what those different assessments are.
First and foremost, is an application assessment. Now, I may spend the most amount of time in application assessment, discussing this with you, because that's probably the most critical. When you're making a transition from a one data center to another data center, you're not only moving hardware, you're actually moving your applications. The hardware is just the foundation of what runs your applications. So, when you're making an assessment of which applications to move, which wave groups to move them in, it's extremely critical.
Because, if you take an application, and let's say, "It has dependencies between different applications", and you move two of the three applications that have dependencies, and you haven't moved the third one, well guess what? Your target data center, where your environment is running with your two applications, it's going to look for the third on, and it will have to go across the wire, if you have that ability still, to your older data center to access your data.
Now, performance is going to be very poor and it may not even work because, you may not have the necessary bandwidth nor the ports opened up for you to access. So, assessments are extremely critical. Next is network and security assessment. When you're transitioning your entire data center, there are a lot of key areas within the network and security that you need to address. Are you going to be upgrading in your new data center? So, when you do the assessment at the source, what are some of the functionalities that you don't have, that you would like to have? What are some of the key things that you want to optimize? Is your security at your existing data center up to par with what your business requirements are, or your client requirements are? Or whatever other regulatory requirements you might have.
Third is an inventory assessment. That means exactly that. We are going to take an inventory of your physical environment. Very critical. Especially if you're not doing a greenfield build. Basically meaning, you're not deploying a brand new environment at your target data center. If you're going to be doing a brownfield, which basically means that you're going to be putting in some new equipment at the target, as well as moving some existing equipment, then you need to do a full inventory. You need to understand what your environment looks like today, before you move it.
That would mean, going on site, taking pictures of your equipment, labeling your existing labels that are there, drawing out a schematic on where your cables are connected, things of that nature. You can be as broad or as detailed, depending on what your requirements are.
The next one is configuration assessment. How are your equipment configured? How is your SAN switch configured? How is your network configured? How is your LAN or SAN configured? How are your servers configured? Are you using your management? Are you using an ILO or an IDRAC? So, those type of things, you need to have a very clear detailed design on what the environment you have in place, looks like today.
Next one is connectivity assessment. What are your connectivity between your external applications that you may have out, living in the DMZ? Or if you have customers that are accessing your applications in your data center? How about, your access to the new data center because, obviously we're going to need to migrate the data from one data center to another. We need to make sure we have that connectivity assessment done so that we can determine what our requirements are going to be, in the subsequent phases we'll be discussing.
Next one is a process assessment, very key. Right now, you're operating on a day to day business. You are looking at your day to day business with processes that you have in place, for normal SLAs. When you're doing a data center transition, you may not be in a position to follow the same SLAs. For example, you find out during a move that you need to purchase an HBA for a server. Well, your procurement process may be three weeks, maybe a month, or maybe only one week or two day. You need to make sure that you have provisions put in place so that during that timeframe, you can actually order the equipment that you need, in a lot more expedient manner, than what your standard SLAs are.
Next one is cabling assessment. We want to be able to look at your cabling that you have in your data center because of course, there are several factors that come into play. Number one is, you want to be able to document, so if you're moving your gear from your source data center to the target, that your cabling is indeed identical to what it is at the target data center. So, you need to be able to map out your cabling. You need to be able to do an elevation map of how your racking is going to be.
Now, no one wants to think about this but, what if you have to back out? Meaning, that "You fork lifted", let's say, and you've shifted your gear from your source to the target data center but, you have to back out for whatever reason. Well, if you don't have a cabling assessment done and document all your cabling, when you ship the hardware back, how are you going to connect all your cables? So, that's a critical path.
The last is, I think I've already gone through eight of them but, I can give you one high one, is you need to do a full data center assessment. You need to be able to look at, what are some of the key things that you may be missing, that need to be addressed when you're migrating. Most organizations don't even realize that they have servers out in there, that they may not have in their master server list, for example. But, when you do your assessment, where you look at every single component in your data center, you will be able to catch that and be ready for the design phase of this project.