During data center migrations, one of the more interesting and challenging areas in the entire project is in the development of the move bundles. It is during this phase of the project where the “art” meets the “science”. The challenge is to balance the needs of the business, i.e. “I don’t want any down time for my applications” with time, technology, budget and human resource constraints. Advanced automation and replication technologies in the market place have eased some of these concerns, but the balancing act between these entities must still be maintained.
We’ve had instances where we were able to do a large migration event during a weekend that had hundreds of devices that were successfully moved, and other more critical moves were much smaller. These required advanced replication techniques and very little outage was experienced. More often the limiting factor in determining the size of a move bundle is the availability of the application testing personnel. Often during the strategy development a negotiation between the business and IT managers can help strike an acceptable middle ground.
This is ultimately a good thing, as these projects tend to force disparate groups together to solve challenging problems and thus break down perceived barriers and improve overall working relationships.