Data Centre Migrations – #2 Secure Your Data

Oct 14, 2013
Carl Hanssen talks about the importance of securing your data during a data centre migration.

Adapt has successfully managed a large number of data centre migrations for our customers onto our managed infrastructure over the last few years. With every project has come new experience, fresh insight and understanding and each has driven improvements to our overall approaches and methodologies.

#2 Secure your data

Following on from my last blog post ‘Data Centre Migrations – Planning is Key’, part 2 is all about how important it is to secure your data during a data centre migration.

Naturally you’ll have a solid backup and archiving regime, and you will have tested restores based on these, so you’ll have complete confidence that your estate could be recovered and rebuilt if the worst happened. If you’re concerned that the previous statement isn’t true, fix it as an absolute priority! And if you have trouble justifying the time and expense of sorting this out, take a moment to work out the value of your company’s data…

When you’re contemplating a platform move, however, this becomes even more critical. You are transferring your entire company at file level, and you need to be 200% sure all the bytes are safe.

When planning a migration, work out how long a rebuild and restore process could take if the worst happened, and plan for this – brainstorm scenarios and document the steps required to recover from them. Even if you are using disk-based backups, rebuilding your server estate using bare metal restores where you can, is a long job. Think hard about whether it is worth investing in a more secure and easily usable temporary fallback solution that could facilitate a more rapid restoration of service should things go wrong.

When Adapt migrate, we recommend that there are 2 (or more) accessible copies of critical data, so in the worst case scenario, the data is still safe and easy to access. We have in the past, for example, rented a spare SAN for the duration of the migration project; we can then sync the two devices, and move them independently; Where there has been fast network connectivity between old and new infrastructures, we have copied/synced the data over the wire from the old SAN to the new. We’ve also used rented data storage space in the cloud to cover us during the move.

Part #3 in the series talks about the importance of documentation to the process, so look out for that on the site. In the meantime, feel free to tweet me below.

Carl Hanssen
Head of Transition

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