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TechSoup recently completed a data center move. You were very patient while we were offline during the move, so we wanted to share what we learned from the experience.
One of our main considerations in moving was disaster preparedness. The San Francisco Bay Area has earthquakes, and our old data center was in a similar earthquake zone to our main offices here in San Francisco.
An earthquake that interrupted services in San Francisco might also have affected our old data center south of the city. So relocating to a different earthquake zone was important to us. In fact, we had two moderate quakes on the very first day of our data center move - a compelling reminder of just how important disaster planning and preparedness is.
Check out TechSoup's Disaster Planning and Recovery Toolkit for tips on how to prepare your organization for any event.
We moved over 100 servers: 15 of which were actual, physical servers and over 90 that were virtual servers. There were also 25+ networking devices. All this hardware meant we also had to reattach almost 300 network cables. That was a lot to keep track of!
We have a pretty big data center, but the best practices below should still be helpful to small-to-medium size nonprofits or libraries when planning their own moves.
Moving your servers and other equipment can be complicated. But careful planning, good documentation, a solid buffer, and thorough testing will make the process go much more smoothly.
by Ariel Gilbert-Knight, Director, Content, TechSoup
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.