Once the strategy is determined, attention turns to making the vision reality. This frequently involves selecting a site, understanding application inventories and dependencies, and planning the migration- which is a “once in a career” event for many.

Site Selection

Firms look for colocation space for a variety of reasons. It is imperative to be clear on your objectives, or you have no chance to find the right facility. You may be looking:

  • for additional or flex capacity,
  • to “get out of the facilities business,” or to avoid capital expenditure to modernize
  • to reclaim on-prem space for more profitable use,
  • to bring systems geographically closer to users to improve performance,
  • for utilization of cross connects and cloud onramps.

Your objectives determine the candidate providers you select. From there, a disciplined process will guide you through preparation of an RFP which anticipates future needs, a response template which elicits forthright responses (rather than “will be explained upon site visit”), well-prepared orals and site visits, and clear criteria for evaluation.

For many, this process is a once in a career event. We have harvested our experience so that you can make the very best decision for your future- so that five years from now, you’re pleased with the performance you’ve received and the flexibility you retain.

Application Analysis: Discovery and Information Gathering

Inventory accuracy for server to application mapping, and affinity group development, is far more elusive than many firms expect. Our approach is different, leveraging both tools and institutional knowledge:

Identification of Gaps. Some of the symptoms we see include accurate but incomplete data, accurate but high-level data, inconsistent data across an asset base, and stale and potentially non-existent data across an asset base.

We commonly see issues with the breadth of the data– only part of the asset base is being reported, and the depth of the data: only part of the specific data on a given asset is being reported.

Once we identify and remediate these gaps, CMDB data can be used effectively in application dependency mapping.

The Right Mix of Tools and Knowledge. No one tool can replace years of institutional knowledge. Our approach and methods leverage the “jump start” capability of a tool, and then validate and enhance the output with focused interview/workshop approaches to identifying the true – and sometimes hidden – dependencies.

GTSG provides an additional level of Interdependency Analysis. This is used at a minimum for critical applications, and is called Application Decomposition or “App Decomp.” Utilizing a refined series of detailed questions and workshops, our experience identifies hidden dependencies.

To learn more, read our document “GTSG on Application Analysis” below.

Migration Control

GTSG continues to utilize a Migration Control Sequence (MCS) methodology on every data center execution engagement – regardless of size. MCS tracking ensures that all stakeholders, interested parties, and program sponsors have deep and up-to-date knowledge of the crucial move events as they unfold.

Strict adherence to the MCS through a gated review process reduces errors and timeline slippages, and helps to control costs. We communicate milestones and deliverable expectations early and often, managing via a formal Gated Review process with weekly program wide reporting and score card reviews. We are flexible in our approach to clients- each company we work with has different internal process which can reduce the timeline- but there should be no compromise in rigid adherence once the process is established.

Laying out a timeline for migration events, along with the MCS and a work breakdown structure allows for predictive staffing. This is of particular importance when a client faces resourcing challenges due to a lack of staff or experience.

Your risk is mitigated- and your confidence grows from knowing- by utilizing the methods and the teams responsible for some of the most complex migrations of the past 20 years.

To learn more, read our document “GTSG on Data Center Migrations” below.