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How to Avoid Common Data Center Relocation Pitfalls

Relocating a data center goes beyond moving servers and installing them at a new location. It is a complex and challenging endeavor that requires caution to avoid losing critical data or damaging expensive IT equipment. When undertaking this exercise, keep in mind that a functional data center is a business necessity -- not a luxury.

According to the AFCOM Data Center, 53% of American firms will either expand or relocate their data centers in the next few years. This is because most of the data centers that are currently being used were not designed to handle the power and cooling requirements of present-day high-density servers. There has also been a sharp increase in the amount of data that needs to be collected, processed, and stored. The following are common pitfalls of data center relocation, and how they can be avoided.

Poor Planning

Poor planning can render the whole relocation undertaking useless. The planning process must put into consideration all components involved, including:

  • The number of servers that need to be accommodated in the new data center
  • The complexity of the relocation
  • The manpower and skills required
  • The hardware needed to make the new facility fully functional

Understating Power Requirements

Data centers have high power requirements since they accommodate a large number of servers. Modern data centers are built for equipment whose usage ranges from 150watts to 300watts per square foot. It's important not to underestimate the power requirements and power costs of a new facility, particularly if the power bills are paid by management rather than the IT professionals who will be manning the center.

Establishing Pre-relocation Baselines

It is difficult to establish whether a relocation makes sense or not if baseline data is nonexistent or understated. It is critical to understand the TCO of the existing data center before moving to a new facility.

Systems Upgrade During Relocation

It is tempting to make changes or system upgrades during relocation. Doing so requires facilities to be consolidated prior to working out the underlying licensing issues, standards, and architecture. Undertaking changes during a data center relocation exercise can create unnecessary complications. It is equally advisable to avoid switching vendors or virtualizing when moving unless new networking equipment is purchased before making the move. This saves the hassle of reinstalling new networking gear at the new location.


Moving a data center is not an everyday occurrence. Even the most experienced IT experts concede that they have taken part in it only once or twice in their careers. Therefore, very few firms have professionals with the expertise to handle the relocation properly. IT knowledge doesn’t necessarily translate into understanding the requirements involved in relocating a data center.

Do you intend to relocate your data center? Get in touch with the experts at EmconIT today.