Client names removed for confidentiality reasons.
A major global investment banking client with offices in London required the consolidation of its IT equipment, from two data centres within a co-location facility into one contiguous newly provisioned area, as part of a contract and technical refresh initiative.
The client required additional space to grow within the co-lo facility, to enable various consolidation, technical refresh and virtualisation projects. Their existing rack allocations had been assigned organically and were distributed across two data halls and subject to varying standards of installation and cabling practices. As part of a contractual review, a new area of contiguous racks with space allocated for growth was assigned and provisioned. JSC were awarded the complex assignment on behalf of the Co-Lo provider, to complete a full asset and cabling audit, migration and handover. The equipment consisted of around 60 devices which comprised EMC storage racks, HP blade chassis’, large Cisco multi-blade switches and a variety of other data centre class servers, valued at over £800K.
The client required limited downtime and all physical migrations to be completed over a series of weekends. There was added complexity due to four Cisco 65xx series main core switches requiring migration.
Following detailed planning and close client consultation, our agreed approach was to divide the project into three main areas of delivery.
Phase 1 – Health Check and Audit
A detailed audit was carried out within all identified racks to check the status and health of all equipment to be relocated. During the audit, our engineers also labelled the equipment with front and rear name labels in preparation for relocation, and recorded all serial numbers; to be used for secondary validation of equipment identification. All audit information was recorded in our own Infrastructure Planning software to ensure data accuracy and to create the initial migration plans for later use.
Potential risks and issues to the migration were also identified at this stage which included egress route planning for large EMC racks, floor tile replacement, and structured cabling panel removal.
All recorded data was checked, verified and presented to the client for review and reconciliation against their own migration plans.
Phase 2 – Pre-Patch
On this occasion, the client opted to create their own patching documents. Using these, along with version controlled information and our own verified hardware schedules, all power and data cables were pre-installed into the destination racks.
New labelled cables were used throughout; although this slightly increased the cost of the migration it removed a significant amount of risk of issues from using potentially faulty reclaimed cables and ensured a consistent standard of materials. JSC’s pre-patch cable solution presents the power and data cable loom into the exact position that it’s required in the rack. This method speeds up the re-commissioning of the devices and enables any issues with patch schedules and rack space allocations to be discovered prior to the migration thereby also removing risk
All pre-patching was verified and checked by the engineers and client, change control was then enforced across the new installation.
Phase 3 – Migration
The client split the equipment into 4 main migration stages with the EMC racks and storage infrastructure moving initially and various other services following. The core switch infrastructure was migrated last.
Low level plans, device “picking sheets” and handover plans were agreed with the client to ensure a smooth migration day operating environment.
Our migration teams attended site and worked alongside the client’s engineers and support suppliers to de-cable, relocate and re-cable all devices.
Our engineers used JSC, custom made flight cases to safely move all devices.
Floor surface protection was utilised for all rolling cabs (EMC).
Equipment was handed over as it became available after reconnection, with cable dressing and final rack tidying running in parallel to power up.
All source racks were emptied of cables, cage nuts and other decommissioned devices and rack equipment to allow hand-back to the co-lo provider.
THE OUTCOMES AND BENEFITS
All elements of the migration were completed successfully without any major issues, which we believe is testament to the planning, experience and migration methods employed by both JSC and the client.
The client is now benefiting from;
Major improvements in the management of the site and efficient use of space, power and cooling within the data centre.
The ability to grow their data centre space to allow for technology refresh and capacity upgrades.
Improved cable management, which benefits future capacity management and problem resolution.
To find out more about JSC’s extensive range of data centre services and solutions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.