If you find yourself in a similar place, and the pressure to virtualize is mounting, at least make sure you have the time, money, staff, and expertise to do it right. If you’re not absolutely convinced, my advice is to finish the relocation first, satisfy yourself that your new data center is functioning optimally, and then think about virtualization.
2. Vendor hype. Let’s face it, most vendors know the best time to sell you anything new is when it aligns with changes that are already taking place. That’s the easiest and best time to capture your attention, not to mention your budget. Vendors specialize in taking advantage of any fears and uncertainties you may have to tell you that they have the tools and expertise to make them all go away. So if your virtualization software provider says virtualizing during a relocation is a good idea, and your hardware vendor says it’s a good idea, and the press and the analysts agree (as they often do as they spend a lot of time with and get a lot of their information from those same vendors), then it must be a good idea, right?
Well, not exactly. Performing two complex IT operations at the same time is almost always a recipe for disaster.
If you’re ready to make a move to a virtualized environment, you need to accept that fact that no matter what your vendors say, you will be beginning a complex, resource-intensive project. It’s important to be sure that all your systems will be able to support appropriate service levels throughout the transition. Unless those service levels can be maintained to the business’ satisfaction, it doesn’t matter how smoothly the virtualization initiative goes.
And if you’re also scheduled to relocate your data center at the same time, please, stop and reflect upon the risk you’ll be assuming by attempting to pull off two complex projects at the same time, essentially under a stop watch held by a watchful business.
Me, I wouldn’t want to do it.
Michael Bullock is the founder and CEO of Transitional Data Services, a consulting firm that provides data center design, construction and relocation services for large scale, ultra-high density data centers. Prior to starting TDS, Bullock held executive leadership positions at Student Advantage, CMGI and Renaissance Worldwide.