Countless companies’ and organisations’ IT resources are not up to the challenges of the digital age. In all sectors, the growth and speed of business requires infrastructure modernisation. Transferring these infrastructures to a new environment such as a data center is a response to the challenges of transformation. Provided, of course, that the migration of legacy applications and data respects some best practices.

First of all, a migration project cannot be envisaged without an in-depth audit. Knowing what already exists is essential to make the best choices in terms of performance, security, reliability and return on investment. Self-discovery tools enable servers, network equipment, applications and storage resources used on site to be identified. These services provide a complete mapping of physical and virtual equipment and reveal the interdependence of systems to identify which applications should be moved and which should be kept in-house. All of these elements feed into a project management plan whose objective is to consider all risk factors before disconnecting any devices. This risk assessment is all the more important as it determines the overall migration budget.

Careful preparation

While unpleasant surprises are often costly, a lack of planning is also detrimental. Establishing a milestone schedule is essential to ensure that the migration project is kept on track and to focus on critical tasks, especially server and application management during the transfer of operations. All approaches necessary for the smooth running of the project must include a security component that ensures data availability during the move. These recommendations also apply to the transfer from one data center to another, with operating procedures that anticipate technical and logistical pitfalls.

From the audit phase to the operational delivery of the new environment, a team of experts is responsible for monitoring the partial or total migration of your information system. The inventory of your IT resources and the formalization of your needs in technical, operational and financial terms establish the basis of an audit from which the best choices are recommended. Although these choices vary according to each company’s activities, they always lead to a choice between two approaches. The first is a partial migration of the information system if the company wishes to keep its most strategic applications on site or to proceed in stages before embarking on global outsourcing. The second is a total migration in order to quickly modernise applications and increase performance while outsourcing part of the necessary resources in parallel.

Ensuring data availability and security at all times

The service provider in charge of the audit not only defines these major orientations and delivers a technical solution through a data center, but also works to secure the data before, during and after the migration with all the compliance guarantees associated with the customer’s sector of activity. Its certifications are therefore essential, as is its ability to provide the expected services in terms of support, SLAs, physical and logical security, disaster recovery and energy autonomy. It is also important to know the connectivity options available and the range of Internet and cloud service providers to choose from, as well as the ability to cope with load surges. All of these are points for which the service provider must provide clear answers and explain in complete transparency how its tools allow permanent access to your assets and the fine-tuning of the resources made available.

With the prevalence of Big Data, the growing adoption of IoT, and the spread of public, private and hybrid cloud offerings, the question of hardware capacity, network performance, reliability and security of the infrastructures operated by enterprises is becoming increasingly important. In this context, data centers are becoming a privileged avenue. But unless they have the budget to build a private infrastructure that meets the new demands of IT, most organisations opt for a shared center. Hardware, bandwidth and computing and storage space are then available from a specialist shared center provider. The buildings and their power and cooling systems are also shared between several companies enabling cost savings and flexibility of services, which explains the success of this approach. Pooled resources allow for economies of scale, the ability to capitalise on feedback from other customers and to benefit from technological advances that the provider will be able to leverage in the future.

Whether a company chooses to place its own physical servers in a third-party data center or to rent infrastructure on-site, the virtues of shared centers are multiple but rely primarily on the expertise, reliability and availability of the provider. At DATA4, not only do you benefit from rigorous support and follow-up, but you can also rely on a large ecosystem of partners present on our campuses. The resources to optimise and rationalise your hosting and hybridisation projects are multiple. Our scalability capabilities are based on infrastructures that can be quickly updated to meet the needs of growth and decline. The information systems we host evolve on demand, leaving our customers in control of the governance of their data.

Multi-level reliability

Our data centres offer multi-layered reliability that provides a form of resilience for companies to manage risk, particularly by leveraging redundant storage that allows data to be duplicated in the event of a problem. This security guarantees a return to activity within the set deadlines, but also ensures measures to maintain power and cooling supply, backup procedures and disaster recovery plans (DRP), physical surveillance of dedicated buildings and access control, cabinet design and security… the list is far from exhaustive, even vulnerability to natural disasters was taken into account when choosing locations for our fifteen or so European data centres. Another advantage of our shared offers is that direct and private connectivity to numerous telecom operators and Internet and cloud providers meets the immediate needs of businesses, enabling them to ensure their future growth.