Over a 6-year engagement, IBM assigned Tri-Paragon Inc. senior consultants to manage the day-to-day activities of a national telecommunications carrier’s 5 data centre locations.
These activities included:
Move Client’s 10,000 sq./ft. Non-Production Data Centre
Tri-Paragon Inc. was engaged to design and manage the move of an IBM client’s non-production data centre. We managed the complete end-to-end move, which involved 78 full server cabinets consisting of over 400 physical servers, 2 large virtual backup environments, as well as 42 storage and converged infrastructure cabinets. To complete this, we had to:
Obtain the current-state configurations of all servers to be moved, network cabling, and power requirements from the source location.
Design the floor layout of the newly-built target location for all hardware, including network infrastructure, network cabling, and power cabling requirements.
Develop a transportation plan taking into consideration the 250km distance between source and target locations.
Identify all risks that may affect the move and develop mitigations.
Work through the “move plan” with all application owners and system administrators.
During the actual move, once everything was shut down, specialized teams disconnected all the cabinets in a pre-planned move sequence. Once disconnected, cabinets were moved to the loading dock, loaded onto the moving van, and once loading was completed, the truck would leave for the target location. Five trucks were used and rotated to complete 21 loads.
As each truck arrived at the target location, they were unloaded and the hardware was taken to the raised floor, placed in the pre-determined spots and cabled.
From the initial start, the first servers were brought online in 2 days, and everything was up and running within 6 days (additional time was given for validation). Over 300 people played a part in this successful data centre relocation with no unplanned outages.
Move Production Data Centre
IBM’s client requested IBM to do an expedited move of over 150 production applications consisting of 187 physical servers and 382 virtual servers from an outsourced data centre to an in-house managed data centre. The physical servers included large AIX environments, Windows servers, and a couple of large backup environments. Tri-Paragon Inc.’s consultants were engaged to assist with the overall planning and specifically responsible for all physical moves. Planning and execution were completed in 3 ½ months. Data migrations were done during the week, with the final sync during the move each weekend. As requested by the client, the moves took place over 10 consecutive weekends and were completed on schedule.
Move QA/Test Environment from Production to Non-Production Data Centre
Challenge – IBM’s client wanted to move their major QA / Test environment out of their primary production data centre to their non-production / DR data centre. Tri-Paragon Inc. was engaged to manage the overall move. The major challenge faced was the time given from when the move was approved until the move had to take place; it was only 35 days. The environment was only available to be offline at a specific time in the year, and if it was not moved then, it could not be moved for another year.
The move consisted of 144 physical servers and 26Tb of data. To complete this, we had to:
Get the current state of all servers to be moved, network cabling and power requirements from the source location.
Develop a transportation plan.
Identify all risks that may affect the move and develop mitigations.
Work through the move plan with all application owners and system administrators.
The physical move was performed over a week and completed successfully. However, there were a few challenges with the storage migration and a new approach had to be applied. Even with the challenge, the overall move and migration was completed in the timeframe allotted and to the customer’s satisfaction.
Challenge 1 – IBM’s client required additional space urgently to house rapidly growing and new production applications. Tri-Paragon Inc.’s consultants managed the overall build in a new IBM “level 3 +” facility, which included:
Once these steps were completed, the facility was turned over to the client to utilize.
A second build took place at this facility of an additional 30 server cabinets with Tri-Paragon Inc.’s consultant managing it as well.
Challenge 2 – IBM’s client had moved into a new IBM data centre from another location but required an additional 5,000 sq./ft. to be prepared for use. Tri-Paragon Inc.’s consultant was engaged to manage this requirement. This build consisted of:
Once the infrastructure was in place, it was turned over to the client.
Move Client’s 5,000 sq./ft. Data Centre
IBM was required to move a client’s data centre from an outsourced location to a newly built IBM Data Centre. Tri-Paragon Inc. was engaged to manage this move and after a complete inventory was taken, it was determined that there were some production applications running at the site. IBM assigned two Tri-Paragon Inc. senior program managers, one to manage the production moves to a production data centre and one for the non-production/DR move.
All production had to be moved first. There were 20 production applications on 124 servers that were migrated and/or moved over a 6-week period on weekends during allotted outages. Some applications were migrated from one site to the other.
To accomplish this, the receiving environments had to be built first, then working with the systems and storage administrators and application owners, the migrations were planned and moved. A similar method was used for the physical moves, which required additional teams, such as a cabling vendor and movers.
While the production moves and migrations were taking place, the non-production/DR move was being planned. This move included 58 server cabinets (~ 300 physical servers), 19 storage device cabinets, and the complete network environment. Steps included:
During the actual move, once everything was shut down, specialized teams disconnected all the cabinets in a pre-planned sequence. Once disconnected, cabinets were moved to the loading dock, loaded onto moving vans, and once loading was completed, the truck would leave for the target location.
Two trucks were used and rotated to complete 16 loads. As each truck arrived at the target location, they were unloaded and the hardware was taken to the raised floor, placed in the pre-determined spots and cabled.
From the initial start, the first servers were brought online in 2 days and everything was up and running within 3 days. Additional time was given for validation which took another 2 days. It took a total of 5 days from the start of shut down until turned over to the users, and 240 people had a part in this very successful data centre move.
Move Development Environment
Challenge: IBM’s client required urgent power relief from its production data centre. A decision was made to move a major development environment from the production data centre to an IBM Data Centre. Tri-Paragon Inc.’s consultants were engaged to fulfill this requirement. The move required a build, as well, prior to the move and was accomplished as follows:
Upon completion of the 3rd weekend, the director of the development environment at a management status meeting said, “The moves were totally transparent to the end users.”
Over a six-year engagement with IBM, Tri-Paragon Inc. was assigned to decommission 4 data centres. This process included:
We have also been engaged by a financial software firm to provide audit and destruction services for servers, network devices, firewalls, and storage. All devices, once audited and recorded, were destroyed in compliance with NAID standards with the appropriate audit reports provided to the customer.