Data Center Migration

Phase One of the Data Center Migration was to prepare the network for migration.  Upon arrival, the network was in shambles, and at times was very unstable.  The IT team was afraid to touch cables in the server room out of fear something would go down and they would not be able to fix it.  During Phase One, we migrated Users, Printers, Conference Rooms, & Video Conferencing Equipment off the /16 subnet that was created 15+ years ago, and migrated them into concise /24 subnets routed by the core Cisco 4500 switch.  The Cisco 4500 switch had been in place for 8+ years without its routing engine being used.  The network admin had deployed "Routers-on-a-stick" (Originally: 2x Cisco 1700's, and later: 2x Cisco 1901's) to route traffic to their 3 other locations, and also the Internet & DMZ.  Within the first 6 months of Phase One, their network had stabilized immensely (although much work still needed to be done), and the network performance sky-rocketed.

Phase Two of the Data Center Migration Project entailed preparing the servers (legacy servers on the legacy /16 and new servers that were built on a new /24 Server VLAN) and their storage devices to be moved to the Data Center.  This was a daunting task because they had well over 80+ physical servers, and two autonomous ESXi test environments that had somehow crept into production.  A major effort to consolidate network services, and decommission old & unnecessary server equipment was undertaken.  After another 6-12 months, 90% of the 80+ physical servers had either been decommissioned or virtualized.

Server Room (Before)

Photo 1:

Points of Interest:  
Top Left - Core Switch sitting on a shelf, buried by unmanaged cables.
Bottom - Desktops and "White boxes" under table running critical network applications (and plugged into wall power; not UPS)

Photo 2:

Two server racks.  Carcasses of decommissioned servers still lying around.  Business Critical Applications running on Dell workstations.

Photo 3:

General Photo of the state of the server room.  Cables ran haphazardly in the ladders above.

Server Room (Before, Continued)

Behind every rack was an accident waiting to happen. The majority of the rack doors were removed and set aside.  The majority of the rack doors that were still attached were not able to close due to unmanaged cables draped from the ladders above.  

Photo 1:

Back of the rack where the Digital Fax Server, and their stand-alone ESXi 4 server are housed.

Photo 2:

Back of the main row.  Fiber connecting their FibreChannel SANs hosting their critical applications being hung haphazardly from the ladder.  A custom built "extension cord" hanging in mid-air.  A Belkin Surge Protector (not pictured) purchased from a local computer shop supplying power to 6 of their Dell 2950 Servers, zip-tied to the cable ladder above.

Photo 3:

Back of the racks, and table housing the Core Switch.  More cables everywhere.

Server Room Update 

April 4, 2014 - After a lot of work and effort, we were able to decommission five of the ten racks in a single evening.  Out of the ten original racks in the server room, we are down to four racks.  The pictures below show part of the transformation.

Server Room (After)

Click here to see mash-up pictures showing the transformation.

Data Center (New)

Phase Three of the Data Center Migration involved the physical migration to the Data Center.  With all of the preparation done in Phase's One & Two, we were able to shutdown the section of the network that was moving to the Data Center, physically move the servers to the Data Center, and bring them back online without any issues.  After the Phase Two Server Consolidation effort, only 8 physical servers (5 VMWare ESXi hosts, 2 application servers, 1 massive backup server) and 2 iSCSI SANs moved.  The migration took less that 12 hours to complete, and most importantly no data or functionality was lost during the move. 

Photo 1:

Front of Rack.  Pictured:  iPrism Web Filters, Dell Server running Sophos UTM Firewall, Riverbed WAN Accelerator, 5x Dell R620s running vSphere 5.5, 2x Dell EqualLogic PS6100 iSCSI SANs, Dell EqualLogic PS6500 iSCSI SAN, Aberdeen Backup Server

Photo 2:

Back of the Rack.  Pictured:  Cisco 4507R,  Dell Force10 switches supporting the iSCSI & vMotion networks.  Cables Management.