Data Center Migration

Definition of Data Center Migration

Data center migration refers to the process of transferring an organization’s IT infrastructure, services, and applications from one data center facility to another. This relocation usually occurs to consolidate resources, improve operational efficiency, or upgrade to a more advanced facility. The precise tasks involved may include shifting hardware, networking equipment, server configurations, and applications, as well as ensuring minimal downtime and data protection during the transition.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Data Center Migration” is:/ˈdeɪ.tə ˈsɛn.tər maɪˈɡreɪ.ʃən/

Key Takeaways

  1. Successful data center migration requires detailed planning and execution, involving not just the move of hardware, but also software, configurations, and addressing dependencies between various applications or systems.
  2. Thorough risk assessment and contingency planning must be carried out to minimize downtime during the migration process. Regular communication and coordination among different stakeholders such as IT team, vendors, and end users is also crucial.
  3. Post-migration, it is essential to validate systems, applications, and data to ensure they are functioning properly and to resolve any issues promptly. Migration should result in improved efficiency, security, and scalability for the organization.

Importance of Data Center Migration

Data Center Migration is an important technology term as it refers to the strategic process of transferring an organization’s digital assets, such as critical data, applications, and IT infrastructure, from one data center to another.

This process can be driven by various factors, including outdated facilities, modernization efforts, cost optimization, mergers and acquisitions, or regulatory compliance.

A successful migration helps businesses maintain operational continuity, minimize downtime, manage risks more effectively, and support the growing demands of IT services.

It also allows organizations to reap the benefits of advanced data center technologies, enhance performance, improve scalability, and strengthen security measures, ultimately contributing to overall business success and competitiveness.


Data center migration is a strategic process employed by organizations to transfer their existing data center operations, applications, and infrastructures to a new location or environment. The primary purpose of this undertaking is to leverage advanced technology, boost efficiency and scalability, reduce operational costs or risks, and consolidate facilities.

A successful migration requires meticulous planning, resource management, and skilled execution, all aimed at ensuring minimal disruption to ongoing operations while achieving the objective of enhancing the company’s IT infrastructure and optimization capabilities. In order to facilitate a seamless data center migration, businesses must thoroughly assess their current state, define their desired outcomes, and devise a comprehensive strategy to bridge that gap.

A well-executed data center migration can lead to improvements in business continuity, disaster recovery, and compliance with industry regulations. Ultimately, it enables organizations to more effectively ascertain and respond to changing business needs, empowering them to refine performance, strengthen security, and maintain a competitive edge in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

Examples of Data Center Migration

General Electric’s Data Center Migration: In 2014, General Electric (GE) initiated a multi-year digital transformation effort, which involved migrating their on-premises data centers to the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS). This migration process enabled GE to consolidate their IT infrastructure, improve overall efficiency, and reduce operational costs. As a result, GE was able to shut down 30 of their 34 data centers, offer more responsive applications and services to their users, and achieve significant savings in terms of power and maintenance expenditures.

Nasdaq’s Data Center Migration: In response to changing technology trends, Nasdaq decided to consolidate its Nordic and Baltic data centers into a single facility based in Stockholm, Sweden. Their objective was to improve the cost-efficiency of their infrastructure while ensuring security and maintaining optimal performance for their high-frequency trading systems. Using a combination of cloud and dedicated resources, the data center migration allowed increased flexibility, scalability, and ultimately led to a more modern IT infrastructure that could cater to Nasdaq’s financial services clients.

The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Migration: As part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) launched in 2010, the DOI planned to consolidate 95% of their on-premises data centers, migrating them to cloud service providers like Microsoft’s Azure Government Cloud and Google Cloud Platform. This migration project aimed to reduce costs, improve efficiency, enhance security measures, and minimize their environmental footprint. The DOI reported savings of over $100 million since the FDCCI’s inception, streamlining operations by reducing redundancies and deploying automation and virtualization technologies.

Data Center Migration

What is data center migration?

Data center migration is the process of relocating an existing data center’s operations, infrastructure, and applications to another location. This can involve moving from an on-premises facility to a colocation center, or from one colocation center to another. The process can be complex, but is necessary for various reasons such as improving efficiency, lowering costs, or upgrading facility infrastructure.

Why should a company consider data center migration?

There are several reasons to consider data center migration, including the need for improved infrastructure, increased efficiency, better security measures, and reduced operating costs. Additionally, migration to a modernized data center can provide better scalability options, access to improved technologies, and support for evolving regulatory compliance requirements.

What is the typical data center migration process?

The data center migration process generally follows these steps: planning and assessment, designing and architecting the new data center, preparing the existing infrastructure, executing the migration, validation and testing, and finalizing the new data center operations. It is critical to create a detailed migration plan and involve stakeholders from across the organization to ensure a seamless and successful move.

How long does a data center migration typically take?

The time required for a data center migration can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the existing data center, the scope of the migration, and the resources available to the organization. Smaller migrations may take just a few weeks, while larger ones can take several months or even years. Proper planning and preparation are crucial to minimizing downtime and ensuring a smooth transition.

What are the common challenges in data center migration?

Data center migrations can pose a number of challenges, including the need to minimize downtime, ensure data and application integrity, secure sensitive information, and coordinate activities across multiple teams. Additionally, organizations must carefully plan for possible risks, such as hardware or software failures, network disruptions, and unanticipated performance issues. A well-structured migration plan, clear communication, and ongoing monitoring can help mitigate these challenges.

Related Technology Terms

  • Server Relocation
  • Infrastructure Assessment
  • Data Transfer
  • Network Redesign
  • Application Migration

Sources for More Information


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