This past weekend I moved our datacenter about 600 feet to a new building. The last time I participated in a similar move was in November 2003, and I was still a junior sysadmin. This time I was the main organizer behind it, and there are a lot of moving parts. Unlike the last move, we weren't building a new location, we were just moving to a different facility.
That still requires moving a bunch of stuff. As it happens, in terms of device count this move may have been a bit larger than the other one, even though it was a MUCH larger datacenter moving. Things have miniaturized a lot in the last 9ish years since that last move. 74 serial-number carrying devices transferred in this one, that much I know.
Overall the plan survived contact with reality. The bits that tried to throw us off:
- The packing phase took about 2.5 longer than planned.
- The network reconfiguration failed due to incompatible cables (the same cables were on both device's spec-list, you'd think they'd work together)
- The blade-rack really, really didn't want to come along and had to be convinced with a rubber mallet (it survived). That cost us a lot of time.
- We ran out of label tape late Saturday
For a move of this magnitude things actually went pretty well, it just took longer than projected. Even though we did have some problems, we were able to improve a few things along the way:
- I bought shorter power-cables to connect systems together. Those standard 6-foot/2-meter cables are too long for pretty much everything we use. I could use a lot more of them, but the ones I had were able to make one rack really neat.
- Rearrange some of the network stack for better cabling.
- Make room for more growth in the rack holding the storage array
- More redundant power options.
- Better power-budget overall!
I hope I can go another 9 years before doing this again, but now that I've done it once, it should go easier the next time.