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Move Server room 30 or 3000 miles?

By TechManager ·
We are currently relocating from a large midwest city to another undetermined location. I have been asked to put together 2 plans on how we would move 30 plus servers either a short distance such as 30 miles, or a large distance like 3000 miles.The short move is easy. I have done this a few times, rent a U-haul, load it up Friday night and unpack Saturday.

But what about moving several states away? Do I move all the servers at once or a few at a time over a couple of weeks? Are there companies out there that can help with this or any good web sites to take a look at?

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Move Server room 30 or 3000 miles?

by timwalsh In reply to Move Server room 30 or 30 ...

Not a simple one answer fits all scenario.
First, the actual physical move: Most nation-wide moving companies offer business moving services. These usually include specialized moving materials for computer-type items. Browsing through the Yellow Pages will probably net you several companies that specialize in business moving services or in moving electronics. Get some quotes and ask for references of other businesses that moved utilizing each movers services.

Second, the methodology: many factors here. Obviously a short distance move can usually be completed over a weekend, minimizing the amount of potential down-time for your servers.

With a long distance move, obviously time is a factor. At a minimum, it will be a 2-step process. Long-haul drivers are usually legally limited to either the distance or number of hours travelled in a day. With a 3000-mile move, you are probably talking 5+ days just in travel time, plus loading/unloading time at each end.

Assuming yourservers are hosting some sort of business critical operations that can't afford to be down for a week or more, you are looking at needing the capability to mirror critical operations at both the old and the new site. Obviously you need infrastructure available at both sites simultaneously. Only you can answer how much reconfiguration you will have to do on the front end to ensure half your servers can handle all business-critical operations. Then you will need time in the middle to set-up the other half of your servers once they are moved and ensure they are all working properly, before you can shut down the servers still at your old site. Then once the old site is shut down there will be time involved in the move of those servers and then reintegration of those servers into your operation once the move is complete.
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Move Server room 30 or 3000 miles?

by timwalsh In reply to Move Server room 30 or 30 ...

All told, you could be looking at a 4-5 week process to completely carry out a move of this magnitude.

As far as bodies to help with the "grunt work" not physically involved with the move, much depends on whether you just need intelligent bodies to help uninstall/reinstall computers at each end (a technically-oriented temp agency providing low-level help-desk or PC Tech type bodies may suffice) or whether you need help determining what type of reconfiguration needs to be done to provide continuity in your business's operations (you may need to seek a consultant-tye service that specializes in your business's type of operations.)

Hope this gives you some things to think about.

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Move Server room 30 or 3000 miles?

by TechManager In reply to Move Server room 30 or 30 ...

Thanks for the advice. It got me thinking, our CEO has a private jet, so why not take advantage of that. We can load the critical servers up in that and fly them to the new site. We could make a couple of trips if needed. If that won't 'fly', then we will probably rent some servers temporarily during the move.

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Move Server room 30 or 3000 miles?

by TechManager In reply to Move Server room 30 or 30 ...

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