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Data center migration is the process of moving or relocating an existing data center environment to another type of environment, such as the cloud or an off-premises location. Data center migration also refers to the adoption of cloud or third-party-managed data center platforms instead of on-premises data center facilities. The process involves systematic planning for migrating the physical, logical and operational components of the data center to the new facility or platform.

Data center migration may be necessary because of business mergers and acquisitions, aging on-premises facilities, outdated or inadequate data center equipment, or consolidation mandates following company reorganizations. Best practices for data center migration include ensuring the new facility can meet expected performance requirements; the new platform is compatible with current applications and workload solutions; the migration testing is successful; and the relocation is scheduled for minimal impact to current business operations. Contracts with hardware and software providers should be reviewed for renegotiation or termination, as the new data center may eliminate the need for some old components. Before the move, document all data center inventory, including warranty information, serial numbers, system logs, live workloads, scheduled backups and current software versions. Disaster recovery and backups may need to be adjusted for the new location.

Data center migration is often part of an organization’s IT infrastructure transformation to become more agile, innovative and efficient. Many businesses migrate to a software-defined infrastructure (SDI) to support new business processes such as DevOps. Software-defined infrastructures offer the flexibility needed to improve time-to-market while ensuring service availability. SDI solutions help reduce costs by leveraging existing or low-cost hardware, cloud computing architectures, centralized management and open source software. Software-defined infrastructure is better suited than traditional hardware-defined infrastructure for migrating to a shared, on-demand IT services environment. SUSE offers a full SDI reference architecture that is modular and flexible, supporting DevOps methodologies and data center automation.