Tailor-Made Server Migration Services

Servium-Linedata - Server Migration - Case Study

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Introduction

Servium is a UK-based IT Solutions provider, relied upon by medium to large organisations to provide specialist IT services, support, and solutions. Servium is focused on delivering great IT experiences for users and IT teams alike. By working closely with its clients, Servium ensures that the customer’s IT is always ready to support the ambitions of their business. Servium achieves this by partnering with vendors and IT service providers like Technimove to ensure their customers have access to a vast range of services.

Linedata provides financial software solutions to the investment management and credit sector.

It operates worldwide with UK offices based in London. Linedata have recently decided to move offices and relocate their server room from the basement of their offices to a local data centre. They have entrusted Servium to achieve this.

As Servium’s trusted partner, Technimove were instructed to engage on the relocation of the server equipment.

The Solution

A Technimove Server Migration Consultant initiated talks with Servium to be able to scope the requirement. A meeting between all parties was held together with Technimove’s Project Manager to identify the various services that Technimove could provide, to ensure the best outcome of the relocation. It was advised that the migration is to take place in less than three months and therefore all stakeholders were keen to commence the pre-migration activities as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, the world was hit with COVID-19, leading to a national lockdown. Due to the unprecedented times, all parties agreed to postpone the project to ensure the safety of all involved.

Pre-Migration Activities

When the government announced the first ease of the lockdown, Linedata advised that it would be their preference to migrate their server equipment within three weeks. This was not in line with Technimove’s recommended timelines to ensure a successful low-risk outcome. However, Technimove are always focussed on assisting the customer and providing the utmost flexibility, therefore the team was ready to go above and beyond to ensure that the project was completed successfully to the highest possible standards against the tight timescales. Technimove commenced the process by performing a full Physical & Tracing Audit of the environment.

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Physical and Tracing Audit

The information captured during a Physical and Tracing Audit was required to be able to design the new environment and designate the switch ports that the server ports will connect to. Our Audit includes the following:

Serial numbers and existing rack and U location of all devices

The ports populated on each device, i.e. Nic 1 – RJ45, Nic 2 – Fibre etc

Labelling both ends of all dedicated, interconnecting cables (such as SCSIs)


Once the Physical Audit was completed, Technimove proceeded to the Cable Tracing. This involved tracing all the cables from server to switch end. This provided a higher level of detail on the cabling configuration. With this process completed, Technimove could provide a patching schedule of the original site.

Document Consultation

Technimove provided a senior engineer to work side by side with the customer to establish the configuration at the target site and produce the destination patching schedule. Technimove’s Senior Engineer, and On-Site Project Coordinator, used his skills and extensive experience to assist the client to ensure best practices were followed and the desired outcome was achieved.

Pre-Cable

Once the destination patching schedule was finalised, Technimove attended the destination site to commence the Pre-Cable. Technimove recommends Pre-Cabling, as it minimizes downtime and reduces risk on the Migration day. Since all equipment was being relocated, the Technimove team were greeted with empty racks. Technimove engineers followed the information provided on the patching schedule to establish the rack name and “U” positions of each server and switch, to run the cables to the appropriate length. Cable Velcro was than used to manage the cables to the correct “U”. All cables were labelled with the device and port information, making patching an easier process on Migration day. For this project, the Technimove Team were required to run cables above the racks in overhead trays, therefore ladders were essential. The Onsite Project Coordinator ensured that Health & Safety Guidelines were adhered to.

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Migration Planning

Several conference calls took place between all parties. Technimove ensured that both Servium and Linedata were informed of the outcomes of all pre-migration activities, highlighting the risks involved. Due to COVID-19, Linedata’s IT manager could not be onsite for the Pre-Cable, and therefore sign-offs were obtained with pictures and email confirmation. 

Technimove’s Projects Team worked with Servium and Linedata to plan the Migration and ensure that all activities were performed within the strict timelines. A Migration Plan was drawn up and several Technimove teams were assigned duties and responsibilities.

Migration

The Migration took place on a Friday evening. As part of the scope, Technimove were also required to supply a Technical Engineer to perform pre-checks and post-checks on the EMC equipment. This ensured that the warranty on the EMC devices is validated. The EMC Technical Engineer commenced the Migration by performing pre-checks to confirm there were no errors and the equipment was safe to be powered down and relocated. Once this was completed, the client went ahead to power down all the equipment.

Once the Technimove Migration Team received confirmation of the successful shutdown, the engineers commenced by removing all dedicated cables, ensuring they are labelled and packed securely. The team then proceeded to de-commission all equipment, de-racking each device one by one, wrapping into antistatic bubble wrap, before placing it into foam-lined flightcases.

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Due to COVID-19, Technimove engineers were required to wear face masks and adhere to the 2-metre social distancing rule, as much as possible while on-site. Technimove conducted a Risk Assessment, provided full PPE and enforced the appropriate safety measures, in line with the government guidelines.

Once all equipment was de-racked and packed, flightcases were wheeled to the vans and loaded securely via ramp. Linedata requested that some critical equipment should be transported in a separate vehicle. Therefore, Technimove provided an additional vehicle to ensure the customer’s peace of mind.

The equipment was then transported to the destination site without any scheduled stops.
At the destination site, the Technimove Team unloaded the flightcases and wheeled them to the designated racks. All equipment was then racked into the pre-cabled racks in line with the rack plans provided. The client had previously identified that some of the equipment needed to be prioritised. Technimove ensured that these devices were the first to be racked and patched. This meant that Linedata were able to access this equipment and commence their power up and testing, before the rest of the equipment was installed. 

Once all equipment was racked, the Technimove team completed the re-commission, ensuring all cables were neatly dressed and managed efficiently. Technimove follow a well-honed cable management methodology, following best practice and ensuring that the result is not only efficient and practical, but also a work of art.

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Once all equipment was successfully racked and patched, the EMC Technical engineer performed post-checks, confirming that the equipment was still in good health and the warranty had not been affected.

Post Commissioning Support

Upon completion of the relocation, a separate team arrived onsite to provide Post-Commission Support Services to offer the client knowledgeable assistance and assurance, post Migration.  Technimove is aware that sometimes last-minute changes to the patching documentation could be required or there might be a requirement to trace, snag or replace cables, therefore we promote this service as an excellent contingency measure.

The Result

Technimove completed the project successfully and within the timescales required. The short timelines, combined with the current pandemic had placed this project within a high-risk category. However, Technimove’s commitment to the customer, the highly experienced migration team and excellent collaboration between Technimove, Servium and Linedata, meant that the project was delivered safely and in a timely manner. On a post-migration call, with all parties involved, Servium and Linedata were delighted and shared their appreciation for the work completed by Technimove.

“The work far surpassed our expectations. Thank you very much for all your help and thank you to Servium for introducing us to Technimove. You guys really went above and beyond and the speed with which you de-rack equipment is scary! In 5 years’, time, when we move again, you’ll be the first people we call.” – Linedata’s IT Manager

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