Data Centre Migration Strategies – Part 1 – Overview

After a recent twitter discussion, I felt a Data Centre migration strategies would be a good blog series to help people understand what the options are, along with the Pros and Cons of each strategy.

This guide is not intended to be a step by step on how to set-up each of these solutions, but a guide to assist you making the best decision for your environment when considering a data centre migration.

So what’s are some of the options when migrating virtual machines from one data centre to another?

1. Lift and Shift

Summary: Shut-down your environment and Physically relocate all the required equipment to the new location.

2. VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)

Summary: Using SRM with either Storage Replication Adapters (SRAs) or vSphere Replication (VR) to perform both test and planned migration/s between the data centres.

3. vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC)

Summary: Using an existing vMSC or by setting up a new vMSC for the migration, vMotion virtual machines between the sites.

4. Stretched vSphere Cluster / Storage vMotion

Summary: Present your storage at one or both sites to ESXi hosts at one or both sites and use vMotion and Storage vMotion to move workloads between sites.

5. Backup & Restore

Summary: Take a full backup of your virtual machines, transport the backup data to a new data centre (physically or by data replication) and restore the backup onto the new environment.

6. Vendor Specific Solutions

Summary: There are countless vendor specific solutions which range from Storage layer, to Application layer and everything in between.

7. Data Replication and re-register VMs into vCenter (or ESXi) inventory

Summary: The poor man’s SRM solution. Setup data replication at the storage layer and manually or via scripts re-register VMs into the inventory of vCenter or ESXi for sites with no vCenter.

Each of the above topics will be discussed in detail over the coming weeks so stay tuned, and if you work for a vendor with a specific solution you would like featured please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

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