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ATechnology plans ahead with data centre migration

Planning and testing by ATechnology's IT manager Andrew Ruller ensured that when the Brisbane-based company decided to migrate 70 customers to a new data centre at Brisbane Airport, the migration was achieved over one weekend.

The facility, which is owned by Brisbane data centre provider iseek Communications, will allow ATechnology to potentially host data for up to 200 customers. The hosting provider backs up customer data at iseek's second data centre in Woolloongabba.

"We did some extensive testing with the process prior to migrating customer services across. All of that was done out of hours on weekends," Ruller told Computerworld Australia.

"Being a staged migration and performing the work on production services it took us two days to get all of our clients and infrastructure migrated across once we'd established that process."

He added that the testing was critical because his staff were able to identify that the bandwidth it had to migrate between data centres wasn't sufficient to complete the migration in a weekend.

"We identified that bandwidth issue by moving a few of our data sets between the data centres," Ruller said. "iseek were able to accommodate us and to increase that bandwidth when we scheduled a window to do those production services."

The migration done at the start of December 2012.

According to Ruller, this migration has given the company "plenty of breathing space" for 2013. "We offer virtual servers for all sorts of businesses and we host infrastructure for airlines and other corporates as well. There is a whole range of potential clientele that we can offer our services to." Some of its customers include Bathroom Warehouse, the Harbour Day Spa and Smack Face Records.

Disaster recovery

While Ruller said that none of ATechnology's infrastructure was affected by the Queensland floods in 2010, part of the attraction with the Brisbane Airport facility is that it is built above the floodplain.

"Being geographically separated across two data centres further complements our product offering and service reliability," Ruller said.

"By having our core infrastructure at the new facility and existing infrastructure at Woolloongabba, we've got that added redundancy."

The iseek data centre also has a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.3, backup power generators and increased security such as closed circuit TV cameras.

Migration tips

For other IT managers who are looking at data centre migrations, Ruller said it was important to have a "good working relationship" with the data centre provider.

"Make sure that there is a good understanding of what you need to achieve as a customer," he said.

"With the top quality staff that iseek have, there weren't any issues for them to be able to provide the connectivity to migrate between data centres and ensure it was a smooth migration."

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia


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