top of page
Image by Handiwork NYC

Data Center Relocation:

A successful data center relocation involves establishing a moving plan and selecting the right people to get the job done. Relying on in-house personnel or common moving companies can introduce a variety of unwarranted risks. Data center staffing may not be sufficient to execute the move. General moving companies that are used to transporting desks, shelves, and other office furniture and large objects often don’t have experience with the critical storage and handling needs of data center equipment.


Relocating a data center is different from a typical office move. It requires attention to detail and qualified professionals who routinely move data centers. 


As part of every move, a relocation plan should be established that includes the data center moving company and the data center personnel involved. Proactively researching data center migration companies and selecting the best data center relocation company ensures that the right team is involved for a smooth transition.

Image by Alvaro Reyes

Qualifications and Experience


Any company offering to complete a data center move must be able to articulate the specific needs of the operation. They should be able to demonstrate their experience by providing a detailed action plan. The scale, location, equipment, and outcomes of prior moves should also be considered in evaluating whether a company is qualified. Data center move project managers should inquire about their past lessons learned and strategies that helped them complete a successful move. You will want to get references from all companies you’re evaluating.


Examine a data center relocation company’s professional credentials. Federal, state, and local regulations may all apply to the relocation in different ways. Safety plans, commercial licenses, and OSHA certifications are good indicators of professional data migration companies. Experienced data center movers will be able to elaborate on the specific needs of the move because they have in-house knowledge and expertise

Server-Handling Equipment


Most moving companies have common lift devices such as forklifts and carts. These should not be used for a data center relocation because they are often unable to maneuver properly within tight data center facilities and are not designed for the precise positioning of fragile and expensive data center equipment. They are also prone to damage the equipment. Expensive, data-critical servers warrant special care during teardown and reassembly.


Companies that routinely do data center migrations use specialized, safety-certified data center lifts that are specifically designed for safely uninstalling, moving, and installing IT equipment.


System Mapping & Reconnection Support

Data center moves require significant planning and follow-through to ensure the entire system is correctly disconnected and re-commissioned. The scope of work for the moving contract should include preliminary support for existing system mapping, as well as a reconnection quality control phase. If a data center mover will only pick up, transport, and drop off equipment, critical portions of the process will be excluded and may not be easy for data center staff to complete.


The data center moving company should participate in planning meetings and system mapping confirmations. When the servers and other equipment are relocated, they must then be able to reconnect the infrastructure properly in collaboration with data center staff. These tasks should be included without additional hidden charges.

Transportation & Climate Control


A common moving truck may have a lot of space, but it’s not intended to transport sensitive IT equipment. You will want to ask how the moving company loads and unloads equipment and controls environmental conditions during transportation. Qualified data center relocation companies will use dedicated, climate-controlled vehicles that are made to transport IT equipment.


The data center migration company should provide a detailed policy for packaging and protecting equipment, including adherence to manufacturer warranties. If the moving company can’t ensure damage prevention, temperature and humidity control, or warranty compliance, they should not be used for a data center relocation.


Project Execution and Completion


A smooth data center relocation happens through good project management and dedicated personnel. The moving company must communicate throughout the relocation process and perform its tasks accurately and thoroughly. 


The moving company’s execution plan should include how the crew will operate and who will be the main point of contact. This, ideally, should be their project manager, who actively directs the activities on site and who is accessible to data center staff during the planning, execution, and completion phases. 


The data center move project manager should provide a timeline and contingency plans for the relocation. To avoid misunderstandings, the project manager should clarify that reconnection activities need to be done at the new data center before the moving company leaves the facility or issues a final invoice. The moving company’s project manager should commit to performing all tasks to completion.

Image by Rodeo Project Management Software

Administrative Protections


A moving company might have great credentials, a competent sales representative, and the proper equipment and personnel, but there is more to consider before the contract is signed. The data center move project manager should ask the moving company about high-quality insurance plans, guarantees, and any limitations to their scope of work. 


The moving company should be able to provide guarantees for equipment conditions and performance once the new data center is set up. Insurance policies must cover adequate limits for property and liability. Contract terms must not include additional requirements, charges, or limitations that they are not willing to disclose or discuss further. The scope of work must be detailed and clear as to what the moving company will do and what they will not do.


If you’ve found a company that can meet all of these requirements, congratulations! You’re one step closer to finalizing your relocation plan and getting your data center moved to its new home.

Want to be featured on the site? Contact us.

Contact us if you’d like to be included among the data center relocation companies we will be featuring on our site or if you’d like to see information on a topic we have not covered yet. 

bottom of page