Migration and move of OCP servers to new datacenter


Client: iGaming Company
Project: OCP Rack Migration of 4 Full Racks
Date: September, 2023

 

Executive summary

Circle B, a leading provider of data center infrastructure solutions, successfully executed a complex OCP rack migration involving the relocation of four fully populated racks from one data center to another. This case study highlights the challenges faced during the migration, the meticulous planning and execution by Circle B’s engineers, and the successful outcome achieved within a limited maintenance window.

Project Overview

 

Circle B specializes in designing, configuring, delivering, and supporting open (OCP) and high-performance data center infrastructures. In this case study, we outline the process and challenges faced during the migration of four populated OCP racks to a new data center, showcasing our expertise in handling complex data center relocations.

 

Migration Goals

The primary goals of this migration project were as follows:

  1. Relocate four fully populated OCP racks to a new data center.
  2. Minimize disruption to customers of Circle B’s customer – who rely on the racks for their services.
  3. Ensure the safety and integrity of the rack contents and of course, employees who work with the heavy racks during transport.
  4. Overcome challenges posed by steep, and uneven ramps in both the source and destination data centers.
  5. Complete the migration within a communicated maintenance window of 8 hours, with a target of 3 hours if possible.

Challenges

Several challenges made this migration project particularly demanding:

  1. Time constraints: The need to keep customer downtime to a minimum required a swift migration process.
  2. Weight of racks: The fully populated OCP racks weighed over 1,200 kg each, necessitating specialized equipment and precautions.
  3. Ramp and floor conditions: Both the source and destination data centers featured steep ramps and floor systems ill-suited for moving heavy racks.
  4. Move of the racks with OCP hardware: The requirement to transport the racks with OCP hardware still in them added complexity to the migration. Safeguarding delicate components and ensuring the integrity of data while in transit became a paramount concern.

Solution

Circle B’s engineers devised a meticulous plan together with a  professional IT moving partner to address these challenges, ensuring a successful migration while minimizing downtime and protecting the rack contents.

  1. Sequential migration: Racks were transported one by one  to avoid extended service disruptions for customers. The communicated maintenance window was 8 hours, but the target was a remarkable 3 hours.
  2. Rack preparation: Instead of disassembling the racks, we added wheels and removed JBODs (each containing 1.3 petabytes of RAW  storage) for added safety. This preparation ensured smooth movement over the challenging and somewhat unpractical ramps in the data center.
  3. Secure transportation: The prepared racks were transported separately in specialized wooden crates with protective covers to safeguard against any potential damage during truck transport.
  4. Trusted logistics partner: Circle B partnered with a trusted logistics provider (www.lupprians.nl) to securely transport the racks, considering their significant weight (approximately 1,200 kg each).

Execution

The execution phase of the migration involved the following steps:

  1. Rack preparation: Adding wheels and removing JBODs for all four racks.
  2. Crating and protection: Each rack was carefully placed in specialized wooden crates designed to withstand the movement of transport. These crates were equipped with protective covers to safeguard against any potential damage during truck transport. Furthermore, the crates were labelled clearly for easy identification and handling. Additionally, tip ‘tell indicators were affixed to the crates, providing a visual indication if the crates were mishandled or tipped too much during transit.
  3. Transportation: The securely crated racks were transported to the new data center with the assistance of our trusted logistics partner.
  4. Data center connection: The connection between the data centers was established a week before the migration to ensure seamless operations.

Outcome

Upon successful completion of the migration, Circle B powered up the racks at the new data center. The meticulous planning, precise execution, and collaboration with trusted partners resulted in minimal customer downtime, ensuring a seamless transition. The client’s data center infrastructure was back online and operating efficiently, purring like a tiger.

 

Alternative Approach

While this case study outlines one successful approach, it’s worth noting that alternative strategies, such as creating a redundancy option  with spare OCP racks before migration, could have been explored. Circle B’s expertise and flexibility enable us to tailor solutions to meet the unique needs of each client.

Conclusion

Circle B’s commitment to delivering innovative, reliable, and efficient data center solutions was exemplified in this complex OCP rack migration project. Through careful planning, attention to detail, and collaboration with trusted partners, we achieved the relocation of four populated racks with minimal disruption to our client’s operations. Circle B continues to be a trusted partner for clients seeking data center infrastructure excellence.

Work in progress…. Team effort!

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