When planning a data center migration or moving to colocation to get equipment out of the closet and into a data center for the first time, many companies augment their IT staff. Not everyone has the good fortune or budget to employ full-time, highly technical staff.
Third party integrators or professional IT services companies are a great way to get your project completed successfully without committing to a long-term staff increase. However, making sure timelines are met within budget and with no hiccups can be a concern if you engage a service without setting upfront parameters for the project.
Here are three helpful tips to consider when engaging an integrator for services. They will keep your project on time and within your budget.
1 Set an absolute date of completion for the project and be sure there is language in the agreement for compensation should the integrator miss the date. We recently had a customer choose an integrator to perform their equipment cycle refresh. It was an excellent decision to be able to cut one check to purchase the new hardware, install it and migrate production environment to the new gear. The integrator promised a go-live date and missed it by 7 months. This can lead to paying for space that’s not in use.
2 Engage your colocation provider at the same time you prepare with your integrator. A respected colocation provider will provide you with a list of reliable integrators and/or will coordinate directly with your integrator to identify your colocation and power needs. The last thing you want is an integrator that will just take manufacturer specs on power and order twice the power density you will actually use. Engaging the colocation provider early will also allow them to help properly plan the project timeline by supplying lead times for their portion of the deliverables.
3 Have the integrator quote the project on a variable other than time. Sometimes integrators will commit to an hourly rate and have to pull one of their employees from your project to work a larger project for another customer. This can very likely lead to both project timeline and budget creep.
If you can keep these things in mind when considering a data center move or migration, you will come out looking like a hero to your executive team and avoid project delays or overpaying for services.