When planning data center moves and corporate relocations we tell our customers that the physical moves are non-events.  To be sure, there is intense activity all throughout the physical move event and people are very busy.  However, with proper planning and execution of the planned activities, everything should go smoothly.  When your relocation goes smoothly and all systems energize and return to service with minimal problems, that's the non-event.  

And that's our big secret.  Over the past 30 years, we have either managed, or participated on teams that have planned and relocated over 80 computer rooms/data centers.  On the staff relocation side, we have planned and relocated over 20,000 staff during this same period.  Needless to say, ABR Consulting Group, Inc. knows how to plan and relocate the equipment in your data center and other IT spaces.  Our Customer List will confirm this as well.  Note the repeat projects.  

Note that equipment planning and migration is not normally part of the design and construction of a new data center.  Architects and engineers do want to know how much space do you need and how much power you require for your equipment and, they especially want to know exactly where the equipment will be placed and what kind of receptacle is required.  Beyond that, they have nothing to do with the equipment planning and migration.  It is essential that you have your IT equipment and migration team organized and working as soon as the design process begins.  As construction drawings are completed and the construction begins, your team should be very hard at work with equipment planning and migration activities.  

One more important item.  Note that a lot of our projects are in the greater Silicon Valley.  In Silicon Valley, there is a very low tolerance for wasting time.  A 560,000 square foot building is built and occupied within 12 months from placing the first steel beam (Intel's Corporate Headquarters).  On several 50,000+ sq.ft. co-location data centers, construction starts, and finishes, faster than fiber services can be ordered, processed and delivered from the fiber carriers (5 months); an amazing feat.  We were on all of these projects and executed our activities on time.  

The point we wish to make in the above paragraph is that if you need to move fast, we can move just as fast.  That's why we get the repeat business.  An 8-5 day is not normal for our staff on intense projects.  Neither are weekends off.  Occasionally, we are called in on "sudden and desperate" relocation projects.  These are projects where relocations have to take place as quickly as possible with very little planning completed.  There were a lot of these kinds of projects during the dot com heyday as startups exploded out of their premises and quickly required more space.  If you have a relocation project that could be done at normal speed, we would love it.  Or, we'll do the fast one.  


  • Pre-design project budgeting.  The costs of relocating a data center can often be more than you think.  (See our Budget Busters article).  

  • Organization of the teams and setting the project schedule.  On smaller projects, a few people will do everything.  On larger projects, different teams need to be assembled for mainframes, servers, network, telecom and possibly other disciplines.  We've been on projects where six different teams were part of the equipment planning and migration process.  We are on as many of the teams as is practical.  

  • Skillful identification and cataloging of all equipment in your IT spaces.  Includes mainframes, storage systems, servers, network, -- anything and everything.  We are familiar with the latest IBM mainframes and peripherals.  We are familiar with the latest EMC, Network Appliance, Sun Microsystems, Cisco, Compaq, Dell and almost any other system you can place in a data center - even the older legacy systems.  We place this information in a spreadsheet format and sort as required for the project.  We also use this information to create our equipment migration drawings.  These are plan and elevation drawings showing the equipment as they will be in their new locations.  These drawings will serve as installation drawings for the move event.  

  • Production of project drawings, project plans, meeting documentation and other documentation for distribution to all teams.  We are the conduit between the teams, making sure that they are aware of what the other teams are doing.  This prevents duplication and blind spots.  

  • Production and maintenance of comprehensive and diverse project plans for all types of IT projects.  Includes mapping and timing of project deliverables with the major deliverables in the construction and equipment migration plans.  Produced and maintained in Microsoft Project.  

  • Participant in Design and Construction Meetings.  We are not architects or engineers but we fully represent the IT client with consulting, meeting IT project deliverables and with the production of meeting documentation.  We are former senior managers of large data centers and we know how they should be built and operated.  Even more important, we have a full understanding of the computer, server, network and telecom equipment inside these rooms.  

  • Production of Program Requirements for computer rooms and other IT spaces.  We prepare these for the architects and engineers early in the design phase of the project.  

    • Program requirements for the architect

    • Program requirements for the electrical engineer

    • Program requirements for the mechanical engineer

    • Program requirements for the General Contractor

  • Production of electrical requirements for all IT spaces for the electricians.  Includes drawings showing types and positioning of electrical receptacles.  This is where we shine.  We know the electrical requirements for almost any piece of equipment in your computer room, server room, PBX room, NOC, MDF, IDFs, Labs and other IT spaces.  This is an essential part of the design that the IT manager must complete on time.  If not, the electrical design will move on without you.  (See IT Pros - Don't Be Left in the Dust on IT Server Room Design.  

  • Organization and coordination of the equipment migration meetings.  We make sure everybody is informed about what everybody else, including the design and construction teams, are doing.  

  • Continued and ongoing maintenance of the equipment database and drawings.  It is quite normal and expected for equipment to arrive and leave during the planning process.  Databases and drawings are constantly updated.  

  • Monitoring of the building construction to make sure that the construction, timing and planned events are all coming along and dovetailing as expected.  

  • Coordinate the installation of voice and data circuits from the carriers.  Includes early identification of all circuits, oversight on the ordering of new circuits and coordination and timing of all circuits.  We assist in transitioning copper T1 to fiber T1 circuits.  We have exceptional skills in assisting in the provisioning of OC-48 and OC-12 fiber entrance facilities. 

  • On-site supervision of the entire physical relocation of all equipment.  Depending on size and application, this can be a multi-phased event. 

Contact us at www.abrconsulting.com  Phone:  925.872.5523  Fax:  916.478.2814