How to migrate 3000 servers in 3 nights

Have you seen our latest video? In late December last year, we finally completed the relocation into our new data center space in Northern Virginia. While prepping for the work, we decided to film the whole process, showing how we migrated 3000 servers in 3 days:

One of our company values is transparency, so there was no hesitation when we thought of allowing a crew to film a “behind-the-scenes” video of our relocation project. It would showcase our work processes, our technology, and most of all, the dedication of our team. It was exciting to capture on film the commitment of our engineers working on this project day and night, in perfect synergy to ensure a successful transition.

The project was made possible by a large group of Leaseweb people from all over the world. The assembled team included engineers from the US office, as well as Dutch and German colleagues. One of the key steps in our process was the careful selection of experienced engineers orchestrating the network, servers, routers, switches and all the other components needed to build a data center. Our team worked around the clock to ensure the success of this project. We worked at night to minimize downtime and the impact on our client businesses. It meant the team’s work day started at 10 pm and lasted until 5 or 6 am. Part of our team also worked during the day to handle technical issues and client tickets as well as to ensure the setup was completed for the evening move.

One of the main goals during the relocation was to minimize downtime for our customers while having a communication team ready to handle any technical issues or questions from our customers during the relocation. We tackled the challenge by having effective planning, checklists and contingency plans to handle any technical issues during the actual move. The big secret to this efficient migration: instead of transferring each server separately, we disconnected full racks and moved them carefully to their new location! Because each rack weighs about 1500 pounds when full, they had to be rolled in a straight line to our new data center hall. Once relocated, all servers were reconnected to power feeds and network switches. Our engineers then ran tests on the servers and the network while our support team communicated with the customers directly.

We wanted to share with our customers the investment we made to continue to offer a stable and reliable hosting environment, to thank them for their patience and understanding. We hope the movie shows that our teams are fully committed to do what it takes to improve the customer experience. That is after all what Reliable Hosting is all about.

1 comment
  1. Bernard Clyde
    Bernard Clyde
    January 26, 2017 at 21:11

    This is a great example of how transporting servers can be done without affecting your customer base dramatically. Moving racks at a time seems pretty intense but it sounds like it worked well for you! It sounds like you had a good team with good server lifting equipment to get the job done.

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