Admin Alert: A Checklist For Moving Power i Partitions To A Different Location
March 6, 2013 Timothy Prickett Morgan
With corporate buy-outs, company spin-offs, and moving Power i servers to a centralized data center or a managed server provider, many shops are finding that they need to move their Power i partitions to a different network or a cloud provider. To that end, here’s a checklist I put together to help ensure that your Power i partitions can function without issue in a new environment.
Why We Move
There are many reasons you might need a playbook for moving a Power i partition from one location and network to another. Some of the more common situations include:
Whatever the reason for moving, you need to focus on the following three areas.
Here’s what important to examine in each area. At the end of this article, I also provide also a checklist that you can use for your own moves.
This area covers situations where you are physically moving an existing machine to another facility (ignore this section if you are moving an IBM i partition or partitions to another machine). Things you’ll want to consider for a physical move include:
Contract with a mover to securely move the box–My prejudice here is to contract with IBM for a physical move. The reason is that you’ll have fewer problems with IBM hardware maintenance if something happens to the machine. If another vendor moves your box and it gets damaged in transit, you will probably need to contact IBM to ensure your hardware maintenance is still in force.
Provide for any telecom or peripheral needs you’ll need at your new location–Inventory the off-system connections you’ll need to physically attach your system or partition to the Internet or to peripherals outside your machine, including:
Make sure you have all the correct Ethernet cables, fiber optic cables for backup devices, and other cables for the new location–Inventory and provide any cables your system uses to connect to the telecom lines and peripherals you identified in the last step. And make sure the cables are the right length for the new location so you don’t have to scramble for longer cables in case the backup drive turns out to be 10 feet away from your system instead of 3 feet. You don’t want to delay bringing up the system just because you don’t have the right cables. Map out the ports that every cable is connected to on your Power i box so you can plug them back into the right spot later.
Plan for your power requirements–Make sure you have the proper electrical circuits and power cables, including the correct plug types for your cables. If you’re going to a managed service provider, be careful not to order more electrical capacity than you need as the provider will charge you more for additional voltage above your needs. Spec out however much power you need, but avoid going over that specification as it will cost you in a hosted environment. This may also be a lead-time issue so make sure you plan and order electrical circuits well in advance.
Plan for external security for your cabinets–If you’re moving the machine to a managed service provider that services other clients, you may need to order and install locking doors and side panels on your cabinets. Find out what security requirements are necessary for the location you’re moving to and prep your box accordingly.
Determine how you’ll provide overhead cable access to your cabinets, if necessary–Many data centers provide communication line access from rails on the ceiling, rather than running the communication cables up the through the floor, as you may be doing in your current data center. If you’re moving to a managed services provider, check to see whether you’ll need to run cables through the top of your cabinet and provide access from above (which may be as simple as punching a hole in the top of your cabinet), if necessary.
Internal Changes To Your IBM i Partitions
This area covers IBM i configurations that must be changed to run in a new location. Because these items enable your partitions to function in a new subnet, they will need to be made after the machine is moved.
External Changes To Servers And Networks That Access Your IBM i Partition
These items refer to changes that must be made to allow companion servers and network equipment to continue to work with your hardware once your machine or partition is moved. Like the internal changes, these changes generally need to be made when bringing up an existing IBM i partition in a new environment and can’t be made before the move. These changes include:
Outside integration changes may be the most critical part of moving IBM i partitions or a Power i system to another network in a different subnet. Your shop may have spent years properly configuring the network to handle your IBM i cross system and business partner needs. When you move your partitions outside of their home networks, these configurations will need to be reconfigured and tested in the new network to maintain critical connections.
Here are all the items I listed above in a checklist format that you can use when planning to move an IBM i partition to a different location.
Joe Hertvik is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company that provides IT services and written marketing content and presentation services for the computer industry. Email Joe for a free quote for any upcoming projects. He also runs a data center for two companies outside Chicago. Joe is a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column since 2002.