The primary force driving the data center move was the upcoming expiring Departmental lease of the offsite hosting facility in Frederick MD. The lease will expire at the end of FY’13 and FHWA ITD wanted to be sure its systems were moved well in advance of the 2013 deadline.
The FHWA Primary Datacenter Migration Project was completed successfully on November 10, 2012. The project was the culmination of months of planning that involved collecting inventory information, preparing network and rack layouts, calculating power and cooling requirements, coordinating with multiple vendors that specialized in moving different kinds of equipment, and close coordination with FHWA and other DOT managers and their support contractors.
The move began promptly at 5 o’clock on the evening of Friday, November 9th. The team worked with vendors, government personnel, and other team members through the night to de-rack equipment at the data center in Frederick MD, physically move, rack-mount, and re-configure the entire FHWA primary datacenter environment in the Secondary Datacenter Support Facility (SDSF) at Southeast Federal Center (SFC) HQ. The project was completed and declared a success at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 10th.
Perhaps the most memorable moment of the night was when it was found that the rails for two mission-critical servers extended beyond the back of their new server rack. Faced with the prospect of having to abort the move, team members examined the rails and found that the excess length could be safely removed, consulted with the system owner and support vendors, and obtained approval to cut the rails down to size. It was quite a sight to see the technical architect, operations manager, and system owner taking turns cutting the rails with a hacksaw. It’s amazing what we have to do sometimes to get things done!
Special thanks go out to everyone who worked to make the project a success, including our partners at General Dynamics and the dedicated and talented network engineering and cabling professionals within the Office of the Secretary of Transportation’s Network Engineering team, who stayed with us throughout the night until the job was done.