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Advantage Energy Technology Data Center Migration


Part A

Brian Smith, network administrator at Advanced Energy Technology (AET), has been given

the responsibility of implementing the migration of a large data center to a new office

location. Careful planning is needed because AET operates in the highly competitive

petroleum industry. AET is one of five national software companies that provide an

accounting and business management package for oil jobbers and gasoline distributors. A

few years ago AET jumped into the “application service provider” world. Their large data

center provides clients with remote access to AET’s complete suite of application software

systems. Traditionally, one of AET’s primary competitive advantages has been the

company’s trademark IT reliability. Due to the complexity of this project, Brian will have to

use a parallel method of implementation. Although this will increase project costs, a parallel

approach is essential if reliability is not to be compromised.

Currently AET’s data center is located on the second floor of a renovated old bank

building in downtown Corvallis, Oregon. The company is moving to a new, one-level

building in the recently developed industrial complex at the Corvallis International Airport.

On February 1, Brian is formally assigned the task by the vice president of operations, Dan

Whitmore, with the following guidelines:

From start to finish, it is anticipated the entire project will take three to four months to


It is essential that AET’s 235 clients suffer no downtime.

Whitmore advises Brian to come back to the Executive Committee on February 15 with a

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presentation on the scope of the project that includes costs, “first-cut” timeline, and proposed

project team members.

Brian had some preliminary discussions with some of AET’s managers and directors

from each of the functional departments and then arranged for a full-day scope

meeting on February 4 with a few of the managers and technical representatives

from Operations, Systems, Facilities, and Applications. The scope team determined the


Three to four months is a feasible project timeline, and first-cut cost estimate is $80,000–

$90,000 (this includes the infrastructure upgrade of the new site).

Critical to the “no-downtime” requirement is the need to completely rely on AET’s remote

disaster recovery “hot” site for full functionality.

Brian will serve as project manager of a team consisting of one team member each from

Facilities, Operations/Systems, Operations/Telecommunications, Systems and Applications,

and Customer Service.

Brian’s Executive Committee report was positively received and, after a few modifications

and recommendations, he was formally charged with responsibility for the project. Brian

recruited his team and scheduled their first team meeting (March 1) as the initial task of his

project-planning process.

Once the initial meeting is conducted Brian can hire the contractors to renovate the new

data center. During this time Brian will figure out how to design the network. Brian estimates

that screening and hiring a contractor will take about one week and that the network design

will take about two weeks. The new center requires a new ventilation system. The

manufacturer’s requirements include an ambient temperature of 67 degrees to keep all of the

data servers running at optimal speeds. The ventilation system has a lead time of three weeks.

Brian will also need to order new racks to hold the servers, switches, and other network

devices. The racks have a two-week delivery time.

The data center supervisor requested that Brian replace all of the old power supplies and

data cables. Brian will need to order these as well. Because Brian has a great relationship

with the vendor, they guarantee that it will take only one week lead time for the power

supplies and the data cables. Once the new ventilation system and racks arrive, Brian can

begin installing them. It will take one week to install the ventilation system and three weeks

to install the racks. The renovation of the new data center can begin as soon as the

contractors have been hired. The contractors tell Brian that construction will take 20 days.

Once the construction begins and after Brian installs the ventilation system and racks, the

city inspector must approve the construction of the raised floor.

The city inspector will take two days to approve the infrastructure. After the city

inspection and after the new power supplies and cables have arrived, Brian can install the

power supplies and run the cables. Brian estimates that it will take five days to install the

power supplies and one week to run all of the data cables. Before Brian can assign an actual

date for taking the network off line and switching to the hot remote site, he must get approval

from each of the functional units (“switchover approval”). Meetings with each of the

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functional units will require one week. During this time he can initiate a power check to

ensure that each of the racks has sufficient voltage. This will require only one day.

Upon completion of the power check, he can take one week to install his test servers. The

test servers will test all of the primary network functions and act as a safeguard before the

network is taken off line. The batteries must be charged, ventilation installed, and test servers

up and running before management can be assured that the new infrastructure is safe, which

will take two days. Then they will sign off the primary systems check, taking one day of

intense meetings. They will also set an official date for the network move.

Brian is happy that everything has gone well thus far and is convinced that the move will

go just as smoothly. Now that an official date is set, the network will be shut down for a day.

Brian must move all of the network components to the new data center. Brian will do the

move over the weekend—two days—when user traffic is at a low point.


1. Generate a priority matrix for AET’s system move.

2. Develop a WBS for Brian’s project. Include duration (days) and predecessors.

3. Using a project-planning tool, generate a network diagram for this project.

Note: Base your plan on the following guidelines: eight-hour days, five-day weeks except

for when Brian moves the network components over a weekend, no holiday breaks, and

March 1, 2010, is the project start date. Ordering ventilation system, new racks, and power

supplies/cables takes only one actual day of work. The remaining days are the time

necessary for the vendors to fill and ship the order to Brian. So use finish-to-start lags here.

Assume that five days after the start of the renovation of the data center that the raised

floor will be ready for inspection (a start-to-start lag).

Must be 5 pages, include 2 references and explain charts, graphs and results.