An Analysis of Alternatives: What TBI did for a Federal Agency

Our contract with a Federal Agency called for our performance in three phases of the relocation of their data center from their former headquarters in Arlington, Virginia to their new offices in Alexandria, Virginia.

PHASE 1 – An Analysis of Alternatives – Where should their new data center be located and how should the relocation be accomplished?

  • Developed a baseline Hardware, Software, and Application inventory. This was a continuous process.
  • Since having a CMDB is a critical resource for a data center move, and Federal Agency did not have one of their own, we assisted in bringing the Federal Agency’s inventory up to 100% accuracy by using our own DBA and CMDB.
  • Developed a detail understanding of the application architecture and the specific data flow relationships between the applications. We also gathered future growth plans, and validated server usage across all environments with the application teams to validate the CMDB. This was accomplished via interviews with the application teams.
  • Developed an inventory of alternative locations (Colocation, Cloud, New Agency building), and also developed the necessary quantitative and qualitative evaluation criteria.
  • Based upon the inventory, we designed a future state configuration which was used to determine net acquisition costs offset by refresh costs. We then developed specific migration methods including full electronic, full fork lift, and hybrid relocation approaches. This included schedules, staffing, and costs.
  • As a result of our efforts, the Federal Agency management was able to choose from the Alternatives presented and directed us to proceed to build the detailed implementation plan.

PHASE 2 – Develop the Detailed Implementation Plan
Once the Alternatives had been selected by the Federal Agency, a detailed Implementation Plan/Work Breakdown Structure which included cost, schedule, and staffing estimates was to be developed. There were three key deliverables for this phase:

  1. A detailed and actionable MS Project Plan (Work Breakdown Structure) that enabled the acquisition, installation, relocation, testing, and deployment of the Data Center assets.
  2. A detailed financial analysis (budget) for the project.
  3. Decommissioning and exit strategy for Arlington.
  • The plan objective was to achieve minimal/no end user disruption (succeeded)

All deliverables were completed and accepted by the Federal Agency and were successfully executed in the next phase, on time and under budget.

PHASE 3 – Be the overall PMO for the implementation phase

The critical success factor of implementing a Data Center Relocation is the close coordination and communication between all of the relocating organizations. That was our responsibility as the Program Management Office. As overall PMO for the Federal Agency Data Center relocation we were responsible for the following:

  • Prepared materials for weekly project meetings with all project constituents, reporting on progress metrics, project issues and risks. In addition, tracked and reported on:

    • Punch list of open issues with respect to the construction of the new Data Center and Infrastructure readiness
    • Electronic migration progress
    • Planned hardware inventory for the fork lift
    • Decommissioning progress
  • Assisted in identifying and developing migration for project risk
  • Developed a detailed integrated timeline with all involved internal and external vendors and the Federal Agency departments for the final 90 days prior to the move.
  • On the weekend of the move provided:

    • 24 hour coverage
    • Built all e-mail distribution lists and contact lists for move weekend
    • Built a Real-Time Relocation Status Dashboard enabling all areas to check on status and issues without the need to call the Command Center
    • Developed materials for and participated in all scheduled management calls over the weekend.
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