Things to Consider Before Moving Your AS400

Bill Onion

Whether you are changing office locations or reorganizing your current space, physically moving your Power Systems server is more than just unplugging some wires and cords. Below, we’ve highlighted some key questions to ask yourself before beginning the moving process, along with a quick checklist of things you may need once you arrive at your new location.

How detrimental would it be if something happened to the server during the move? 

The saying “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” is extremely applicable in the situation of moving an AS400. While your fingers are crossed that the move will go smoothly, nothing will get dropped, damaged, or lost, you need to protect yourself in case things don’t go according to plan.

Here’s where a disaster recovery plan comes in to play. Ask yourself, what happens if something does happen to my server during the move. How will that affect my business and its ability to operate. How long will it take to get functionality restored? If an offline server doesn’t highly impact your business, then it’s not a big deal. But if your business is dependent on it for vital tasks (like eCommerce transactions, for example), then you’ll need to take in to account the time of day, the length of the move, the need for a temporary solution, and whether moving the server at all is worth it.

There are great disaster recovery options, and if your server is essential to your business it would be best to have a disaster recovery plan set in motion before making any moves.

Is your staff able to handle this themselves or should you hire a company? 

Moving a server is more than just the IT brains behind it, it also has to do with the muscle. The IBM i can be as small as a desktop computer or as big as a unit with multiple racks, each with multiple disk drives and hard drives. Before opting to make the move yourself, make sure that your team has the physical ability and equipment to handle the move safely.

Where is the server being moved to?

The next thing to consider are the physical attributes of the new installation. Whether running an AS/400, IBM System i, or Power System it’s likely large and loud. Besides having ample space to store the device, will the environment be able to handle the noise it gives off? What about the temperature of the room? Will it be able to keep the server cool enough while incorporating the heat generated by the device itself?

Do you have the right tools to reconnect the server and rack?

This could range from having a standard screwdriver on hand to making sure you have the correct power connector. Many racks run on higher voltage than a standard plug-in, we recommend doing a walk-thru of the new location before the move date to ensure you have the correct tools to power up the server upon its arrival. It’s also a good idea to double check the backup power and UPS (uninterruptible power supply). If you’re in an area that is prone to power outages, and even if you’re not, having a standby power option means that if the electricity in the building goes down, your server’s functionality won’t be compromised.

Do you have the appropriate cabling to install the server to the network?

Is your server able to connect to the new network address and will they be able to recognize each other? Be sure to configure the necessary changes for the IP Address, DNS settings, and all other connections that operate through your server so that the systems and applications are able to effectively communicate with the box at its new location.

Are you set up for success?

When planning to move an IBM i, it’s more than just unplugging the server and replugging it in at the new location. This list should help guide you through things to consider, but if you have more questions feel free to contact our team. We’ve moved our fair share servers and even have the scars to show for it (pro tip: avoid falling off the moving truck’s ramp)!

Anything more than a crosstown move, we recommend getting a professional company involved. For recommendations, questions, or more advice reach out and speak to our team of experts.

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