In this step, the goal should be to catalog everything within the data center environment. This includes the organization's knowledge skills and abilities (KSAs). Document the roles, services and unitization rates for every server being used. Document the types and associations, as well as quantities of storage, network and security assets. Also, measure the floor space consumed by the equipment, number of racks, support gear and the total amount of power/cooling currently being consumed. Lastly, determine how services and applications are being delivered from the data center to the end user; i.e., type, method, bandwidth, thin, think or virtual.
Step 3 -- Develop detailed solutions to address project goals
At this point, begin to align the organizational goals against the current inventory of assets and data center locations. Working with all the stakeholders, strategize on what items can be modernized or consolidated first. Determine which data center locations can be closed, consolidated to or upgraded. And what servers, storage or applications can be eliminated or virtualized. Determine how best to continue to deliver applications and services to end users that are no longer geographically located near consolidated assets. Can these end user applications and services be outsourced, virtualized or eliminated? Do not worry about budgets at this point; the only objective here is identifying every potential solution that could address the high-level goals.
Step 4 -- Develop a projected budget for each possible solution
For every solution proposed, investigate the time and materials needed and the costs associated with implementing the solution. Be sure to consider the total amount of effort involved and the impact it will have on the end user community. How much downtime would be required? Do we have the skills necessary to complete the work? Do we have a back-out plan if something went wrong?
Step 5 -- Select the best solutions that meet both the goals and budget
Now that the solutions have been determined, it's time to decide what can actually be accomplished within the organization's time frame and budgetary requirements. This is typically the area in the process where the stakeholders interject that their desires are more critical than others. There will have to be give and take from everyone and it will need to be decided what can realistically be accomplished within the budgetary constraints of the organization. Always address the most critical high-level goals first. Postpone those that are secondary, but not within the current budgetary constraints. Be realistic; it likely won't be possible to do everything on the first go around.