Special Project Case Study: Data Center Move

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When Egan Company, a long-time Ecessa client, needed to move its data center across town, CIO Jim Nonn looked to the unified IT services offerings of JDL Technologies and Ecessa to make it happen. Here’s how a team with a unique blend of talent and expertise executed a complex IT project on time and on budget and exceeded client expectations.

Egan Company is a privately-owned, specialty contractor providing building trades to general contractors, engineers, building owners, property managers, and facility engineers. Specialties include electrical, mechanical, curtainwall, millwrights, building technology, controls and system integration, and 24/7 service. Egan serves every stage of a building and provides in-house expertise in planning, design and engineering, construction, and maintenance. The company has facilities in Champlin (near Minneapolis) and Rochester, Minnesota.

Until recently, the company had two buildings in the Minneapolis area. But with many employees preferring to continue working from home, the company embraced a hybrid work environment. That resulted in a lot of unused space. “We had two buildings that were half empty,” said Jim Nonn, CIO of Egan. “It didn’t make sense to carry that much real estate forward, so we decided to sell off our older facility.” But the property they were selling housed their data center. Nonn and his team were faced with a nerve-wracking project to move the entire data center.

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Data Center Move Project

Nonn recognized there were thousands of places where mistakes could be made. Doing it perfectly was the only way to achieve satisfaction. He needed a skilled partner that could augment his staff and reduce risk. As a long time Ecessa customer, Nonn knew he could rely on Ecessa’s advanced networking skills. Combining that with the JDL Technologies partnership and their experience in virtualization and managed services created a comprehensive solution for the data center move. “They could handle everything,” said Nonn. “And they did. They did a fantastic job.”

The Solution

JDL/Ecessa provided a statement of work that included five phases:

  • Assessment/discovery
  • Design/planning
  • Premigration configuration and testing
  • Migration
  • Post-migration troubleshooting

Nonn said the prep work the team did was important to ensure their tight timeline was met. “We couldn’t be down longer than was absolutely necessary.” Some things about the IT environment were well known to the Egan team, but they weren’t well documented, so the JDL/Ecessa team had to learn them from scratch. “Wherever there were gaps, though, we worked together to fill them so it was smooth, fast and efficient.” The Egan IT environment is largely documented now, and a refreshed network schematic in being drawn up.

The migration phase was the most intensive. According to Mike Siegler, General Manager of Ecessa and JDL Technologies, “The day of the migration, we had our team on site for 12 hours, racking and stacking, configuring cabling, troubleshooting and making architecture adjustments. We also had our team on site Monday morning to troubleshoot as needed when employees logged into the network.”

The Result

Did everything go perfectly? Almost. “We had one hiccup with an ISP, but we had a plan for that,” said Nonn. “We have a backup line and the Ecessa units really saved us. All in all, it could not have gone more smoothly.” In this case, the Ecessa units provided seamless and automatic ISP load balancing and failover, which enabled the company to operate without pause even when one ISP was completely offline.

Siegler credits Jim Nonn with creating an environment for success by embracing the value of planning and risk reduction. He is pleased that this project highlights the value of the combined JDL/Ecessa entity and its resources. “It starts with project management planning and preparation. Then there’s networking acumen and being able to troubleshoot any kind of networking problem, whether it’s with carriers or core switching or firewalls. Our virtual acumen means we’re able to manage VMWare, Vsphere and other virtual environments, compute, storage. Graphic cards, CAD systems and managed services. Having all these skill sets under one umbrella is rare. It’s this differentiation that makes us easy to work with, instead of hiring separate specialists.”

Nonn agrees and has already recommended the JDL/Ecessa team to his peers. “I couldn’t be happier. The whole team was fantastic.”

The JDL Technologies Ecessa team are ready to help with your special IT projects. Whether you want project management assistance, staff augmentation or complete IT management, we’re here for you. Contact us to learn more.