How To Maximize Data Center Decommissioning Services
Data Cloud




When it is time to decommission data center equipment, planning is center stage. The tighter the project management, the more successful the decommissioning.

But the teardown will not happen by itself. With every piece of data center equipment ultimately earmarked for retirement, here are five tips for getting the most out of the data center decommissioning services you need.

Do Not Go It Alone 

As a data center operator, you know your IT environment better than anyone. But you can’t be expected to take care of everything. The project management required to successfully execute a decommissioning can sometimes feel like a military operation.

Lean on outside resources to get the most out of your data center decommissioning. A qualified and trusted ITAD (IT asset disposition) firm will add value to your process and reduce the risk of things going wrong.


Expect Thorough Planning

As with many aspects of life, the success of decommissioning hinges on the quality of planning. The better you prepare, the smoother it will run.

Rely on a comprehensive checklist to help navigate the process. Ask your ITAD to supply the template, then collaborate to configure it for your needs.

Some key pointers forgetting to plan underway:

  • Set goals for the decommissioning project and identify realistic timelines.
  • Assign a dedicated project manager to oversee the work. Your ITAD company may be best placed to take on this role.
  • Identify data-bearing assets earmarked for retirement, from hard drives and SSDs to tape and networking gear. Review options for on-site and off-site data sanitization.
  • Itemize hardware and software assets involved in the decommissioning. Use IT asset management software to ensure all items are accounted for.

Do not forget to consult closely with your decommissioning provider to determine the final designation for each item—reuse, remarket, destroy, or recycle?

Recovering the residual value in end-of-use equipment will help offset the costs of decommissioning. Your ITAD will help you confidently navigate the available options.

What provisions might you need to make for COVID-19 safety protocols? Have a conversation about pandemic security early into the planning process.

Various factors drive the decision to decommission—from changing business needs to cloud migration. Whatever the circumstances, what is always the case is that retiring equipment needs processing with care.

Demand Rigor 

The best-laid plans ultimately stand and fall on the quality of execution—and here much will depend on the level of trust between yourself and your partner.

To what degree are you willing to hand over control of the process to your provider? Review the proposed workflow and ask yourself:

  • How systemized is it? Each workflow stage should be clearly delineated in the decommissioning plan.
  • Have you agreed on clear project review points and go / no-go milestones?
  • How will you maintain visibility into the project as it unrolls?

Expect regular updates on project progress. The best data center decommissioning services are marked by fastidious execution and a commitment to avoiding the kind of lazy shortcuts that introduce risk into the process.

Seek Excellence in Logistics

With decommissioning, the nitty-gritty of tooling up, tearing down, packing up, and shipping is where the rubber meets the road. Neglect it at your peril.

Again, rely on your decommissioning partner’s expertise in this area. The finer points of how to safely break down and pack up expensive server equipment are best left to those who deal with these matters on a regular basis.

Thoroughly explore options for off-site transportation. The costs may range widely depending on the equipment earmarked for decommission and the level of security required.

Once the decommissioning is complete, liaise with your IT and accounting teams to ensure disposed and remarketed assets are properly recorded. Look to your ITAD to generate digital certificates of data sanitization as part of the reconciliation process.

The vast majority of corporate data center equipment is not going anywhere anytime soon. More than half of enterprise computing capacity will stay on-premises through at least 2022, according to the latest data from Uptime Institute. At the same time, study after study shows that enterprise data center operators continue to struggle with the effective management of data center hardware, and that includes decommissioning.


Think Strategically 

Datacenter decommissioning is a practical process. But the best decommissioning services form part of a strategic approach to hardware asset management and value recovery.

Hold your partner to high standards across the entire asset lifecycle, from deployment to disposition. Consider the different ways in which they assist with your hardware management. Can they consult and advise on

  • your handling of refresh cycles?
  • your approach to data sanitization?
  • your returns and warranty management?

Ask searching questions and expect your services partner to do the same. You want someone who is comfortable listening but who also can guide and is not simply looking to take orders.

Make Data Center Decommissioning Services Work for You

Among data center operators, significant apprehensions remain around the reuse and remarketing of retiring data center equipment. The prospect of handing over the reins to a third-party provider triggers reluctance. Do they really have your best interests at heart?

The reality is, however, that the data center hardware landscape is getting more complex and expensive—at the same time as digital transformation is becoming ever more critical to a company’s success.

Take the time to find the right industry partner and embrace the benefits of top data center decommissioning services while reducing the hassle of the decommissioning process.

Author: Horizon Technology