Case Study: Decommissioning 22 Sites in 60 Days across 9 Countries

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Case Study: Decommissioning 22 Sites in 60 Days across 9 Countries

Table of Content

Data Center Decommissioning, IT Asset Recovery & Global Logistics


Instart Logic, a content distribution network provider, was acquired and the existing data center infrastructure needed to be rapidly and securely decommissioned.

Key Benefits

1. Onsite decommission services executed at 22 locations across 9 countries and 3 continents during the Covid pandemic.

2. Decommission, scan, serialize, and securely relocate over 30,000 data center IT assets to regional depots for processing and disposition.

3. Real-time Chain of Custody, Asset Tracking, and Financial Reporting via a secure client portal

4. Certified data destruction and erasure of ~50,000 hard drives onsite with real-time access to COD’s.

Business Challenge

Instart required an established partner with global reach, technical expertise, and ‘safe hands’ to efficiently decommission and return to white space 22 data centers sites globally within 60 days.

Specific Requirements

  • Five (5) different colocation providers, each with their own policies around COVID-19 compliance.
  • Four (4) different equipment lease providers, each with unique lease return requirements.
  • Accelerated time table due to rolling Colo lease expirations.
  • Remove assets within 60 days from 22 locations across 9 countries and 3 continents and return the site to white space.
  • Recover the highest market value from the total portfolio of decommissioned equipment, while being the most cost effective.
  • Securely destroy all data onsite, before any assets leave the facility.
  • Facilitate communications between the global Dataknox Extraction Teams and the different Colocation Providers within each geography.
  • Consolidate inventory and sort leased assets across four (4) leasing companies while processing the resalable assets in parallel.  
  • Sustainable e-recycling for each site in accordance with local laws and regulations.
  • Comply with social distancing measures and restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dataknox’s Approach

Given the project's time-sensitivity and the backdrop of COVID-19 restrictions, Dataknox took a tailored approach to addressing a set of unique challenges and requirements.

  • Four (4) tactical teams were deployed to decommission and serialize assets against a master inventory list,  return the data center to white space and pack and ship to Dataknox HQ.
  • The initial 18 sites were completed within 30 days.
  • The (4) teams were split as follows: 2 in the US, 1 in Europe, and 1 in Hong Kong.
  • Systems were processed and sorted according to the serials provided on lease schedules. Non-leased equipment was purchased by Dataknox and leased equipment was returned to the lessor.
  • Dataknox’s proprietary online portal tracked the assets' global journey including the latest location and digital chain of custody to the final destination.
  • Storage devices (in this case hard drives) with sensitive data were physically destroyed onsite and each Certificate of Destruction (“COD”) was uploaded to the client’s portal for real-time access.
  • Dataknox avoided unnecessary tax consequences and trade restrictions by disposing of the equipment via its proprietary network within each region. This was critical to ensure cost-effectiveness, especially given the restrictions around Covid which could have increased overall project costs.

Why Dataknox?

Instart Logic selected Dataknox over competing providers due to:

  1. Speed of Execution. The short timeline required a tailored approach, extreme agility, and tight coordination.
  2. Ease of Doing Business. Flexible and transparent contract terms resulting in a clean, straightforward contractual relationship, reflecting a strong spirit of partnership.
  3. Cost Effectiveness. Significant value at a cost-effective price point, especially considering the unique logistics challenges due to COVID-19 restrictions.
  4. Centralized Reporting. Real-time access to a secure portal for access to all asset details, financial ledger, locations, Job requests, COD’s, Chain of Custody, and financial.
  5. Data Security. Our onsite data assets destruction policy ensures that sensitive data is securely destroyed, and decommissioning following the strictest regulations.

Global Expertise. On the ground experience in challenging geographies including Russia, Brazil, Africa, and India each with its own nuances, policies, and hyperlocal networks.


“Dataknox was quick to act. They’re seasoned operators with a proven methodology and strong execution. When we initially approached Dataknox with our challenge of decommissioning 22 global data centers, they offered to have all sites returned to white space within three weeks. This was unbelievable! I would definitely engage Dataknox on future projects.”

-Phong Tran, Data Center Manager, Instart Logic

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