Essential Tips for Ensuring Safe and Profitable Decommissioning

Last updated on
June 22, 2022

Table of Content

Providing safe and secure decommissioning is not only a default demand from the customers who accept nothing less today – it’s a treasure trove of value recovery opportunities for users in demand of the decommissioning services. Yet, to make the best of decommissions via remarketing of assets, it is necessary to stick to a few best industrial practices. We will look into them below and help you extract the best value of an operation of this type.

Why Should You Seek Professional Decommissioning Services?

To tap into decommissioning as a revenue source, the managers of data centers need to make use of all assets at their disposal. This is particularly true when a standard maintenance practice demands the full wiping of data from the hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SSDs) that got to the end of the line when it comes to their operational usefulness.

Providing full security for the decommissioning procedure to be undertaken is a security imperative for data centers for several reasons. First of all, data centers are at risk of suffering a security breach if the decommissioning process fails to take into account the security and safety of both data and hardware.

This can be irreparably harmful to a data center’s business reputation. Next, in some regions and countries, failing to adhere to safe decommissioning standards carries a regulatory and legal liability for the parties involved. In short, the potential damage, both material and immaterial, can be huge and is best avoided by approaching the decommissioning process proactively.

How do data centers do it, then? The first address to seek assistance from is a professional decommissioning service provider. Asking for their help comes with two important advantages:

  • Data exposure risk is minimized or non-existent.
  • Safe decommissioning opens the doors for remarketing as a hidden source of revenue.

How Can Decommissioning Help You with Safe and Secure Value Recovery?

To achieve this, the decommissioning service you want to order has to meet several criteria you want to define with a service provider from the outset.

  • First, any hardware piece involved needs to be wiped clean of all data and properly sanitized.
  • Next, a chain of custody for the decommissioning procedure and the assets involved needs to be established and carefully maintained.
  • Some drives are beyond help when it comes to the usefulness of wiping, so they need to be set aside and designated for physical destruction at a proper location.
  • It is also necessary to provide comprehensive logistical support throughout the decommissioning process to support streamlined and more efficient management.
  • Finally, getting the best value out of one’s hardware means being in constant search of new markets and building upon what the existing ones can offer. This also means making the marketing operations more sustainable in the long run.

Now, let’s look into these practices in more detail.

Data sanitization and TCO

Achieving safe and profitable decommissioning rests on your ability to secure lower total cost of ownership of the assets involved in the process. It is an absolute imperative for a data center together with the goal to extract additional value through the recovery of assets.

The role of data sanitization platforms is essential here, as they can provide purposeful and permanent deletion and destruction of data from a storage device. It’s only these platforms that give users peace of mind since the sanitized assets contain no leftover information that can be abused by threat actors. This is rendered infeasible even by the parties in possession of professional data forensic tools.  

To achieve this more easily, the data sanitization platform needs to operate an array of agents that allow it to simultaneously process as many assets as possible. This means much for the scalability of the decommissioning service provider that has to ensure the same level of support for both large-scale data centers and smaller sites.

Logistics Is Vital

Asset tracking is yet another practice that needs to be implemented for the sake of ensuring a fully secure decommissioning. This means that each step in this process needs to be accounted for and supplied with detailed records for each asset to be decommissioned. The steps to be logistically covered include wiping, physical elimination, shredding, or the preparation of wiped assets for remarketing. In addition to being more orderly, this approach is often mandated under the law in some areas.

During the wiping process, it is vital that no single leftover piece of data can be read or recovered afterward. To achieve this, the sanitization software in use needs to be checked with passes Test Level 2 of the Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA) Threat Matrix.

Being proactive in the decommissioning process can prevent any unplanned downtime and bring it to a satisfying conclusion much faster. This means that all logistical aspects need to be provided in advance, starting with comprehensive auditing of all assets on-site and the objectives that are to be achieved with each piece of hardware involved.

Safe Shredding and Packaging

The actions that need to precede shredding should include the collection and removal of assets accompanied by de-installation and wiping. The same goes for any other disposal process in line with a user’s specific needs. In any case, full wiping of assets should take no more than two days. Data should be cleared from no less than 98% of assets while the rest is set aside for secure shredding.

Drives that are scheduled for shredding or recycling need to be securely packaged and transported in sealed containers equipped with GPS tracking systems. No matter the number of assets involved, the whole of the decommissioning should take no more than 7 days.

Extracting the Value from Your Hardware

Finally, managing the decommissioning process as a source of revenue means extracting the value from your hardware at the very end of its product cycle. This is why it is essential to find a decommissioning service provider that can approach this process with value recovery in mind, together with a minimum total cost of ownership.

This means that decommissioned hardware needs to be reconditioned comprehensively, starting with the appraisal of its performance capacity and the need for cosmetic interventions. Once the potential upgrades are introduced, the assets need to be packaged securely and transformed into a product that is fully ready for the market.   

Whoever is chosen as a provider in the decommissioning process, bear in mind that it has to prove its capability to do business in various markets with a global outreach. Its business credentials should include a network of globally relevant partnerships and an ability to remarket assets that originate from a broad set of sub-markets.

It’s only by sticking with these best practices that data center managers can successfully deal with the threat of having their data unintentionally exposed. As a bonus, if all steps are played correctly, there is a financial reward for those looking to recover the value of their assets and enrich the market for it. 

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