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How to Decommission Your Data Center in 5 Steps

Asset Recovery

Find yourself needing to migrate, relocate or upgrade your data center due to cloud migration and/or site consolidation?

Need to keep your app owners happy, data secure and complete the project within a tight window and budget?

Then this guide is for you.

Avoid common pitfalls and additional costs that come with the nature of any data center infrastructure project that involves the powering down of server hardware.

In many cases, if you incorporate a profitable asset recovery component in the project, then it’s possible that you may end up offsetting the costs related to the decom/move.

In other words, unlocking value from decommissioned assets could end up in a favorable scenario where you have zero out of pocket expense to fulfill the project.

Learn the five steps for decommissioning any data center through capacity planning, equipment removal, data destruction (through secure software), and asset recovery. We encourage you to follow these steps to increase your ROI and dispose of your assets in a sustainable and profitable fashion.

Decommissioning Your Data Center in 5 Phases

Part of the challenge of decommissioning a data center is that each step needs to be completed in sequence given the dependencies and the mission critical nature of the environment.

Step 1. Power Everything Down

The first step is to power down the facility. Cancel the flow of information leading to the servers, and terminate the operation of all in-rack hardware. To complete this process, you may want to create an asset inventory or map so you can take stock more easily in future steps.

Depending on which provider you select, you may want to make sure that they can back up and secure critical business data. There should be zero disruption to the business users at the application level.

Step 2. Begin Recovery

Talk to your provider about unlocking the value of your retired hardware. For valuable IT assets, your provider may sanitize data bearing devices onsite as part of their secure data destruction services. Next, you can refurbish and recycle assets that do not have value in the secondary market. Typically, you will receive payment immediately after the assets have been formally inventoried by your provider.

Step 3. Refurbishment

In order to capture the highest values in the secondary market, it’s critical to ensure your provider has a proven process to test and repair the hardware. Many providers do not offer a compliant and comprehensive suite of testing required to capture the highest values in the market. Ideally, they will remove your servers, wipe the information (to regulatory standards), and offer a compelling value for the technology and that requires they have the underlying infrastructure in-house to prevent value leakage and mitigate risk.

Step 4. Reselling

After hazardous, sensitive information has been removed and your IT assets are refurbished, they can be remarketed. Your provider should be able to explain the process for reselling assets in a way that is both efficient and profitable. Depending upon the agreement terms, the payment can either be made upfront or on a profit-sharing basis (ie consignment model).

Step 5. Reporting

Coordinate with your provider to access real-time reporting of important data including: Certificates of Destruction, Financial Summary, Logistics Report, and Asset Tracking.

Having already powered down, recovered, refurbished, and resold your IT assets, you are closing in on the end of the decommissioning cycle. If you hired a competent provider, you will have saved time, conserved funding, and created a return on the original investment in the data center.

Reach out to learn more

Visit www.dataknox.io to avoid common mistakes during your data center decommissioning or migration. We’re former data center operators and we understand the process and mindset involved whenever mission critical infrastructure is being modified, whether it’s purely a decom or a true migration (ie de-install, move and reinstall).

Dataknox has a global footprint and has completed hundreds of data center infrastructure projects across the world resulting in referenceable, repeat clients.