Five Essential Stages of Data Center Decommissioning

Five Essential Stages of Data Center Decommissioning

Data center decommissioning requires more than just dismantling data facilities and shutting down servers.

Driven by the pandemic we’re facing, the demand for decommissioning data centers has increased. According to experts, this growth is expected to continue. Due to the difficulties and cost of managing on-location data centers, some companies are switching to cloud services while others have opted to close down to cut costs.

Data center decommissioning is a complex process that needs proper planning and efficient execution. The structural characteristic of this approach greatly contributes to the success of retiring old IT assets, securing data, and minimizing electronic waste. Whether your goal is to relocate or close down, it’s essential to follow a thorough decommissioning process to ensure smooth sailing on the project. But how does it really work? What are the stages of this approach? In this article, we simplified the data center commissioning process into five essential stages.

Five Phases of Data Center Decommissioning
  1. Prepare data backup and power down facility. As the first step, verify all data has been backed up, after halting all flow of data to the servers. Also, ensure that the operation of storage devices and equipment are terminated. Conducting an asset inventory or maintaining a checklist is also advisable to be able to efficiently sort out what to keep and what to dispose of. Keeping a checklist will improve the efficiency of the process as well as provide an audit trail down the road.
  2. Handling the assets. This is the phase where recycling, refurbishing, data destruction, and appraising of your old IT assets are conducted. Make sure these processes are strictly in compliance with the regulatory standards for your data and company’s security. Your data should be securely sanitized, especially for those electronics that will be reused or resold later. For waste management, the EPA has issued a public law that regulates the standards and regulations in waste management. Some electronics contain hazardous substances like lead and mercury so make sure to manage your e-waste in accordance to the law.
  3. Reselling assets. After proper refurbishing and secure data wiping is completed, this is where reselling of your old assets is done. Find and contact trusted buyers to whom you can sell your refurbished and used equipment. Prepare a list of prices and quotes from buyers and do price comparison.
  4. Auditing. After successfully selling the assets, prepare a report of the sale and ROI. The reports should be sent to the financial department for auditing, both internal and external. Another phase of the audit should include a full review of the checklist we mentioned above. Ensure all steps were followed and nothing was missed during the decommissioning process.
  5. Closing down or relocation phase. This is the end of the decommissioning cycle after a successful audit and liquidation. In case of relocation, packing is arranged before the transfer of assets. All essential data that was retained should be securely stored and ready for transfer. After one final walkthrough of the data center, with nothing remaining found, mark the project as completed. Wrap up and inform all the contact persons involved in the project.

Decommissioning a data center is a lot of work that requires strict management of each phase. Fortunately, there are data center decommissioning professionals like, E-waste, that can seamlessly do the complex work for you. 

Want to know more about data center decommissioning? Planning to relocate your data center? We are here to guide you. Contact us today for a free quote!

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