There are several reasons why companies plan data centre decommissioning. Oftentimes, businesses pursue the project to replace outdated technology with more efficient equipment or to migrate their data to the cloud. Regardless of the reason, a data centre decommissioning project is a complex undertaking and one that’s typically only a once-in-a-career event. Thus, even IT specialists may be new to the process. Here’s a step-by-step overview to help you plan and execute the project successfully.
Establish a roadmap
Start by meeting with internal stakeholders to discuss the project’s scope. Include the following key points in your discussion:
- The purpose of the project
- The anticipated time frame
- Who will be the main individual(s) overseeing it (project manager)
- Necessary workflows
Itemize your equipment
Next, determine what hardware or software assets need to be decommissioned. You can use a network discovery tool to identify items. Then, compile a detailed inventory itemizing each of the following, along with the equipment’s location:
- Storage equipment
- Hard drives
- Networking gear
- Software licenses
- Visualization hardware
- Power equipment
Additionally, determine whether any software licenses will need to be retained. Once you have a comprehensive list, work with your ITAD partner to determine how each item will be processed, whether that’s reuse or recycling.
Create a detailed plan
After itemization, use your original roadmap as a framework for a more detailed action plan. Be sure to include:
- Each participant’s roles and responsibilities
- When the project will start and how long it will take
- Backup systems for power loss, mitigation steps for downtime
- What you will need in terms of tools (forklifts, hoists, shredders, labels, crates, etc.)
- Any steps that will require live authorizations
- Handoff protocols for your ITAD company, as well as details such as:
- Background checks for employees who will be on premises
- How assets will be transported, where they will go, and how they will be handled afterwards
- How assets can be tracked once they’ve left your facility
Perform a complete tear-down & prepare for pickup
Once you’ve gathered stakeholders and reviewed your detailed action plan, it’s time to move forward with the tear-down. On the day of decommissioning, disconnect all equipment from the network before the ITAD team arrives. Create a designated space for packing up assets. Make any arrangements necessary to ensure your ITAD team can access your property with ease, such as reserving parking spaces in the front of the building. Ensure the project coordinator is on site to show your ITAD provider which items are to be taken.
Follow up with your ITAD provider
After your ITAD team has picked up your equipment, communicate with your IT and accounting departments to ensure any disposed assets have been properly recorded for your company’s internal records.
- If any assets are to be refurbished, coordinate with your ITAD provider for confirmation of data wiping.
- For assets that have been physically destroyed, such as shredded hard drives, make sure you’ve received certificates of destruction once they’ve become available.
Once the project is complete, determine the total value recovered by refurbished assets, and decide whether the funds will be returned to your IT budget or how they’ll be used otherwise. Finally, review any additional documentation to ensure compliance with applicable recycling regulations.
Why chose Quantum for data centre decommissioning?
As an experienced ITAD provider, we understand the complexity of data centre decommissioning and the importance of having a project run smoothly. Quantum offers a full-circle solution and manages the entire decommissioning process without outsourcing any steps. We’re also NAID AAA certified, which represents the highest level of data destruction standards in the world. Our team can assist you from the very beginning of your decommissioning project, starting with a site inspection, through the entire teardown process after assets have been disconnected. We have all the tools needed for the process, so there’s no need to rent or purchase any equipment.
More importantly, only our employees’ hands will touch your assets from start to finish. In choosing to avoid contracting out logistics companies or labourers, we provide peace of mind to our customers by reducing the risk of assets being damaged, misplaced, or otherwise compromised. All of our employees undergo thorough background checks, and transport vehicles are securely sealed from the moment they leave your premises. Your serialized assets can be tracked through each step of the data wiping, destruction and refurbishment process through our easy-to-use portal. Once the project is complete, you’ll receive certificates of data or asset destruction for compliance purposes.
If you have a data centre decommissioning project approaching, contact us for more details about how we can help.