How To Decommission A Data Center

data center Decommission

Take it from us, decommissioning a data center is no small feat. In a decommissioning project, office furniture, generators, hard drives, server racks, and other hardware are removed from the current location to be transferred to new offices or disposed of properly. It’s usually those companies facing data center closure, shutdown or relocation who need this specialized service.

The Data Center Decommissioning Process

This article focuses on helping companies who need data center decommission services to understand the process better, and even guide you if you attempt to complete this process on your own, with minimal disruption to your operations.

large datacenter

Assess The Work To Be Done

A project manager should head the meeting involving the team and all personnel involved to manage company data, and to conduct a physical review of the office and all of its assets. This will help develop the implementation plan and assess the data center equipment, packaging considerations, logistics and packing materials needed.

All interested parties need to meet to develop and implement the vendor maintenance contracts and data center decommissioning guide. It’s advisable to use network discovery tools to see what critical data should be kept.

The team should work cohesively to take a complete asset inventory of the site. This includes servers, cooling systems, racks, power cords, cables, UPS, emergency power systems, cabinets, bays, cage work or enclosures, and data processing.

Take A Look At The Office Or Building

A simple visual inspection will reveal numerous key components regarding accessibility. How can equipment enter the facility? How will traffic be affected?

The same goes for the inside of the building(s). Where is everything located and what is the best plan of attack? Obtaining blueprints and drawings of the location has been proven to be useful to us in a lot of projects.

Creating a Data Center Decommissioning Checklist And A Project Tracker

A checklist may be a primitive tool, but it can make or break the project. It includes information like which equipment needs extra care during asset removal, checking the market values of network gear that can be sold or recycled, and local regulations to ensure compliance. A running list is an easy way to quickly get a “bird’s-eye-view” of the of everything, like which assets need to be transported offsite. It also helps to evaluate service downtime and the overall expected outcomes of the project.

Creating an effective decommission checklist will allow the team to see all the networking gear, docking stations, other servers, and hardware to see how they can ship equipment efficiently.

We’ve posted a sample of our own internal decommissioning checklist HERE if you’d like to review it.

Carry Out The Center Decommissioning

Decommissioning projects need background checks. This will help make delegation easy, and choosing the most secure chain of command to transfer everything, hardware, and software, to their final designation. The project’s success lies in the company’s decision of who is actually carrying out the decommissioning.

decommissioning checklist

What Is The Process Of Decommissioning And Data Destruction?

Basically, you need to establish backup systems. Even in data destruction, there will be some things that need to be saved. Then coordinate with all keyholders of the company just in case there are decisions to be made, like securing software licenses, asset disposition, and asset recovery if needed.

E-Waste Recycling

When decommissioning data centers, there will be some waste involved. These can either be refurbished for internal reuse or sold to another facility. We have set processes for responsible recycling and data sanitization, including our own collection receptacle and disposal protocol.

How To Find A Reliable Company For a Data Center Decommissioning Project

The best decommissioning service provider for data centers should provide you with their experience when it comes to detailed planning, knowledge of how to appraise equipment, understanding the logistics process, and have a solid reporting system.

The company should also have a data security process so that you can track what is included in the data erasure, financial and legal recordkeeping, and checking IT assets and hardware assets.

They should be able to remove large and small business-related components, like HVAC equipment and coolers, all the way down to cables, conduit, wiring, and piping. Not only that, but they should also go the extra mile to clean the building after they are done with the project.

At Liquis, we have proven and established data center decommissioning services that allow for a good flow of operations so that you can quickly get back on track.

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