INFRASTRUCTURE OPTIMISATION

Data Center Decommissioning

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Overview

Data Center Decommissioning

If you are considering the closure of your data centre and transferring your hardware to an alternative location, we offer a full range of decommissioning services for all your IT equipment.

Whether a company is moving a single server or are considering a full data centre migration, Secure I.T. Environments Ltd has the ability to run projects from beginning to end, however large or small.

What is Hardware Decommissioning in Information Technology?

Decommissioning is an important process that allows the removal of any business application or system from use in an organization.

This is a very common process of end of life servers that requires adequate analysis of data in a particular system. This is followed by the identification of data, metadata, and the system documentation that needs to be brought forward and retained as well along with an accountable process for deletion of the residual data that is present in the system.

When a company carries out its infrastructure planning from its asset list within its data centers, most thinking is around adding new server equipment and technology but do not think about the destruction of old equipment devices that is no longer needed or its data destruction.

Security threats

Older server systems that aren’t supported any longer don’t get any new security patches, even though they may be vulnerable to new data security threats. If they’re left active, they’re vulnerable to attacks even if you no longer use them for business functions. And if they’re penetrated, malware or other threats can spread throughout your network. If old systems are shut down, it’s possible for a malicious insider to remove a device (and its data) without it being detected.

Spending

Idle hard drives still draw power, so they still have associated electricity and cooling costs. If you accumulate enough unused server machines, you may also be paying for additional racks and a bigger data center than you need. If you don’t transfer licenses from your old machines to the new ones, you may have unnecessary software costs.

Usage

A machine that’s still connected and turned on within a data center can still be used. If you don’t have an inventory, or identify, shut it down and disconnect it, you may unknowingly have critical processes or data on servers that are no longer being monitored or backed up within the environment.

Unfortunately, deciding it makes sense to discard old equipment within data centers isn’t as simple as dumping it in a waste (or recycling) pile. While the old hardware may not be valuable, the data it contains still is. The best way to protect an old disk is to uninstall applications and then use software that repeatedly overwrites the data and carries out data destruction. The drive should then be physically destroyed, ensuring that storage data can’t be accessed by anyone.

Just be sure that before you wipe the drive, you create and secure a good backup of its final contents. You may need it for document compliance reasons, or you may need to restore that day’s data to support a future project.

Is your infrastructure team successfully managing the complete life-cycle, from making the purchasing decision, through installation and support, and finally decommissioning and destroying an old device? Using a project manager for the asset disposition he / she will carry out a physical checklist and forward an asset inventory of the storage equipment to be disposed / relocated.

How it works

What Is the Server Decommissioning Process?

The entire  data centre decommissioning process requires detailed planning, decommissioning checklist of its assets especially when considering maintaining a live environment within the data center. Key consideration should be your organizations sensitive information in your data center, its security during the decommissioning project and the final site disposal.

Our partner is registered with the Environment Agency for IT recycling and is one of only 44 companies in the world that hold Asset Disposal and Information Security Alliance (ADISA) accreditation. Our IT recycling process follows industry leading standards for data loss prevention which allows us to ensure your redundant IT equipment is disposed of in an environmentally, safe and secure way.

The importance of data protection in organizations is generally understood, the risks and implications associated with poor data center decommissioning are not. Luckily today, more professionals for data protection regulations and companies exist to provide this service, making storage, networking and server decommissioning easy and accessible. Think about it, most companies now consider cyber security an important tool to protect their IP and valuable data… why should this be any different when decommissioning your old equipment where the data still exists?

So, what happens when you decommission your server?

The Initial Preparations

During the initial phase, the project manager will draft the scope of work that needs to be done. He/she will establish goals for the data center decommissioning and come up with expected project outcomes. He will also identify milestones and timelines. As much as possible, he will establish and set the necessary workflows to prevent the loss of crucial data.

In our experience the initial set up phase can make or break the entire storage, networking and server decommissioning process with in any data center. To avoid problems and challenges in the decommissioning project, here is a list of things that we would discuss during the initial phase:

Two colleagues strategy planning with laptops in the workplace

Identify and communicate with relevant decision-makers

First, identify all the people involved in the decision-making process. Assign tasks to each one of them. Set up a communication channel for everyone involved and keep them updated every step of the way.

Appoint a project manager

Assign or appoint somebody to oversee the entire server decommissioning process. We would recommend a person who has an extensive experience with decommissioning old IT equipment within the organization.

Set a budget

When setting a budget, it helps to work with a qualified auditor to provide you with a valid and concise valuation of your hardware and assets. And then, work together to come up with a realistic estimate of the projects expenses.

Establish a timetable

After setting a budget, it’s time to establish a timetable. The less organised and the less prepared you are, the more likely that issues and delays will occur in your organizations services. If everyone in the project knows when a goal is due, then processes should proceed smoothly.

Outline the scope of work

Every process and stage of the data center and decommissioning should be outlined clearly. You must assign who is responsible for what, how, when, and where. This way, the process stays fluid and consistent.

Prepare a document with all the contact information of your team members

You can never tell when issues may arise, so it’s best to create a document with all the contact information of all the important people, contractors, and other team members.

Set a time to start the decommissioning process

It is ideal to schedule the decommissioning process off hours. This is ideal during a data center migration situation, but it still comes in handy during a server or data center decommissioning.

Decommissioning

At this stage, all servers that need to be decommissioned need to be logged. The person-in-charge of the will have to identify the final designation of the hardware assets whether the services need to be repurposed, resold, or recycled. Also, he/she needs to identify and retain the software licenses associated with the servers to be decommissioned. Other things to do in this stage are as follows:

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Disposition

In the stage, the project manager needs to ensure the hardware is separated for auditing & processing. Auditing and processing warrant that servers along with other hardware are evaluated and labelled for either reuse or ewaste and for any vendor. A supporting company can assist in removal, auditing, processing and reporting for this disposition stage. 

Lastly, the project manager should coordinate with the finance and accounting department, so that all servers and assets are taken off the books and that software licenses are accounted for.

Testimonials

“I am writing to thank the quality of service provided by Secure I.T. Environments Ltd, which has been providing services for many years to support our daily operation and maintenance of data centre key infrastructure. We sincerely appreciate your team’s efficient, friendly, and promptly responds of customer service, the level detail and accountability on each project.
I wish all the success of your company and keep growing together in the future!”

Mr Xin Zhuang

Bank of China

Our Approach

Decommissioning servers, storage and networking from data centers does not have to be a headache. If you have this checklist and a project manager, then the entire process will be made easy.

At Secure I.T.Environments Ltd we aim to make the end of life decommissioning and disposal process easier for organisations. By partnering with industry specialists in server or other enterprise decommissioning, we guarantee that the entire process will go smoothly, and you’ll have the reporting and certifications you need to keep your data safe and organisation sustainable.

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