Why hire a professional service to handle your data center decommission? There are several viable reasons to make this decision. Perhaps you don’t have the staff on-hand. Perhaps you simply don’t want to have to deal with the headaches or the common decommissioning mistakes that come with this detailed undertaking. Whatever the reason for choosing an outside professional to carry out your decommission project, this article will help you with tips on how to find the right data center decommissioning company.
1. Decommissioning is a Specialized Skillset
Decommissioning is a specialized process that many IT professionals simply don’t have a lot of experience with. Decommissions simply don’t come up very often for the typical IT person—perhaps once every two to three years. Things go much smoother when you can rely on a team with direct experience and specialized knowledge that comes with handling on a regular basis what many IT professionals only encounter every few years.
Whether you are moving across the street or across town, or going out of business entirely, a good data center decommissioning service can make a move a lot easier and give you an optimum of safety, security and return on your equipment. The skills and knowledge required to effectively decommission a datacenter are not necessarily the same as those required to manage live IT resources. Offloading a datacenter decommission onto an outside team can free up your own team to do what they do best—manage the live IT infrastructure and applications that run on them.
2. Pick a Service That Will Give You a Good Return
You want someone who works with you to validate your equipment and vets for you. Computer and server recycling is not just environmentally responsible, but it is also fiscally responsible. You can get good value out of your equipment, even if it’s not top-of-the-line anymore. While the total piece of equipment as a whole may not have much value, the components of the hardware often do. You want to choose a provider who will squeeze every bit out of value out of your equipment and thus maximize the value you get for it.
You want to choose someone who can handle not just your big ticket equipment. You want someone who will handle everything in the datacenter that you need decommissioned, including cables, power cords, uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and peripherals like racks, rails and cabinets. You don’t want to get stuck with these odds and ends, especially if such equipment is old or proprietary, without any possibility of repurposing it.
3. Choose a Service That Has Specialized Experience with Decommissioning
Data center decommissioning is a complex process that requires each step be carried out in a precise order. Doing things in the wrong order can throw off the entire flow of the operation and require time-consuming re-work. There are times when all the resources of the team must be combined and others when the team must be spread across many different tasks. Choose a company that is aware of the practices associated with ITAD, or Information Technology Asset Disposition. This expertise ensures that your equipment will be disposed of safely and in a way that is environmentally responsible. It also ensures that you will get maximum value for your hardware.
4. Work with a Data Center Decommissioning Company That Plans Appropriately
You want a company that will make the proper preparations. Safety is important, not just for the company doing the decommission activity or its workers, but also for the company hiring another company to do such work. By securing your equipment against damage, it retains the maximum value that it can get. This means that you will get maximum value for your decommissioned equipment. A good plan will keep the tasks at hand on schedule and enable you to get the decommission done and keep it from dragging on and hanging over your head for a long time.
Failing to adequately plan can create costly delays. You want someone who makes a decommission checklist part of their process, from teardown to palletization and loading. Safety risks must be identified and accounted for. Not using tip guards might save time, but if something goes wrong, any time savings will quickly disappear and then some. Heavy equipment should be transported on pallets or crates. Avoiding is a shortcut that’s simply too risky both for workers and the equipment in transit.
Anyone who wants to save time and a big headache will want to choose a decommissioning provider that keeps safety foremost in mind. Yesterday’s racks and chassis are lighter than the generation before, but they are still heavy enough to be cumbersome if not secured properly. Trying to avoid these safety procedures introduces unnecessary worry and risk into the process.
5. Use Someone Who Uses Data Security and Destruction Protocols
Your hardware may contain hard drives and other media that contain sensitive data. From backups to actual database files, or even spreadsheets, you don’t want any of this information to fall into the wrong hands. Not only could it provide potential for identity theft, but it could also be a leak of proprietary or confidential information that could have serious intellectual property ramifications. Such a potential data leak also provides new vectors of attack against your live data. You want a decommission team that will treat this sensitive data with the concern that it demands. If the data cannot be removed from a physical drive, it should be physically destroyed.
Whether you are completely shutting down your datacenter or getting out the old to make room for the new, choosing the right data center decommissioning company is a great way to get it done with a minimum of worry and headache. If you follow the suggestions above, you can rest assured that you will get maximum value for your hardware and know that the decommission process will be carried out with every modicum of safety and coordination necessary to make it successful.
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