Migrating Data to the Cloud: How to Deal with Decommissioning Old Technology


Are you in charge of tackling your latest data center decommissioning project? If the answer’s a resounding YES, and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, the right IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) partner can help you streamline the process and make it pain-free.

What’s data center decommissioning, anyway? 

An organization’s data center houses most of the IT assets and electronic equipment.  Most of these items contain sensitive data that is extremely important to the day-to-day operations and the company’s success.  

Decommissioning a data center is retiring, removing, or shutting down obsolete or old electronic or IT equipment. This includes servers, computers, hard drives, etc.  The process generally occurs when one migrates data to a cloud system (private), which in turn requires a data center decommission.

These days, companies are opting for cloud-based operations to help cut down on IT-related costs.  In addition, they are ready to embrace a sustainable future which almost always includes the decommissioning of a data center and/or IT assets. For these reasons, you must have a certified ITAD company by your side. 

Decommissioning a Data Center – The Ultimate Checklist 

A certified ITAD company will carry out the tasks required, but you must ensure that you are getting a reliable vendor onboard. The company that takes over the decommissioning of your data center needs to provide a checklist of the steps/actions they will adhere to. It must include the following: 

  1. Draft the work scope, establish the goals and ensure that time frames are set upfront. Ask for a decommissioning timeline, including security procedures, potential downtime, and whether the process will occur during or after business hours. 
  2. Itemizing is the next step and network discovery via physical research or software will help you develop an IT inventory list. Since IT asset recovery is the goal, you need to ask yourself this question: Will you be reusing or recycling the equipment? 
  3. Now you need to initiate a process outlining all the tasks that need to be performed, along with responsibilities and roles. When do you plan to start the process of data center decommissioning, and how long would it take? You should also put together a list of the vendors needed for the entire project.
  4. Tooling up is the next step. Machines such as hoists, pallets, forklifts, and tip guards may be needed. One also needs to mention the number of people and hours required to complete the job. A proper background check must be done if you are hiring outside resources. 
  5. Discuss the hardware asset plan and asset recovery checklist with all the team members involved and make sure you have an agreement.  The decommissioning of a data center should involve a checklist review and data backup
  6. Once the tear-down process is complete — it’s time to pack. Is there a dedicated space to pack up all of your assets?
  7. Liaise with the accounting and IT teams to record all disposed assets. For refurbished assets, connect with the ITAD company to confirm a safe chain of custody and sanitization certificates for audit purposes.

An ITAD provider can assist with every step to ensure that the process is smooth and you get maximum return from your old or retired assets. 

Concluding Thoughts 

The best way to ensure that your data center is decommissioned securely and safely is to work with a reliable, certified, and reputable ITAD company.  A good provider will follow the process thoroughly and will adhere to industry-specific regulations. 


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