The Ultimate Checklist for Data Center Decommissioning

Oct 24, 2023

When your data center reaches the end of its life and needs to be overhauled, closed, or relocated, it is critical that you thoroughly plan out its decommissioning process. To that end, we have gathered some actionable tips in the following data center decommissioning checklist.

As you prepare to close up shop, make sure that you do the following:

Identify Your Scope

Lay the foundation for a successful decommissioning process by identifying your scope. Generally speaking, it will include the data center that is being decommissioned, but always be mindful of any auxiliary resources, structures, or assets that may need to be addressed, such as security monitoring services and backup generators.

Additionally, now is the time to set a budget and timetable. Include the resale value of any equipment in your budget. Also, consider safety and regulatory issues.

Prioritize Asset Discovery

Asset discovery involves taking stock of your physical, on-site assets. You need to identify which assets you have at your data center, where they are located, what software they contain, and their potential resale value.

You can perform internal asset discovery, which can be laborious and costly, or you can work with an ITAD-certified partner like Secure Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM) to reduce the associated costs and expedite the decommissioning process.

Create a Plan

Once you define your project scope and take stock of your assets, it is time to iron out the fine details of your decommissioning strategy. Divide your goal into smaller milestones so that you can easily track your progress, and if you have never planned a decommissioning before, now is the ideal time to bring in a consultant or third-party data destruction firm.

Determine How You Will Transport Your Equipment

Data center hardware can be extremely cumbersome and difficult to transport, so you must also prioritize logistics planning. You need to obtain materials such as padding, packing foam, pallets, and boxes, and you will also need a crew to reliably load and unload your equipment.

Arranging for transport, however, is only part of the complex logistics equation. You must also ensure a secure chain of custody until your data has been deleted. Any gaps within can lead to compliance violations or, worse, allow bad actors to steal your data.

Find a Reputable Provider

A reputable asset recycling and data destruction provider can take the hassle out of data center decommissioning. When searching for a prospective partner, ensure that they have relevant security and safety certifications from entities such as NAID, e-Stewards, and R2.

Take your time when comparing providers to ensure the one you choose to partner with can meet your organization’s needs. Ideally, you want one that will help you find the highest resale values for your decommissioned goods so that you can mitigate the costs of moving or closing down your data center.

SEAM: Data Decommissioning Services in South Dakota

SEAM offers several NAID AAA-certified services, including onsite, in-plant shredding, and sanitization of both hard drives and solid-state drives. We are located in Sioux Falls, and we proudly serve clients throughout South Dakota and in neighboring North Dakota, so let us support your organization’s data center decommissioning strategy with our on-site and in-plant services.

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.