Decommissioned Servers IT Asset Disposition

For data center managers, particularly those who are taking on a new role or location, finding a stash (or several of them scattered around the facility) of decommissioned equipment is an unwelcome challenge.   A data center refresh or migration project may have been successful, but it’s not really complete until all the retired assets are properly disposed. As older IT assets start to pile up you may find the datacenter clutter in the way, and may impede future refresh or migration activities.

How can you quickly, efficiently and cost effectively get rid of all that stuff so you can move on to an integrated plan and consistent asset disposition program?

1. Create a list of the unused, decommissioned, or retired IT assets

For maximum value and the lowest risk from the disposition process, you can’t treat every type of IT asset the same. Before you can start, it’s a good idea to understand what you’re working with. Lists can be basic or, to enable better analaysis, broken into groups based on equipment type, configuration, age and data risk level.

If you and your team don’t have the time, have a trusted ITAD partner come in and help you figure out what you have, and where.  Having your vendor shoot video or photos of your equipment and its location in your data center can also be helpful.

2. Determine the security profile of your assets

Assess whether hard drives are still in the assets or stored separately, and determine the data destruction process required by your organization.  Options to securely manage your IT assets can vary; physical destruction or sanitization, onsite or at the vendor.  You may have different requirements for different types of data or drives.  Be sure to note if you have Solid State Drives (SSDs) – the data can still be destroyed, but there are some differences.  Doing an assessment of drive types, quantity and your security requirements, or having a NAID AAA Certified partner assist you with that, will enable you to determine the best plan.

3. Have a third party review pictures and lists of your assets for valuable items

As a data center manager, you (or your team members) have a lot of responsibilities. You may be surprised at what assets still have value – and those that don’t.  An experience remarketing partner will help you sort that out – don’t waste your team’s time trying to figure it out by looking up every item online. By using their knowledge of the used IT equipment market to assess the value of your assets, the right partner can help you estimate the overall value and also weigh the costs of data destruction against return on investment (ROI).

4. Ensure that non-remarketable assets are responsibly and legally recycled

More than likely, if you have piles of equipment that have been sitting around for a while, some of that equipment is just too old, or is damaged, and can’t be remarketed.  Select an ITAD vendor who can sort through everything so you don’t have to spend the time doing that.

Make sure that any vendor that takes your equipment is e-Stewards or R2/RIOS certified.  These certifications mean that you don’t have to do the due diligence to make sure the vendor is going to dispose of all that material legally and in compliance with industry best practices.

5. Create a plan to manage newly decommissioned equipment in the future

You don’t want to get stuck with this problem again. Make a complete IT asset disposition plan a priority now that you have cleaned house. Things to consider are upcoming upgrades and refreshes, cloud migration, virtualization and any significant facility changes.  If you need help making that plan, download our free guide, “The IT Asset Manager’s Guide to Disposition,” by clicking on the link below.