Section 1. What is IT asset disposition (ITAD) for data centers and how does it work?

Data center ITAD describes the process of systematically decommissioning and retiring IT assets from your live environment and ensuring they are disposed in a data safe, environmentally responsible manner. Retired IT assets are resold on behalf of the data center, redeployed to another company owned facility, or recycled.

On-site at the Data Center

Equipment is decommissioned, inventoried and packed and shipped to an ITAD company that manages reuse and recycling of retired IT equipment.  It is important that data-bearing assets are managed securely throughout the process. Most commonly, data is destroyed prior to assets leaving the data center.

At the ITAD Facility

Assets with reuse potential are refurbished and prepared for resale. If whole units cannot be reused, parts are recovered for resale. Obsolete equipment is recycled.

Most data centers require a documented audit trail that confirms how and when assets were disposed and that recycled equipment was managed in an environmentally compliant manner. ITAD companies can provide complete chain of custody reports, sales reports on assets sold, certificates of data destruction and environmental reporting for recycling. A disciplined approach to data center asset management is important on-site, during transport and off-site at the ITAD facility.

Measuring Success

Data center managers want to recover a percentage of their investment from the sale of their retired equipment. It is also important to ensure regulatory requirements, internal risk management and data security policies are met.

Create a Circular, Low-Carbon Economy

Resourceful reuse and recycling of data center equipment contributes to the broader shift toward a circular economy, decreasing the demand for resources required to produce new products and reducing landfill volumes.

An Important Tip!

Industry certifications are important in the ITAD and e-waste recycling industry. While industry certification does not guarantee performance, it provides a baseline of vetting to ensure your equipment is not irresponsibly handled. There are many reported cases of ITAD vendors taking shortcuts in processing used IT equipment. Shortcuts put you at risk of embarrassing headlines of data exposure and fines associated with illegal export and environmentally irresponsible disposal.