Checklist Decommissioning

Checklist for Selecting a Decommissioning Vendor

When embarking on a project as complex as decommissioning a data center, it is critical to have the right partner by your side. The entire project will be more successful and positive for your staff if the vendor you select is a good fit for your organization. The vendor’s service range, industry reputation, size and financial stability should all be considered. Can they provide a project plan, data destruction services, resell and recycle decommissioned assets, methodically account for all inventory and provide accurate reports? Can they support removal of racks, cables, UPS, generators and other ancillary equipment? Here are six topics and questions that will help you find the right data center decommissioning vendor for you.

On-Site Services

Decommissioning and removal of assets is not just a matter of unplugging and packing unused equipment. It is a complex process that is often made more complicated because it frequently occurs in a live environment. As it relates to on-site services, you will want to ask your vendors these questions:

Data Security and Data Destruction

Why take unnecessary risks when you can have your digital data destroyed before it leaves your custody. Data breaches have become more common and costly, and Data Center Managers are seeking to proactively manage digital data by destroying it on-site.

No company is exempt, and it is critical for companies to take action. As it relates to data destruction, you need to ask these questions of your vendor:

Compliance – Tracking and Reporting

For audit purposes associated with regulatory and corporate compliance, defined processes that demonstrate discipline, due diligence and best practices in how IT and data center equipment are handled and data destroyed are critical. Your decommissioning partner needs to provide proof that processes were followed and data was responsibly destroyed.

If you are faced with a legislative audit, it’s important to demonstrate that assets and data were disposed compliant with regulations, in a consistent, repeatable and predictable manner.

When speaking to a potential vendor, you will want to ask:

Resale of Retired Assets

Reselling your decommissioned assets is a great way to help offset project costs, as well as reduce the total cost of IT ownership. To understand a vendor’s resale expertise it is good to ask:

Recycling of Obsolete Electronics

Equipment that is not resold will be recycled. This step can easily be overlooked but is an important part of managing the final disposition of IT equipment. The electronics recycling industry has been a boom and bust market for the last ten years. A quick Google search of “e-waste exports” or “bankrupt electronic recyclers” quickly demonstrates the potential for bad behavior and poor performance in the recycling industry.

Ensuring the recycling of your equipment is done by a responsible company is important to protecting the reputation of your organization. Ensure your vendor undertakes responsible recycling that meets all local and regional legislative requirements. When it comes to the recycling of your equipment you can ask your vendor the following questions:

With these questions answered, you will be empowered to choose the right data center decommissioning partner for your project, and can ensure your equipment and data is secure and responsibly processed at your data center, in transit and at a vendor’s facility.

Sustainability Goals

Companies today are quantifying reductions in their environmental impact and seeking ways to demonstrate positive sustainability results. Reusing and recycling retired IT assets plays an important role in the circular economy by decreasing mining of natural resources and landfill volumes. Some companies offer resale services and some offer recycling services. SLS offers both services, within the same facilities. Many companies prefer this single-source solution because it minimizes re-shipping of e-waste from a resale vendor to a recycler, thereby minimizing the overall carbon footprint of processing IT assets, as well as the potential for data breaches.

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