There’s no denying how useful checklists can be. No matter the task in question, it’s always useful to have a black and white list of everything you need to have checked and completed to make a process run smoothly. It’s certainly no different when it comes to decommissioning your data centre. With so many factors to consider, a checklist will keep you on top of everything, ensuring that the process is successful, and data security is front of mind throughout. This is especially important when data is involved, as it significantly minimises the risk of you falling victim to a data breach. But what should be on this data centre decommissioning checklist? Let’s take a look!

Assign Task Owners

Depending on the scale of your data centre decommissioning project, it might not be feasible for one person to take control of the whole project. Of course, you’ll have a project manager to oversee everything, but it can be useful to assign individual owners to each task who are accountable for the data centre decommissioning process. You should assign these owners, along with outlining expectations and responsibilities, well in advance of the start of the process.

Identify and Itemise Servers

You don’t want to miss anything in this process, so it’s important to discover, and log, all servers that require decommissioning. Be sure to check this log against your inventory to be sure that nothing is missed. You should also schedule each of these for decommissioning, allowing a little extra time than is necessary- just in case.

Locate Licences & Cancel Ongoing Contracts

You’ll need to locate, and retain, software licences for these servers. However, it’s also important to cancel any scheduled maintenance checks for servers that are to be decommissioned.

Data Backups & Data Erasure

Whether you’re reselling, recycling, reusing or disposing of your old equipment, it’s important that you take appropriate steps to protect your data. This includes backing up data, and erasing data from your devices. While, depending on the size of the task, you’ll be able to back up any data yourself, EOL recommends enlisting the help of a data erasure specialist to ensure your devices are clear of any business data. Hiring a professional data erasure provider, means you can rest assured that all devices are free from data, and you’ll receive a certificate to confirm its erasure.

Disconnect Servers

Disconnecting your server entails more than just switching off the power. You’ll also need to remove ACLs, subnets, firewalls and any other associated software. Cut the power to each server and remove it from its rack, to prepare it for the next step in the process.

IT Asset Disposal

Data center decommissioning doesn’t mean that all old equipment must be disposed of, though this may be necessary if a particular piece of IT equipment requires physical data destruction. Enlisting the help of an accredited ITAD company ensures that you take the most appropriate steps with your devices. It goes without saying that your ITAD company can perform the destruction of devices and assist with IT asset management, but the best ITAD partners can also help with the resale and recycling of any devices that have not reached their end of life. Most importantly, an accredited ITAD supplier will ensure that all of this is achieved in line with industry laws and regulation, as well as ensuring that your e-waste has minimal impact on the environment.

Update Inventory

It’s vital that you update your asset inventory after all devices have left the hands of your business. Rather than simply removing assets that have been resold, recycled or disposed of, you should add a note describing what happened to that item. This is useful for future reference, and if you ever have to prove the location of a device.

With over 23 years in the industry, EOL are the UK’s most accredited ITAD. We provide a full decommissioning & new equipment roll out service handled by qualified, skilled technicians to make the decommissioning process as simple as possible for our clients. For years, EOL have provided decommissioning services throughout the UK & Europe, planning and scoping every project– regardless of size– to ensure maximum business continuity.

Contact us today on 0845 600 4696 or visit to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.



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