Data Center Decommissioning Services

A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and various security devices.

Your data center is like your company’s brain: it’s complex, it houses all the information you need to survive, and it has to be protected at all times. And just as you would only trust brain surgery to a brain surgeon, hiring a professional ITAD company is highly recommended when retiring critical components of your IT infrastructure.

CompuCycle’s National Decommissioning Services

CompuCycle’s data center decommissioning services deliver a comprehensive solution at competitive rates to the challenge of tackling the process yourself. Our experienced team handles everything from planning to decommissioning to disposal for even the largest corporate data centers, keeping your information secure while adhering to best electronic recycling practices. Our services include:

  • Our certified team will decommission your assets safely and securely, allowing you to maximize your return on reusable assets.
  • All electronics are recycled in accordance with R2:2013 practices and in accordance with state and federal regulations.
  • A project manager will be assigned to manage the complete decommissioning project.
  • Complete removal of racks, servers, switches, UPS, overhead racks, PDUs cabling and raised floors provided.
  • On-site inventory of assets.
  • On-site hard drive shredding.
  • Resale of reusable products.
  • Certified disposal and recycling of scrap materials.


Why Decommission a Data Center?

There are many reasons why you may opt to decommission your data center. Replacing outdated technology with more efficient equipment can lead to significant savings in personnel time and maintenance costs. Companies migrating their data to the cloud may wish to decommission and lower their overhead costs. Large companies with multiple or redundant data centers may choose to consolidate to a centralized location, or simply move a center from one location to another.

Whatever the reason, the job is far more complicated than meets the eye and requires extensive pre-planning before anything gets unplugged.

Our Decommissioning Process – Step-by-Step

Pre-bid site visit

  • Defining the scope of work
  • Conducting network discovery using software discovery tools, and physical discovery to craft a hardware inventory
  • Identifying necessary machinery, including forklifts, hoists, tip guards, pallets


  • Identifying requirements/parameters of the project
  • Drafting a proposal detailing all procedures


  • Obtaining sign-off on the asset purchase agreement (if selling assets)
  • Delivering decommissioning project contract

Scheduling and project coordination

  • Determining a schedule of activities (potential downtime, safety procedures)
  • Asset tagging devices to specify whether they are to be repurposed, replaced, or destroyed
  • Creating and verifying all necessary backup systems are in place to guarantee continuous power supply

Project execution

  • Disconnecting hardware from firewalls, subnetworks, and power supplies
  • Removing all server rails, racks, shelves, and drawers
  • Packing hardware in polyethylene foam for travel to CompuCycle facility or other destination

Asset disposition

  • Erasing data according to NIST 800-88 guidelines
  • Shredding hardware at end-of-life
  • Issuing Certificates of Data Destruction and Certificates of Data Sanitization for wiped or destroyed devices

Final walk-through and

  • Visually inspecting data center to verify completion of project
  • Signing-off of decommissioning team
  • Reinstalling data center at new location, if necessary

Data Center Decommissioning Planning and Prep

Whether your company uses an internet-facing data center or an enterprise data center, our team progresses through an extensive checklist of important tasks before the actual decommissioning begins. This may include:

    • Determining a schedule of activities, including potential downtime, safety procedures, and whether you prefer off-hours or business hours.
    • Conducting both network discovery using software discovery tools, and physical discovery to craft a hardware inventory. These can then be compared to pre-existing CMDBs (configuration management databases).
    • Arranging any necessary machinery, including forklifts, hoists, tip guards, and pallets.
    • Asset tagging your devices with serial numbers to specify whether individual pieces of hardware need to be repurposed, replaced, or destroyed.
  • Creating and verifying all necessary backup systems are in place so that there is never a critical loss of power or data.

Deinstallation and Decommission

Once the proper planning has been done, CompuCycle staff advance to the task of decommissioning the data center. During this stage we will see to:

    • Data erasure for devices that you plan to repurpose or resell, or shredding of items to be recycled (more on this below). CompuCycle complies with National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) 800-88 guidelines and U.S. Department of Defense 5220.22-M sanitization standards.
    • Disconnecting hardware from firewalls, subnetworks, and power supplies.
  • Removing all server rails, racks, shelves, and drawers and securely packing them for travel.

On-site Data Destruction and Equipment Disposition

During the decommissioning process, the CompuCycle team will use either data sanitization software or cryptographic erasure software to permanently remove data from your devices. Alternatively, our mobile shredding equipment can be used to physically destroy hard drive assemblies and other memory devices on-site at your location. Upon completion, we will issue a certificate documenting the equipment’s sanitization or destruction.

After data destruction, the decommissioned equipment or shredded e-waste will be securely packed for transportation inside polyethylene foam. Everything will then be loaded into a CompuCycle truck that is equipped with real-time tracking for the trip to its final destination. You may then opt to engage CompuCycle’s asset remarketing services to secure the best value for your no-longer-needed hardware, or our EPA-recognized, R2-Certified e-cycling capabilities. We accept servers, power supplies, fax machines, and many more IT devices.

Our decommissioning team is also able to help you reinstall your data center at a new location, if necessary.