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Data Center Decommissioning Project Plan

Why Make a Project Plan?

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Removing something from service is a type of decommissioning. Advanced systems have decommissioning processes that must be followed to aid in the shutdown process. Data centers use a variety of equipment and support systems to operate.

It is close to impossible to decommission a data center without a plan. A properly created plan ensures smooth transitioning of the system. The decommissioning project plan is tailored to the needs of each system. Not every process requires the same personnel, participation, or need for outside vendors.

Server Decommissioning

Retiring old servers to be replaced by new ones is a frequent activity. Each corporation or entity establishes its own process. The main steps can include:
  1. Establish Migration Plan - Data from servers to be replaced must be migrated to a target System and includes notification of all stakeholders.
  2. Perform Migration Activities - Performing actual migration transfer. All activities are performed in accordance with the Migration Plan. Certificates of Migration are often created.
  3. Establish Decommission Plan - This plan ensures decommissioning of a legacy system is executed so data and application logic are preserved. Plan for hardware reclamation or disposal is created.
  4. Perform Decommissioning - Begins once Decommission Plan is approved. Steps are completed in accordance with the approved plan.
  5. Perform Post Decommission Review - Reviews timelines for completion for each step. Notes from the completion compile Lessons Learned portion of the review.
Each of the above steps has an individual checklist or template for task completion. A master project plan can be used to track the milestones of each of the above steps. 

Data Center Shutdown

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Shutting down a data center is a complex process spread over many systems including multiple pieces of equipment. State, federal and local regulations must be followed. Each system has a separate set of guidelines and requires a defined skill set. The technical staff may or may not process the certifications to perform some of the duties. 

The addition of emergency power and cooling systems add extra levels of complexity to the decommissioning and building shutdown process. The size of the data center dictates the amount of supporting equipment. Each project plan is created to the design of the facility. 

The Project Plan could consist of a variety of tracking sheets, templates, and hard copy documents such as certifications. The steps could consist of:
  1. Create Equipment List - Create separate lists for servers, internal cooling units, external chillers, and emergency power systems.
  2. Establish and Migrate - Establish server migration plan and migrate information to the target.
  3. Emergency Generator - Create a removal plan for the emergency generator and auxiliary equipment. Reference equipment list for information.
  4. Cooling System - Create a removal plan for internal cooling units, external chillers, and their associated systems (ductwork, cabling, piping and control panels). The equipment list is used for reference.
  5. Servers - Create a removal plan for servers using the equipment list as a reference.
  6. Decommissioning - Complete tasks from each plan within time line specifications.
  7. Post Decommissioning Review - Includes information on tasks completed for each system. Lessons learned are formulated to aid in process development.
The plan is a basic overview of a project plan used when shutting down a data center facility. Each can be divided into multiple sub-steps, requiring an individual status or tracking sheet. 

Equipment Removal & Assist Recovery

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The decommissioning plan includes removal, sales, and disposal of all equipment in the data center. High-ticket equipment can be sold. Expendables such as cables and ductwork are often recycled. 

An option for recycling is repurposing. When data center systems are sold as a complete unit, the Return on Investment (ROI) is greater than recycling. Some expendables must be disposed of and will require extra fees.

Generator Source is a data center decommissioning one-stop shop. Coupled with certified partners we can provide complete decommissioning services throughout the United States. We can purchase all of the equipment in the facility that has repurpose value.

Emergency generator systems-only services are available. Generator and equipment associated with the backup power system removed and purchased. All decommissioning paperwork is completed and presented at to client. 

We can remove can purchase all data center equipment, or power generation systems only. Contact Us with questions on complete data center or backup power decommissioning and purchase options. 


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