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Data Center Decommissioning Checklist

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Check Lists Aid in Decommissioning

Goggle Data Center Complex
Large data centers with banks of servers that supply cloud services and corporate data centers are the most common styles of data centers. Both are constructed with servers, cooling system, and emergency power backup.

Corporate data centers are dedicated to functions of the corporation and do not provide lease options to outside companies. However, there are many cloud server data centers that lease server space and provide communication services.

Facility size and function are factors in the design of the checklist. A checklist is developed during the project planning stage of the decommissioning. The list should capture all of the details of the decommissioning process. This list can have supporting documents such as equipment removal and asset recovery. A checklist and supporting documents allow project management to direct and track the progress of the decommissioning. A well designed and completed checklist ensures no steps are missed. 

Dividing the data center into two categories and creating a checklist for categories will help ensure proper shutdown and disposal. The checklist for server decommissioning differs from the supporting systems and equipment checklist. All supporting systems must be decommissioned and removed and sold or disposed of. Hazardous chemicals such as engine oil, engine coolant, diesel fuel, and refrigerant must be disposed of or reclaimed. Federal and local requirements must be followed when deposing of chemicals.
 

Server Decommissioning ChecklistAuxiliary Systems in Data Centers

Many data centers are used for heavily regulated fields. Auditors check records for decommissioning compliance. When a server is removed from service or placed into service, the process must be documented with decommissioning and commissioning documents. The following steps can be used as a server decommissioning checklist.
  1. Identify and schedule servers for decommissioning
  2. Locate all software licenses for server(s)
  3. Cancel all maintenance and software contracts for server(s)
  4. Backup all data
  5. Disconnect server from network
  6. Remove subnets, firewalls and other associated software from server(s)
  7. Remove server from rack to erase for asset recovery or destruction. 
  8. Erase server disks and save documentation
  9. Process with data wiping tools and physical destruction
  10. Process with software-based data erasure
  11. Create file of all documented processes
  12. Sell or destroy all servers

Supporting Systems ChecklistLifting Generator with Crane

Supporting systems consists of all systems and equipment that support the operation of the servers. Data centers use a large amount of power and create lots of heat. All data centers share the need for cooling and emergency power supporting systems. Each system can be divided into a separate checklist.

Emergency Power Equipment

The emergency power system consists of power generation, generator support and switching/distribution/control systems. The size and complexity of the backup power system dictate the content of the list. Basic list is below:
  1. Identify all generator(s) and generator operations supporting equipment:
    1. Main fuel tank, day tank, fuel transfer pumps and associated piping
    2. Engine exhaust piping
    3. Engine Intake ductwork
  2. Identify electrical equipment to remove:
    1. Automatic Transfer Switches (ATS)
    2. Distribution/circuit breaker panel
    3. Control panels for generator paralleling functions
  3. Select vendor to:
    1. Remove and dispose of engine oil and coolant.
    2. Pump fuel tanks and reclaim or dispose of fuel
    3. Remove engine and generator
    4. Remove day tank and main supply tank
    5. Remove fuel piping, intake supply ductwork and exhaust piping
    6. Remove distribution panels, switches, circuit breakers, cables and cable runs
  4. Create a schedule for the removal of the equipment.
  5. Maintain a log of the progress of the deconstruction of the emergency power equipment

Cooling Systems Equipment

Chillers for Data Center CRAC
The cooling system maintains the ambient temperature of the server room. Servers are placed on a raised ventilated floor. Computer room air conditioning units (CRAC) route chilled air through the raised floor and servers. Exterior logic controlled air-cooled chiller units supply the CRAC cooling coils. List of items to complete below:
  1. Identify server cooling equipment to remove:
    1. CRAC units, interior chiller pipes and supports
    2. Ventilated flooring, pedestals and cool air ductwork
    3. Electrical cables and trays supplying CRAC units 
    4. Chillers and associated piping
  2. Select vendor to remove cooling system equipment. Vendor must be certified in refrigerant reclamation
  3. Create a schedule for equipment removal
  4. Maintain a log equipment removal process
  5. Determine if equipment can be included in asset recovery program or needs to be disposed of
  6. Recruit vendors for asset recovery or disposal
We provide a push button decommissioning and deconstruction service. Our asset recovery program and partners allow us to remove and purchase all data center equipment and arrange disposal of site-specific items such as ductwork and piping. Contact Us for more information.
 

 





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