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What to do with old Servers

Published on 30 March 15
What to do with old Servers - Image 1

Whether you are looking at consolidating all of your equipment in the data center or migrating to a public cloud like vnCloud to leave hardware behind, there are still a few things to consider. Namely, what to do with the old hardware you are leaving behind. This is important to handle for both economic and environmental reasons, and there are a few things that you can do to take care of the old equipment.

The first option is to identify if there is any kind of new purpose that you can give the hardware in question. A relatively new server might benefit from a RAM upgrade and remain useful for a bit longer, or even serve a new purpose. Alternatively, if the equipment that you have elected to continue using uses some of the same parts, you may wish to strip down the equipment and save the replaceable components that might be needed in the future. Commonly used components that occasionally need to make a comeback include hard drives, power supplies, and RAM, though your needs and what you typically recycle may vary. For example, if you work with very sensitive data, you might want to destroy hard drives with a hard drive shredder rather than recycle them.

The next option is to simply donate the equipment. There are many organizations that can make treasure out of what is effectively your trash, and companies like The Salvation Army come to mind. You may also be involved with other charities or religious organizations that might be able to get away with using your older equipment to meet their needs. In many cases you can benefit a good cause while keeping the environment a bit safer by keeping these machines out of landfills.

A relatively popular solution is to attempt to sell the equipment - after all this can help to either put in a down payment for new equipment, pay for a first month of cloud services, or just contribute to the bottom line. Depending on your core business model this might make the most sense or be problematic since you arenât familiar with how to price the old equipment. The only thing to keep in mind with scenarios where you resell or donate the old equipment is that any data on the equipment needs to be destroyed before getting rid of the equipment, and simply reformatting the hard drive isnât enough, since files can still be recovered. Be sure to be very prudent about destroying data, and when possible remove the hard drives that were in use when the server was in full production. It's also a good practice to make sure to advertise the old equipment as being sold on an 'as-is' basis. If you sell an old server with no hard drives, and fail to notify the buyer that they don't have a complete system, they will understandably be upset and may cause some headaches that you could have avoided by being more open.

Finally, when the equipment canât be recycled back into the company, sold or even given away, the last option is to dispose of the equipment. Once again, this is not as easy as it sounds; as there are many regulations circling what to do with old electronics, and the last thing you want to do when your goal was to save money via consolidation is to pay a hefty fine to an organization like the EPA. If you do elect to dispose of your equipment, be sure to work with an authorized company that works to help in disposing old electronics to ensure that there are no issues for the environment - or your companyâs pocketbook. Once again, if you have any highly sensitive data that either needs to be saved or completely destroyed, dependent on regulations, be sure that this is taken care of before any hardware is disposed of.
This blog is listed under IT Security & Architecture , Hardware and Server & Storage Management Community

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