While much has been written about data center site selection and data center commissioning, post move tasks are often overlooked entirely. Decommissioning is one of those often overlooked efforts.
How do you properly decommission a previously active data center?
First, you need to decide what decommisioning actually means to you. Are you stripping the space to the bare four walls? The decommisioning steps will vary widely depending on your end game. If you have even one piece of active equipment in your data center, you are not yet ready for decommissioning.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when your data center needs to be decommissioned:
- What outside imperatives such as lease terminations drive the timeline for decomissioning?
- What end state are you leaving the data center?
- What outside experts do you need so you properly budget for their time? For example, if you are going to sell the CRAC (Computer Room Air Conditioners) units, then you’ll need some skills to properly drain and cap the entire chilled water system. You’ll need skills to disable the sprinkler or fire suppression systems.
- What project manager are you going to put in charge of the decommissioning remembering that you’ve likely already over allocated your entire staff for the new location?
- Who is paying attention to the proper termination of telecommunications circuits remembering that it’s not uncommon for a telco to disconnect the wrong circuit (such as your new circuits versus your old circuits) so extra vigilance is required.
- Who has reviewed the relevant contractual details for building leases, equipment contracts, and facility services? It’ s not uncommon to discover that you are contracutally obligated to pay for items for 6 to 12 months because you failed to give proper written notice.