So you just completed a big data center migration project, and now your applications and data are up and running in the cloud. Congratulations. Now what are you going to do with the leftover equipment, software and data?
Cloud computing providers sometimes pretend migration is as simple as falling off a log, but experts will tell you that the process requires significant planning, documentation and testing. One important component of the process is a secure IT asset disposition (ITAD) plan.
Among its many advantages, the cloud replaces expensive on-premises infrastructure like servers, backup appliances and software licenses. However, redeploying or disposing of those assets after a data center migration involves more than formatting a hard drive.
There are several ways to handle end-of life IT assets. Some equipment may be suitable for internal redeployment. Some may be resold on the used equipment market. Some may be disposed of or donated. Still others may be retained just in case the migration was unsuccessful.
That last point is important. Data migration projects aren’t always successful, and incomplete or corrupted data may not surface for weeks. It’s a good idea to keep a backup copy of data on hand until you’ve thoroughly tested the applications in the cloud and are comfortable that the transition is complete.
Regardless of the choices you make, you need oversight, documentation and verification of the status of all affected assets. Here are some factors to consider:
Sensitive data may still exist on servers and backup tapes. This data must be thoroughly sanitzed and the erasure must be verified, even if the server is to be redeployed internally. Simply formatting hard drives doesn’t delete the data. Professional ITAD vendors have the equipment and software necessary to wipe that storage media completely.
When decommissioning equipment on a large scale, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. Professional ITAD firms can perform an audit of all affected equipment, including documenting software licenses and other applications that may be running there. This precaution can protect you against the unintended consequences of decommissioning, such as accidentally deactivating other services or deleting shared data.
Some equipment may have residual value that can be recovered through resale. ITAD professionals can identify these assets and ensure that transactions are completed safely and securely.
There may also be residual value in software licenses and maintenance contracts that can be retired or renegotiated. ITAD specialists use sophisticated asset management software to identify these cost-recovery opportunities.
If you’re keeping backup tapes on hand, a records and information management firm can transport them and store them in a secure facility. It can also perform verified destruction of data that you no longer need.
Cloud migration, like any major IT project, is all about attention to details. The skills and experience of a professional ITAD firm can help you enjoy the benefits of your new cloud home sooner.