– Terry Fockler, Silicon Valley Engineering/Solutions (terryfockler@sbcglobal.net), says: 

One of the most over-looked issues for any data center manager going through a refresh or upgrade (and the last thing they tend to consider), is what to do with the decommissioned equipment. Equipment typically sits in a closet until someone gets tired of tripping over it.

But recovering that gear and moving it quickly can be a reality (with the right vendor). The longer it sits, the more it loses value, so repurposing and tracking is very important along with data mitigation. The last thing a data center manager wants or needs is to expose data to the public and improperly disposing of gear –  this can come back to haunt anyone. The chain of custody is very critical to the security of data and the safety of the corporate environment. The EPA is constantly evolving the rules on disposition and tracking of decommissioned/used data center equipment, and they are seriously increasing the penalties.

If you have an upcoming upgrade or refresh, recovery should be an up-front issue: How do we dispose of the decommissioned gear; How can we maximize the return? How will this impact our taxes and depreciation schedules, and how do we avoid EPA and federal negative issues and requirements? In the secondary market, timing is critical to maximize your return, the secondary market is extremely fluid and volatile.

The date mitigation and chain of custody are two areas that can cause major headaches, not only in the immediate future, but also have long lasting potential dangers. That equipment may change hands and ownership several times.

Choose your vendor carefully and you will rest in knowing your data is erased and you have maximized your return, and that your company name will not also end up in a land fill somewhere.