(770) 864-9179

BLOG / Decision Making Process: Moving vs. Selling Data Center Equipment During Decommissioning

April 30, 2024

Decision Making Process: Moving vs. Selling Data Center Equipment During Decommissioning

selling data center equipmentMoving or selling data center equipment can be an expensive project. A recent Info-Tech survey indicates that the average data center relocation costs $120,000 or $10,000 per rack. However, every project is different, and the budget can change substantively at numerous key points throughout the project. Decommissioning a data center is a complex undertaking that involves various strategic decisions, including whether to move or sell the existing equipment. The decision-making process in this regard requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure optimal outcomes. Let’s delve into the key aspects involved in making this critical decision.

Understanding the Context

Before embarking on the decision-making journey regarding moving or selling data center equipment during decommissioning, it’s imperative to delve deeper into the context surrounding the project. Here’s an expanded explanation of the critical factors to consider:
  1. Reasons for Decommissioning: Understanding why the data center is being decommissioned is fundamental. Whether it’s due to technological advancements, consolidation of infrastructure, relocation, cost-saving measures, or regulatory compliance, each reason brings unique implications for handling the equipment.
  2. Future Plans for the Site: The intended future use of the site holds significant sway over the decision-making process. If the site is earmarked for repurposing as another data center, office space, or for a different function altogether, the equipment requirements will vary. Compatibility with future plans influences whether to move or sell the equipment.
  3. Budget Constraints: Financial considerations are paramount. Assessing the available budget for the decommissioning project helps determine the feasibility of different options. Moving equipment incurs transportation, installation, and potentially upgrade costs, while selling equipment may generate revenue or involve costs associated with disposal.
  4. Timeline: The timeline for the decommissioning project sets the pace and urgency for decision-making. Factors such as lease expiration, regulatory deadlines, or operational requirements may dictate a tight schedule. A clear understanding of the timeline ensures that decisions align with project milestones and operational needs.
By carefully analyzing these factors, stakeholders can gain a holistic view of the data center decommissioning project. This comprehensive understanding informs strategic decisions regarding the fate of the equipment, ensuring alignment with organizational goals, financial constraints, and operational needs.

Assessing Equipment Condition

The first step is to assess the condition of the data center equipment. Determine whether the hardware is still functional, meets current requirements, and aligns with future IT infrastructure needs. Equipment that is outdated, obsolete, or no longer compatible may not be worth moving and could be better suited for sale or recycling.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Selling Data Center Equipment

Conduct a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis to evaluate the financial implications of moving versus selling the equipment. Consider factors such as transportation costs, installation expenses at the new location, potential resale value, and the cost of purchasing new equipment if needed. If the equipment will need to be upgraded or reaching EOL in the next six months to a year the long term ROI for that equipment decreases when you include the upgrade/change in the near future. Compare these costs against the potential revenue generated from selling the equipment. Determining the value of equipment to sell should be left to professional companies like Teletraders as they have vast experience in the resell and disposal of equipment. They will quickly help you determine whether you need to sell, recycle or dispose of the equipment.

Future Expansion and Scalability

Assess the scalability and future expansion plans of the organization. If the decommissioned data center is part of a growth strategy, it may be more beneficial to consider selling data center equipment and invest in newer, more scalable infrastructure at the new site. Conversely, if the organization is downsizing or consolidating its operations, moving the equipment to another location might be a viable option.

Environmental and Sustainability Considerations

Evaluate the environmental impact of both options. Selling the equipment could potentially prolong its lifecycle through reuse or recycling, thus minimizing electronic waste. On the other hand, transporting the equipment to a new location incurs carbon emissions and environmental costs associated with logistics. Consider adopting eco-friendly practices and choosing the option that aligns with sustainability goals.

Regulatory Compliance and Data Security

Ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and data security protocols throughout the decommissioning process. If the equipment contains sensitive data, proper data sanitization measures must be taken before selling data center equipment or disposing of it. Consider the legal and security implications of both moving and selling the equipment to mitigate potential risks. When it comes to protecting your company data be sure to use companies that follow industry guidelines for the proper handling or your equipment whether selling, recycling or disposing. Here are some of the relevant standards depending upon the type of data you have in your network:

ISO 27001 Standard

ISO 27001 represents the premier standard for information security management systems (ISMS). Obtaining this certification requires the establishment of thorough security measures including controls, policies, and procedures. It demonstrates a dedication to strong data security protocols, thereby building trust with clients who entrust their sensitive information to your organization.

SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402 Standards

SSAE 16 (Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements No. 16) and ISAE 3402 (International Standard on Assurance Engagements No. 3402) are focused on the controls and processes at data centers or service organizations. They offer transparency in operational integrity, ensuring that client data is managed securely and with integrity.

PCI DSS Compliance

Compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is mandatory for data centers that process payment card data. This compliance safeguards sensitive financial data through stringent security protocols, preventing data breaches and securing credit card transactions.

HIPAA Compliance

In the healthcare sector, adhering to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is crucial. HIPAA mandates the protection of sensitive patient health information. Data centers managing healthcare data are required to enforce safeguards that protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of this vital information. Learn more about the process here. IT Asset Disposal Call to Action Banner


The decision of whether you should moving or selling data center equipment during decommissioning requires a thorough analysis of various factors, including equipment condition, cost-benefit considerations, future expansion plans, environmental impact, and regulatory compliance. By carefully weighing these factors and consulting with relevant stakeholders, organizations can make informed decisions that align with their strategic objectives and maximize the value of their assets while protecting their company’s critical data and security. Ultimately, the decision-making process should prioritize long-term sustainability, cost-effectiveness, and alignment with the organization’s goals and values.


About the Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at TeleTraders, led by IT asset expert Clay Beckham and his seasoned team, boasts over 10 years of industry experience in IT asset management, secure IT asset disposal, and technology solutions. Founded in 2013, TeleTraders quickly became a trusted source of IT expertise. The team at TeleTraders demonstrates its commitment to excellence, spending countless hours each day handling a wide spectrum of IT equipment, spanning from intricate networking gear to precision barcode scanners. Our team strives to transfer our hands on knowledge into resources for IT professionals in businesses of any size.

Get a free quote for your IT assets & equipment!

TeleTraders wants to buy your used IT assets. Get a free quote today!