Everything you need to know about server decommissioning

As with any piece of hardware, your servers will eventually come to the end of their lifespan. But what do you do with your server afterwards? How do you remove it from your systems and ensure everything remains stable and secure in the process?

This process is known as server decommissioning and is vital to consider whenever you take servers out of your organisation, as failing to do so will leave your company open to lots of challenges and risks.

In this article, we’re going to go over the basics of server decommissioning and discuss the best ways to go about it, as well as some of the challenges that you might encounter along the way.

What is Server Decommissioning?

Server decommissioning is the process of removing a server from your infrastructure. This might seem as simple as turning the server off and calling it a day, but the whole process is much more complicated than that.

There are a few reasons why:

  • Security: A server improperly disconnected from your network can leave security vulnerabilities, meaning that you need to be careful to ensure any holes are patched as you take the server out of your organisation.
  • Data: Your servers may have important data on them, meaning that you’ll have to make sure all the data is taken off the servers before unplugging them, otherwise you risk losing it.
  • Stability: Just removing a server could reduce infrastructure optimization and make operations unstable – part of the process of decommissioning is working out what to replace the server with.

The process of decommissioning a server can take to two to three weeks: to back up, remove, and replace the server. This may seem overly time-consuming – and might make the process of upgrading your servers seem unattractive – but this is a vital part of the server lifecycle, and upgrading your hardware is inevitable as your hardware becomes both outdated and worn out.

Ultimately, this is because your hardware will eventually reach the end of its life. It’ll leave vulnerabilities and inefficiencies within your organisation, so failing to upgrade your hardware when required will have a detrimental effect. Server decommissioning is something you’ll have to do and should be painless – as long as you’re using on-premises hardware for your servers.

This is why lots of organisations are looking at cloud systems as the future of servers in their organisation. After all, the cloud removes the need to maintain your own server hardware and lets you simply pay for the service of using well-maintained, up-to-date servers at your provider’s data centre.

Best Practice for Decommissioning a Server

When decommissioning your server, several steps are essential to the process. Making sure that you’re familiar with the process before undertaking it is paramount, as decommissioning your server ineffectively can lead to lots of problems:

  • Planning and scheduling of milestones: It may seem like a simple process, but planning and scheduling milestones on what to expect is important. Keeping track of this is the only way to know that the decommissioning process is going as planned.
  • Backing up data and license details: Ensuring that your data is taken off the server and stored safely is part of the reason why the decommissioning process takes place. However, ensuring that you keep track of any license details to use with the new hardware that’s replacing your current server is also important.
  • Removing all data and information: This step will wipe the hardware of all information, to ensure that it can be disposed of correctly.
  • Taking the server off the network: Taking the server off your network infrastructure so it can be ready to shut down is vital. This will ensure you don’t pull the plug on your server hardware without checking this first.
  • Unplugging your hardware: This is the final step of the process. Remove your hardware and get ready to start the lifecycle again.

Making sure you chose the right time to decommission your server. After all, the process is stressful enough and you don’t want to create even more. Choosing a quieter period, means you’ll be able to solve problems as they arise.

Common Challenges

The process of server decommissioning can have lots of complications and challenges, and being aware of these is also vital:

  • Time-consuming: Server decommissioning is time-consuming and the whole process of replacement could take weeks or even months.
  • Administration: Managing network administration during decommissioning can be a strenuous and confusing process – and getting it wrong could be disastrous.
  • Personnel: Server decommissioning takes up resources and personnel, meaning those employees won’t be able to spend time working on other important tasks.

All of these are simply the downside of on-premises hardware and the reason the cloud is such a popular option nowadays.

How We Can Help

The process of server decommissioning is a vital part of your servers’ lifecycle, as failing to do so could mean you open the door to lots of vulnerabilities, inefficiencies, and errors. Following the process of server decommissioning will allow you to easily ensure you’re not left with any problems or gaping holes in your systems in the long term.

If you want to move away from restrictive on-premises hardware and take the first step towards the cloud, reach out to us today. Extech Cloud experts are here to help and will guide you through the entire process, providing you with support and a helping hand along the way.

Get in touch now and see how we can help.

Back to News & Resources

Related news

    Book a free online consultation

    We love talking to businesses and understanding what they do and what they need. If you'd like to book a short, no obligation consultation, please provide us with your details. We understand that you may already have an IT company, consultant or team, so all contacts are treated as completely confidential. A fresh new IT approach could begin here...

    DD slash MM slash YYYY


    Get answers to common questions here.

    News & Resources

    Get latest updates, downloads and white papers.