Moving to a cloud delivery model can mean retiring redundant infrastructure, but rather than simply disposing of it, re-selling or recycling can provide a way to recoup some of the investment, and can boost your environmental credibility at the same time.
When a company decides to upgrade or refresh their IT infrastructure, or move to a hosted infrastructure offering, they are faced with a challenge – what to do with the existing infrastructure?
The equipment needs to be decommissioned and removed from either their own server environment in an office or data centre, or at an external data centre where the equipment is housed.
IT recycling companies such as Touchpoint Technology can not only assist in this process, but can also help to gain the maximum return on investment for the equipment, through reselling or recycling.
OUT WITH THE OLD
Bill Freeman, director of Touchpoint, says they can provide hardware decommissioning, secure data wiping and removal services, taking the hassle out of the process.
“Our goal is to take away the problem. Most IT managers are forward-facing, so when equipment is decommissioned, they just want it gone and out of there,” says Freeman. “At the end of their system’s life, when they’ve migrated all their relevant information onto the new platform, there is all that old information still existing on the old infrastructure which needs to be securely wiped.”
Touchpoint provides an industry-standard disk wiping solution, which retains the integrity of the disk but completely scrubs the usable data from the disk so that it cannot be retrieved. This can either be performed onsite, or the equipment can be collected and securely wiped offsite, with a certificate provided to the security manager.
At the same time, Touchpoint offers the removal and full logistics service of all that hardware.
“For some companies it’s a couple of servers and some storage, while for others it might be an entire data centre, where we come in and take all the racking hardware, the PDUs, the brackets, and all the server and storage infrastructure contained in it,” says Freeman.
The equipment is asset tagged, with serial numbers captured for every component part, and sorted for either resale or recycling.
RECOUPING INVESTMENT IN INFRASTRUCTURE
There are many factors affecting the value of equipment on the resale market, including:
- Vendor: are they mainstream, popular, still in business?
- Age: is it current model, current minus one generation or current minus many generations?
- Spec: including CPU speed, amount of RAM, size and speed of disks, any other components such as fast network cards.
- Availability: the sooner the owner is ready to divest the components, the more accurate the price will be.
Touchpoint can provide an assessment of the equipment and its value, and as with many commodities, timing is critical – what a particular piece of hardware is worth may fluctuate depending on market factors such as demand, end of lease status and so on.
“We are always very happy to give an evaluation of the equipment and its value – either what it would be worth if sold immediately, or an indicative price for three or six months’ time, when a project may proceed,” says Freeman.
Companies should also not underestimate the value of the supporting equipment too.
“The rack kits, the face plates, and all the bits and pieces that go together to make the whole system really do affect the value of it, and can help a customer maximise their return on investment,” says Freeman.
BENEFITS OF RECYCLING
Using an IT recycling company when decommissioning infrastructure provides a simplified process, ensures certified data security and delivers maximum return on investment.
“We give our customers full visibility and control of the process, and detailed documentation, but we do all the heavy lifting. If there is disk wiping to be done, we give them all the information they need, down to serial number and detailed certificates for each disk,” Freeman says. “We have well-formed processes in place to ensure that the customer is not exposed, and their integrity, data security and environmental best practices are preserved.”
With Touchpoint trading locally and internationally with both end users and brokers, they are able to find a home for most equipment which still has retained value.
“We trade enterprise product on a daily basis and we understand the value of it, so we use our market knowledge to maximise ROI,” Freeman says.
There is a particular opportunity for companies which have leased equipment to purchase from the finance company at the lease’s end, and then resell it directly.
“At the end of the lease, the customer could buy that for well below its residual value depending on the lease agreement. The leasing company may say you can own it for $10,000, but the value might be $30,000. The customer could make a profit if they took it to the market to sell it for what it is worth.”