Kharmela Mindanao

By: Kharmela Mindanao on September 23rd, 2021

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What is Server Decommissioning? (3 Facts You Need to Know)

Server

Are you worried about decommissioning a server? Learn about server decommissioning and how it’ll benefit your company. Make sure you’re aware of information like the amount of money you need to spend, and the process of decommissioning. 


Removing parts of your system can be a tricky process. If you fail to do everything correctly, it can leave your system exposed to hacking. In a world where cyber criminals attack 61% of businesses, it’d be foolish to leave security risks.

At Intelligent Technical Solutions, we’ve noticed clients who’ve mistakenly thought it was enough to turn off servers. We’ve handled many servers in our time as a Managed IT Service Provider (MSP) and have helped clients with server maintenance or server replacement.

There are a lot of things you need to know when choosing servers. And so we’re listing down three facts we believe business owners should know about server decommissioning. Clients who are aware of these facts will find the entire process easier and help prevent possible mistakes.

The facts you need to know are:

  1. Servers improperly disconnected can leave security holes in your network.
  2. It takes around three weeks or more to decommission a server.
  3. Server decommissioning is part of the lifecycle of an IT network.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of what server decommissioning means and know-how these three facts can help you build a more efficient IT network.

3 Facts about Server Decommissioning

Server decommissioning is the process of removing a server from your IT network.

Technician decommissioning a server

Decommissioning is usually done when companies need to upgrade their equipment or will close down. You may also have evaluated which server is best for your business and now need to change the type of server you have.

However, server decommissioning is not as simple as turning it off then calling it a day. There’s a risk of causing damage to your network or losing important files if you decommission a server incorrectly.

So, here are three quick facts you should know about server decommissioning before attempting to decommission a server.

1. Servers improperly disconnected can leave security holes in your network.

You need to ensure that all remnants of the server are removed from your system. That way, you can ensure you don’t have any security issues that can be taken advantage of. According to SonicWall’s 2021 Mid-year Cyber Threat Report:

In the first six months of 2021, global ransomware volume reached an unprecedented 304.7 million attempted attacks — already eclipsing the 304.6 million ransomware attempts logged for the entirety of 2020.

Being attacked by hackers is a certainty if you’re running a technology-dependent business, and part of protecting yourself is making sure there are no loose connections in your network.

When decommissioning a server, some network places to check are your firewalls, access control lists (ACLs), and subnets. Do this carefully because it’s possible to cause more significant problems within your network if you make mistakes.

Although you can decommission a server yourself as long as you have the proper tools and knowledge, it’s always recommended to have professionals handle the problem, especially since you’ve already hired an MSP.

2. It takes three weeks or more to decommission a server.

3 weeks to decommission a server

The entire decommissioning process may take around two to three weeks if you have a relatively simple network. However, it’s always better to have a longer timeline for decommissioning a server, especially if you’re moving to a new server.

According to Peter Swarowski, ITS’ Director of Operations, clients usually decommission a server when they intend to upgrade to a better one. And thus, the procurement of a new server is also something you need to consider when decommissioning your old server.

The entire decommissioning and replacement process could take months, especially with the shortage of computer supplies.

If you’re a client of an MSP, you won’t need to worry about the technical part of decommissioning a server. That’s what you pay an MSP to handle, as they have the experience needed for managing IT infrastructure smoothly.

However, these are the steps you can expect to happen (whether you have an MSP or not).

  1. Scheduling of important milestones
  2. Backing up important data and license details
  3. Removing all information on the hardware
  4. Taking the server off the network
  5. Unplugging server hardware

You might also want to consider company events because server decommissioning is best done during a relatively relaxed season for your company. You wouldn’t want a system overhauled to happen during tax season, right?

Remember to take both your schedule and the procurement schedule into account when thinking about decommissioning a server.

3. Server decommissioning is part of the lifecycle of an IT network.

Server Maintenance Decomission

Equipment upgrades are the most common reasons customers decommission a server. After all, technology is meant to be improved on, and hardware isn’t meant to last forever (though we sometimes wish it would!).

There are five signs you need to upgrade your equipment, and they apply to your servers too. Once the efficiency and security of your business are put in jeopardy, you need to consider upgrading or decommissioning your hardware.

Of course, there are ways to maintain your servers to make sure they last more than the standard five to eight years. But if your company has really old equipment, it will make more sense to decommission a server instead of upgrading it.

About to decommission your server?

Remember, server decommissioning is the process of removing a server from your IT network. It must be done carefully because you can cause problems in your network or open up security risks in your system if you decommission a server incorrectly.

Three important facts you also need to know about server decommissioning are:

  1. Servers improperly disconnected can leave security holes in your network.
  2. It takes around three weeks or more to decommission a server.
  3. Server decommissioning is part of the lifecycle of an IT network.

Because we’ve handled multiple server projects for our clients, ITS has many resources for you to continue your research. If you’re unsure if you need to decommission a server or just need to replace it, read this article: “How Often Should You Replace Your Server?

If you’re already sure about retiring your server and want expert help to upgrade the servers you have, contact us. We’ll discuss how we can help you and see if we’re a good fit for your company.