How to dispose of data center and office servers? https://www.newtechrecycling.com/ITAD/news/articles/ITAD_003/What_to_do_with_old_computer_servers.html

What to do with old servers?

By Chris Keenan

There are currently over 7 billion people on the planet.  At the turn of the new millennium (2000 AD) only 300 million people were connected to the Internet.  Today the global digital online population has reached a staggering 4.2 billion.   


You couldn’t be blamed for thinking that these types of stats are about as useful as having a snooze button on a smoke alarm.  However, if you’re a CIO, IT director, or IT manager who understands computer network technology you’ll probably be wondering what it takes to keep over 4 billion people connected.  In short, the answer is roughly 75 million servers with 550,000 miles of undersea cable, transmitting data at 186,000 miles per second, oh and about 5 billion internet capable devices, ranging from your laptop to your smart phone.


I think we can all agree the general lifespan of the average server is about 3-5 years, depending on the usage.  If that is the case then over the course of the next year, there will be approximately 15 to 20 million network servers being replaced.  If you’re in charge of managing a server network you might be asking yourself is there any value in reselling these old servers?  Well, as you can imagine with millions of second-hand servers out there, the remarketing value of your old server is pretty low.  In fact, a server that you spent up to $5,000 on 4 years ago can be worth less than 100 dollars today and that’s only if you manage to resell it.  


It is possible to asset strip an old server by selling its RAM, processors, motherboards and so on. If you have the time to take apart a server and remarket each component you might see as much as $300 from your old machine.  In most cases obsolete servers are just too much of a hassle or take too long to sell. IT directors have more important things to do with their time. The reality is when it comes to replacing old servers most CIO and IT professionals are just concerned about 3 things:




          1. Certified data destruction of the server hard drives.
          2. Quick, reliable, and secure removal of obsolete IT assets.
          3. The legal disposal of servers.



In terms of certified data destruction, it is not commonly known by the general public, but an IT manager might lose more than just his job over failing to destroy his company’s hard drives correctly.  Failure to destroy a hard drive can have grave legal consequences. Obviously, most CIO’s tend to request that hard drives are shredded regardless of what’s on them, just to be safe.  


You might think it strange that the second most important thing on a CIO’s mind is a quick and reliable removal service? Changing out hardware or upgrading a server room is incredibly time sensitive and space critical.  The last thing an IT manager or CIO wants, is to have the old equipment blocking up the hall ways, slowing everyone down.  A fast, reliable and secure removal service, can make all the difference to a successful data center / cloud upgrade.  


Lastly, the legal disposal of servers translates to just one thing, namely: ‘recycling’.  Today, most of us understand the necessity to recycle.  Just in case you don’t know why server recycling is so important, it might be worth noting that if we don’t recycle servers’ we need to find a hole big enough to put 20+ million of them in each year.  With that said, is recycling servers really environmentally friendly, or does recycling produce more carbon emissions and use even more deadly chemicals in the process? Thankfully, recycling produces less carbon emissions than the mining and refining process used in creating new materials.  So, it’s not only cheaper to recycle, it’s also cleaner.  Even separating the metals from complex components such as motherboards can be achieved by using fine shredding and water separation (it’s a process a lot like panning) where no chemicals are required.  


You might be asking yourself what’s the financial value of a recycled server?  The answer depends on the type of server. There is gold in most servers but it’s in such a small quantity it doesn’t really cover the cost of labour or the running of recycling machinery.  So how do we recycle old servers if it’s not that profitable? Most recyclers charge a fee to recycle.  However, if you have newer servers that can be resold then the fee for recycling can be offset against the sales profits. Sometimes, this approach can even result in you getting paid to recycle.   


To find out more, call Newtech Recycling today at 732-564-3110 or get a free, instant online estimate CLICK HERE.



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