Reducing the Environmental Impact of Decommissioned Data Center Equipment Doesn’t Have to Mean a Lower ROI

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By: Shawn Cunnie, Director of ITAD at Smith

Safeguarding data is one of the most essential factors when it comes to the disposition of IT hardware. Much like any process, there are a multitude of ways to go about dispositioning data. As a full-service IT asset disposition (ITAD) provider, Smith offers both HDD and SSD shredding and erasure services. Both services can be conducted in an environmentally friendly way, but for companies that are looking to achieve the highest benefit for the environment, as well as a return on investment – erasure is the best way to go.

Here are some of the most common questions companies have regarding IT equipment erasure and the best industry solutions to answer each topic:

Is data erasure a secure method?

Yes, erasure is safe and secure when executed properly. To ensure the removal of data, it is important that companies work with a service provider that adheres to industry-leading standards. For example, HDDs and SSDs should be wiped, rewritten, and verified to Department of Defense (DoD) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) specifications. To take compliance a step further, ITAD service providers should be third-party verified. Independent verification is key for the complete and unrecoverable data erasure process. Once these standards have been achieved, another layer of erasure security comes from the certificate of erasure (COE) for each drive, which provides companies with proof that their data has been safely removed.

How can my company earn revenue from equipment erasure?

Once data center equipment is properly erased, it can then be remarketed and resold to other companies, or the components can be harvested, reconditioned, and sold to be used in other applications. The secure removal of data allows the equipment to be reused by other companies looking to store data via cost-effective means. Unlike the shredding of HDDs and SSDs – which reduces the value of the product to zero – wiped equipment can be resold to bring some return on investment back to the company.

Is there really value in the secondary market for used data center equipment?

Yes, many companies are looking to purchase used equipment at an affordable price. A lot of companies don’t necessarily need fresh-out-of-the-box equipment, and used hardware will sufficiently serve the purpose of storing data. For almost 40 years, Smith has specialized in matching buyers and sellers to equipment. Our business model has thrived on building a network of long-lasting industry relationships and getting customers the parts they need, when they need them. There is a lot of opportunity in the secondary market for customers to recover value on key components, such as GPUs and CPUs.

Technology is constantly evolving, and data center hardware upgrades and refreshes are inevitable. By wiping and reusing data center equipment instead of shredding it, product goes back into the market to fulfill the requirements of a circular economy. This is the most environmentally friendly way to safely remove data and also create a new revenue stream.

Learn more about Smith’s ITAD offerings here.

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