Have you ever wondered what happens to a server after it is decommissioned – and the data that was stored on that server? With Liquid Web, you don’t have to worry about unprotected data on a server that is no longer in use, because each server goes straight into the capable hands of our Reclamations Team. They take decommissioned servers through a careful process of review, testing, and even destruction in order to protect our customers’ data.
When a server is decommissioned, the Reclamations Team removes it from the rack and delivers it to the testing lab. The server is then completely dismantled and each individual part is put through a rigorous testing procedure. The hard drive, however, receives special treatment due to the sensitive data that is stored on many of them. In order to protect our customer’s privacy completely, we first securely wipe the data off the drive and thoroughly check it for issues. Drives that have been emptied and pass our testing procedures are often reused. However, if the drive demonstrates any problems or is near the end of its lifespan, the Reclamations Team introduces it to a very special tool called the Drive Puncher.
The Drive Puncher is self explanatory, in that it punches holes in used hard drives, effectively destroying the interior disk and other components. The drives are then sorted and shipped to a local facility where they are shredded into pieces. After the shredding, the metal is separated and recycled into a number of useful materials. Through the use of our Drive Puncher, we can guarantee that any hard drive on its way to the shredder is first destroyed, eliminating the possibility that a customer’s data could be accessed.
As for the other components in a cancelled server, their fate depends on the testing process. Any hardware that passes our testing process is recycled within our own facilities. If the hardware fails the testing process, it is either given away or shredded. Often old and outdated hardware that is not usable in our facilities can still be useful in the right hands. For this reason, we host biannual hardware giveaways for our employees and offload many of the pieces that might otherwise have been thrown away. We also donate many servers to various local entities in need of computers, such as schools or non-profits.
The life of a server isn’t necessarily over after it’s decommissioned – often the various components continue on to serve another purpose. However, Liquid Web goes to some very extreme (and sometimes messy) methods to ensure that our customer’s data is completely destroyed. Our Reclamations Team isn’t afraid to punch, shred and otherwise destroy used hard drives – all in the name of keeping our customers’ data safe. If your server is decommissioned, you can rest assured that these Heroes will have your back.