Morgan Stanley recently agreed to pay a whopping fine…to the tune of $60 million dollars. The crime? They did not properly decommission data centers connected to one of its business arms. They hired contractors, failed to keep tabs on customer data stored in obsolete devices, and, though no data breaches were found, $60 million later, they’ve learned a priceless lesson: you’ve got to decommission your data center devices properly.

While we don’t know the facts of what happened with the decommissioning of devices in the above example, we know one thing: it pays to properly decommission your data center’s devices. Avoiding huge fines is just the tip of the iceberg, with good DCIM software, you ensure security, regulatory compliance, efficiency, prevent buying IT stuff you don’t actually need, and can appropriately plan for capacity.

DCIM Helps You Track Your Assets

With Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software such as netTerrain, you can track all of your IT assets inside the data center. From the position of the racks, all of the devices inside the racks, power that is consumed in the rack, and all of the cables going inside and outside the racks, DCIM gives you a foundation to keep all of the inventory in one place (and not scattered across spreadsheets and/or Visio diagrams).

By using work orders in a DCIM solution, and tying it into a service desk application (such as ServiceNow) or utilizing the DCIM software’s network discovery (as well as connecting to other data sources) you have up-to-date IT asset management data and data center diagrams.

DCIM Helps You Ensure Security & Compliance

Decommissioning your devices helps protect your organization. As, in the example above, old devices aren’t just junk: they may hold sensitive data which you need to properly dispose of. DCIM that includes power monitoring can help you find these ghost devices. Your DCIM solution should have the ability to find low under-utilized devices, which contributes no computing resources, consuming valuable rack space, and drawing power. With this information, you can make an informed decision on whether to decommission these zombie assets, or re-use them and save costs by not buying new IT equipment.

DCIM Helps You Guarantee Efficiency

An efficient network is a network that’s not cluttered with assets and cabling that are taking up space and power but not performing any functions.

Identify your zombie devices and cabling, kick them to the curb, and save on space and reduce skyrocketing power costs. Further, when you are decommissioning devices, you can see what’s connected to them and what’s connected to that.

DCIM Helps You Stop Overspending on Equipment

How much money does your organization spend on unnecessary IT expenditures that you already have and can repurpose some of your existing equipment? You can’t answer that question unless you can identify your zombie assets first. DCIM is key to finding your available equipment so you truly know what your resources are…before you buy more.

DCIM Helps You Properly Plan for Capacity

How much space do you have? How much space will you need? Studies show as many as 30% of servers are drawing power but not performing any functions. DCIM helps you clean up your data center, repurpose unused equipment, and retire outdated equipment. When you can do that, you can better plan for capacity informed by accurate information about the state of your IT equipment.


Over the years, we’ve written countless articles about the merits of decommissioning your devices properly. Avoid the headaches, the costs of inefficiency, and the fines: the best way to decommission your devices and cabling is with DCIM. Sure, DCIM isn’t free…but the price tag of overspending on IT, power, capacity, and, ahem, regulatory compliance is far greater!

About Fred Koh

As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.