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How to retire or decommission a server

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How to Retire a Server: Step-by-Step Guide

Do you know how to retire or decommission a server, In this article, I will explain the process of retiring or decommissioning a server from scratch in any IT project. I’ll outline the initial steps involved in server decommissioning, and I’ll also highlight the various stages and teams that participate in the server-building process.

During the commissioning process, we learned about the different teams involved in server deployment and their respective roles. These same teams will be involved in the server retirement process.

Let’s begin by understanding the roles of the infrastructure teams. In any project, there are various teams with specific responsibilities to assist in different tasks. These teams include:

  • The Network Team, which handles network-related issues.
  • The OS Team, which works with Windows or Linux.
  • The Database Team, which deals with Oracle or SQL.
  • The Monitoring Team uses tools like SCOM, Nagios, or SolarWinds to monitor systems.
  • The Backup Team is responsible for managing backups for servers and devices.
  • The Storage Team provides storage solutions for the OS Team.
  • The Patching Team is responsible for keeping servers up to date using tools like SCCM, Intune, Bigfix, and others as needed.

The composition of these teams can vary depending on the specific project’s requirements.

It’s crucial to remember that whatever actions were taken during the commissioning process must now be reversed. Let’s start with the initial steps, Typically, when a customer believes that a server is no longer in use and no applications are running on it, they initiate the decommissioning process. This usually involves submitting a request through a ticketing system or via email, depending on the customer’s process. Once we receive the request, we follow the ITIL process, obtain customer approval through the ticketing system, and then, as per our Change Request Window, begin the decommissioning process. The process for decommissioning physical and virtual servers is similar, with one major difference: in the case of physical servers, we physically remove the server, while for virtual servers, we delete it.

How to Retire a Physical Server:

  1. The Backup Team takes a full backup of the server and removes it from the backup system. This ensures that if anyone from an application team claims they are using the server, we can rebuild it using the backup.
  2. The Monitoring Team stops monitoring the server to avoid unnecessary alerts.
  3. The Wintel/OS team follows a decommission checklist, including uninstalling tools like Monitoring, Patching, and Antivirus software, unjoining the server from the domain, and, if possible, formatting the drives and powering off the server.
  4. The Network Team releases the server’s IP addresses and updates their inventory.
  5. The Patching Team removes the server from the patching rotation.
  6. The DCOPS Team physically removes the server from the rack and disconnects the cables.
  7. The Patching Team ensures that the server is no longer included in the regular patching rotation.
  8. The final step is to update the server details in our inventory or portal, which serves the purpose of maintaining a comprehensive record of server information for future reference and billing purposes.

How to Retire a Virtual Server:

The process of retiring a virtual server closely mirrors that of a physical server, with the exception that the involvement of the DCOPS Team is not necessary.

  1. The Backup Team takes a full backup of the server and removes it from the backup system.
  2. The Monitoring Team stops monitoring the server to avoid unnecessary alerts.
  3. The Wintel/OS team follows a decommission checklist, which includes uninstalling tools, unjoining the server from the domain, formatting the drives, powering off the server, and deleting it from the vCenter console.
  4. The Network Team releases the server’s IP addresses and updates their inventory.
  5. The Patching Team removes the server from the patching rotation.
  6. The final step is to update the server details in our inventory or portal.

Once this process is complete, the OS Team will inform the client or customer. Please note that this article is written with beginners in mind who are still learning about Windows and VMware technology.

In conclusion, if we missed anything or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Your feedback is valuable, and we’ll be happy to update the article or make any necessary corrections.

VMware Mastery

Hi, I've been working with Windows, VMware and Cloud technologies for more than 12 years. I love delving into the exciting realm of technology and enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. I write about IT and Technology, covering both technical and non-technical topics.

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