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We have about 30 old tower computers at work that have been decommissioned for one reason or another. They are a mix of old servers and desktops. I'd like to get rid of nearly all of them to prevent management from thinking "we can just use one of those boxes".

In the 1.5 years I've worked here we have

  • refurbished and recommissioned (with new parts)
    • 1 back to production
    • 1 to testing environment / production reserve
  • cannibalised none of them for parts
  • added at least 9 more to the pile

Admittedly as far as anyone is aware, they work, or at least most of them do.

They are just taking up space, collecting dust, and getting slower (compared to new machines). Some of the machines were decommissioned because they were too slow, and now after 1.5 years of collecting dust, does management expect them to be able to do anything new? Most of them would fail to sell on ebay for even $50. Though it does look like most of them just pass the minimum spec the local charities will accept.

My manager is talking about setting up a KVM hypervisor environment and his first suggestions were boxes that turned out to have a Xeon Nocona (32bit and no VT-x) and a Pentium 4 Prescott (64bit and no VT-x), both released in 2005. Many of the extremely low power Intel Atom CPU's are faster.

How do you convince management to get rid of them before even charities won't accept them?


locked by HopelessN00b Jan 22 '15 at 4:46

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closed as off-topic by pauska, TheCleaner, Dave M, voretaq7 Sep 24 '13 at 15:08

  • This question does not appear to be about server, networking, or related infrastructure administration within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Too opinion-based for a QA site, but it seems like you're already on the right track. Write up a technical summary why it's not a good idea to use aged hardware for production systems, like how much does it cost if the server goes down, that no VT-x means rubbish performance and nearly no support at all etc. – pauska Sep 24 '13 at 12:52
You need to work with your IT manager on this and try and get an SOP for your computer lifecycle management in place. Try and find a balance that management is willing to work with. Find out how Accounting tracks assets and depreciates them. Put $ figures to the time and storage of deprecated assets. Make your case. But in the end, if management says "tough, keep them forever you never know where they might be of use"...well then...there you go. – TheCleaner Sep 24 '13 at 12:57
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about trash disposal policy (literally). More broadly, "How do I convince management to do X?" is really more a topic for The Workplace - They deal with the "human resources" stuff, while we deal with the technical/mechanical end of things. All that said this is a pretty common problem, and the comments and answer here represent the best advice we can give you. – voretaq7 Sep 24 '13 at 15:08
@voretaq7 I was thinking this question fell under the category "Operations, maintenance, and monitoring" as listed on as TheCleaner suggested a Standard Operations Proceedure. Though I can see how it also fits the category of trash disposal, but that doesn't seem to fit well with either. – BeowulfNode42 Sep 24 '13 at 22:25

Write to local colleges or schools, offering them to computing students. Consider sites like Gumtree or Craigslist asking for a minute amount ($10/£10). It would likely get rid of them and be cheaper than sending them to be properly recycled. If you can say "we're doing our bit for the community" that may be recieved well by management or if they're the Gollum-esque "our preccious, we wants it, we keepsis it" you need to tell them they're too slow to be any use and time spent waiting for the machines to load is time and money wasted.

If not, see if you can strip and sell for parts. DDR2 RAM can be hard (or expensive) to get hold of. Small hard disks can be used for a mass "scratch" media area for large tempoary files, under the knowledge that anything on there will not be backed up and if a disk dies all on that drive will be lost.

If all else fails, ask if you can take them home and add to your home lab (if you have one). Out of sight, out of mind, and no longer becomes managements issue.


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