Decommissioning Process Guide

The intent of this page is to provide a simple and comprehensive guide to the process for decommissioning any ITS service.

Use this guide as a starting place to ensure that important steps or considerations are not missed. It is not possible to anticipate all variables in a generalized document, so be sure to consider elements that are unique to the service that you are decommissioning beyond the scope of this guide.

Once ITS leadership decides to decommission a service the following provides an outline of milestones for that process.  Some reasons a service would be a candidate for decommissioning include but are not limited to a lack of a sponsor, reduced or nonexistent user activity, a reduction of personnel, or a loss of funding.  The decision to decommission a service should not be made in secret and should involve the ITS Tactical team and major stakeholders of the service.

There are eight milestones in the process as it is outlined below: Decommission Planning Approved, Plan Complete, Decommission of Service Approved, Service Offline, Point of No Return, Service End, Decommission Complete, and Archived Data Removed.  The Service Offline Date and the Service End Date must be carefully chosen and clearly communicated. 

  1. Initiate Decommissioning of the Service
    1. Service Manager submits decommission request to his/her Director including rationale for action
      1. Service Manager verifies that proceeding with decommission planning is approved at ITS Director level
    2. MILESTONE: Decommission Planning Approved
  2. Formulate the Decommission Plan
    1. Decommission Planning
      1. Decommission Project Manager is assigned by Service Manager
      2. Because of the importance of a decommission decision, the Project Manager identifies and documents who is responsible for delegated portions of the process
      3. Identify and correlate the types of services and the types of users that use the service
      4. If alternatives are available, identify alternative services and develop a migration path to the alternative service(s)
      5. Develop a communication plan for each type of user and sub-service
      6. Project Manager sets target dates for the following 7 milestones and communicates them to the Service Manager:
        1. Plan Complete
        2. Decommission of Service Approved
        3. Service Offline – When setting this date consider the impact to your users.  Users will not be able to access the service after this milestone.
        4. Point of No Return
        5. Service End – When setting this date consider SLAs, licenses, and warranties.  The service is committed to these agreements until this milestone. 
        6. Decommission Complete
        7. Data Removed
    2. MILESTONE: Plan Complete – The plan to decommission the service is finished.
  3. Get Final Approval
    1. Decommission Approval
      1. Service Manager submits decommission plan to all ITS Directors for review and approval
      2. Service Manager verifies that ITS Directors' team approves decommissioning the service
    2. MILESTONE: Decommission of Service Approved - Service decommission execution may proceed.
  4. Offline the Service
    1. Taking the Service Offline
      1. The Offline and End dates are most important and these dates must be communicated effectively to consumers as well as throughout Information Technology Services.
        1. Notify Tactical of the Service Offline and Service End dates
        2. Notify ITS Accounting of the Service Offline and Service End dates
        3. If the service being decommissioned is in the public facing service catalog, make a public announcement of the Service Offline date
      2. Users can no longer access the system after the Service Offline date
        1. Enact communication plans to direct users to alternatives
        2. Remove access to the service being decommissioned
        3. Modify WhatsUp Monitoring to place the service into maintenance mode
        4. Modify HAM to reflect the decommissioning process status
        5. Notify Security Team that service is being decommissioned and when to stop scanning
    2. MILESTONE: Service Offline – The service is no longer available to users.
  5. Prepare to Decommission
    1. End of Service Preparation
      1. During this phase the service remains ready to redeploy if needed
      2. Resources are still allocated until the End Date
        1. Personnel
        2. Hardware
      3. Create an archive of the decommissioning target as it was on the Offline Date
        1. Include in this archive the data archives that existed under normal operations 
        2. Comply with all data archival regulations
        3. Continue to honor existing archival plan after decommission
        4. Store the archive in a usable format
        5. Get rid of data unless it will be needed
        6. Verify the Data Removal date will be honored
      4. Document the service
        1. How to access the archive of the decommissioned service
        2. What this service relies on
          1. Vendors
          2. Hardware
        3. Who worked on the service
      5. Stop billing users
      6. Remove entry for the service from the ITS service catalog
      7. Verify migration of any functions identified as still needed
      8. Source code remains in the code repository for reference and reuse in other projects
      9. Notification of decommission – Examples of contacts that need decommission notification often include but are not limited to the following:
        1. Revoke Certificates (e.g. Code Signing, SSL Cert)
        2. Firewall Rules
        3. Service Accounts (e.g. LDAP Service Account, AD Service Account)
        4. Backup Services (e.g. CommVault)
        5. Automated Monitoring (e.g. Splunk)
        6. Security Scans and Web Application Firewall
        7. Asset Management (e.g. HAM entry)
        8. PCI Listing
        9. PII Listing
        10. Job Descriptions
        11. Removal from other systems’ whitelists
    2. MILESTONE: Point of No Return – Preparations to decommission the service are complete.
  6. End the Service
    1. Service Ending
      1. Resources are deallocated
        1. Personnel become available for other assignments
        2. Decision is made to repurpose or retire hardware
      2. Stop paying vendor bills
      3. Finalize all accounts
        1. Final bill to customers
        2. Refund for unused service
    2. MILESTONE: Service End – The service has ended although some cleanup tasks remain
  7. Wrapup the Decommission
    1. Decommission Completion
      1. Removal/Reallocation of hardware often includes but is not limited to the following:
        1. Unregister MAC
        2. Remove DNS records
        3. Asset Tag Paperwork
        4. Inventory forms
        5. Return leased hardware
        6. Send hard drives to the Systems team for disposal
        7. Notify machine room manager that network ports are available
        8. Notify machine room manager that rack space is available
      2. Decommission Project Manager signs off as DECOMMISSION COMPLETE
    2. MILESTONE: Decommission Complete (Celebrate) – The decommission process is complete.
  8. Post-Decommission
    1. Data Removal
      1. Archive is deleted
      2. HAM entry is archived / deleted
      3. Commvault license released
    2. MILESTONE: Archived Data Removed – The final archive of the service is deleted