“If your site is unusually dirty or has a chemical odor, you should be concerned. Dirt and corrosive gases can cause corrosion and possible equipment damage. The building floor should be sealed to prevent dusting of concrete.”

– IBM INSTALLATION MANUAL Publication GC22-7072-1

The Importance of the Systematic Cleaning of the Data CenterPotential issues like data loss and media errors have been reported by data centers due to the interference of dust and particulates with the electronic equipment leading to serious downtimes. The best way to prevent such careless downtimes in your data center is to avoid issues before they show up. And the only way to do it is through regular cleaning of the data center.

Cleaning of the exterior hardware, top of floors, cabinets and racks, subfloors, pedestal/stringer system, equipment interiors and under floor plenum should be done in regularly scheduled intervals to get the maximum operational lifespan out of the IT equipment, thus delivering increased reliability and uptime. Cleaning the dirt and dust will also ensure proper server fan air intake and reduces the thermal output of storage and server components, ultimately reducing its cooling requirements.

Certain areas and components of data centers show greater affinity to dust and dirt. So make sure that your cleaning program includes the following:

  • Sub floor encapsulation to remove concrete powder dust particles\
  • Regular vacuuming
  • Carpet vacuuming
  • Sub floor deck seal and cleaning
  • Equipment cleaning
  • Above floor vacuuming
  • Disaster recovery cleaning
  • Environmental audits
  • Subfloor area cleaning and sealing prior to equipment installation
  • Damp wiping
  • Machine scrubbing and anti-static cleaning of raised floors
  • Tin and Zinc whisker remediation

There are various standards (i.e., Federal Stan 209e, NFPA, ISO, ASHRA, RFI, IEST) that protect data centers from particulate, static, heat sources and network signals causing fires, indoor pollution and disastrous downtime to companies. There are standards for even microscopic dust limits for most equipment manufacturers that you should pay attention to.

Make sure you use standard cleaning equipment and that the cleaning processes do not hinder the everyday operations of the data center. If you are thinking about hiring a cleaning service, make sure to look into their standards, previous experience in the field, quality of service and guarantees offered in case of damages. You should also make sure this is compliant.

Want to store your data with a data center that always keeps the facilities up to date? Contact us at Lifeline Data Centers and schedule a tour today.

Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional