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When you’re considering the risks of data center downtime, your thoughts likely turn to threats like cyber attacks, storms, fires and other critical events. Have you considered that debris and dust could be among the culprits that could cause power failures?
Without a regular cleaning program, you could be putting your data center — and your company operations — at risk. Even if dust, grime and other contaminants don’t lead to power failures at your operations, they could shorten the life span of your equipment.
According to a data cleaning expert in the UK market, emergency cleanups of data centers shot up by 300 percent in 2015. “Planned cleaning schedules are essential to maintaining the health of a data center, and identifying issues before they occur,” said David Hogg, managing director of 8 Solutions. “Cleaning, when not properly conducted, can also cause an increase in contamination so it all needs to be very carefully planned and coordinated.”
If you haven’t already, establish a preventative data center cleaning strategy to protect your equipment. The following are some critical steps recommended by the Association of Data Center Cleaning Professionals, a nonprofit trade association that has established industry standards for data center cleaning.
Areas Requiring Cleaning
Dust, dirt and grime can lurk in a number of different places — areas that you may not have considered. Whether you have an internal team or a vendor tackle the tasks, the following areas should be cleaned:
Subfloor surface: Vacuum the concrete subfloor plenum with specialized critical filter vacuums to remove contaminants from the subfloor plenum. This will help rid the area of particles that make its way into the room’s air flow.
Raised floor surface: Vacuum and damp mop the surface of the raised floor panels, using cleaning chemicals that have been approved for use in data centers.
Exterior equipment surfaces: Vacuum the exterior surface of cabinets, equipment, and workstations using critical filtered vacuums. Make sure you also wipe down surfaces with anti-static cleaner. Avoid touching input devices unless the device is completely powered down.
Interior server cabinet: Clean the surface of server exhaust fans, server cabinet doors, and surfaces of the servers inside the cabinet by vacuuming with critical filtered vacuums before wiping them clean with an approved anti-static cleaner.
Ceilings. Vacuum above drop ceiling tiles and overhead raceways with critical filter vacuums.
In addition to carrying out the various tasks, make sure you maintain a regular schedule by vacuuming or dry mopping floor surfaces at least once a week; cleaning under the floor once a year; damp cleaning the floor surface once a quarter; and cleaning equipment and cabinet exteriors at least once a quarter.
At Lifeline Data Centers, we will provide the expert solutions you need to meet the demands in your industry. Contact us for more information or for a tour of our facility.