Data centres are complex environments – equipment changeout or simply opening the doors can introduce the risk of contaminants such as dust, debris and dirt. These can then have an impact on electronic equipment, corroding contacts and reducing capabilities, leading to costly outages, system failures, server issues and even fires. Therefore, data centre cleaning not only improves system performance but is crucial for health and safety compliance.
In this article, we will discuss the reasons why contamination occurs, and how to ensure your data centre functions safely and effectively so your business can grow and succeed.
Why Do Data Centres Need to be Cleaned Regularly?
There are many consequences that come with not cleaning your data centre on a regular basis. Dust particles can potentially impact equipment to the point of causing a fault – resulting in loss of important data. In addition to data losses, debris or particles of dust can also damage your data centre’s hardware. If you’re fortunate, it may only turn out to be a small issue that can be fixed easily. However, without a proper cleaning routine, a small issue could escalate into a bigger one, and therefore require an expensive repair or even complete replacement.
Over time, particles can build up in your data centre which can impact the effectiveness of cooling units and air conditioning systems. When debris gathers in your data centre – all your equipment is affected. To keep these environments running effectively, data centre cleaning is a must, and it needs to be done thoroughly and on a regular basis.
With a planned maintenance program, not only will MSL ensure your facility and everything within it is being cleaned regularly to the highest standard, but equipment will also be checked regularly too to keep your business up and running smoothly.
The Benefits of Regular Data Centre Cleaning
Enlisting MSL’s help to clean your data centre on a regular basis will bring the following benefits for your business:
- Improved air circulation lessening power consumption
- Lowers the risk of important equipment failure
- Reduction of capital equipment cost
- Helps maintain hardware reliability
- Compliance with equipment warranties
- Gets rid of dust build-up and dust contamination
- Decreases static discharge
- Energy cost savings
- Increased customer confidence
Top 10 Data Centre Best Practices
Data centres comprise of various hazards that can affect the life and health of technicians. Therefore, data centre staff need to be made aware of potential safety hazards when handling data centre activities. To do this, ensure employees are acquainted with health and safety practices by documenting them and providing routine safety training.
- Scheduled Maintenance
Performing planned maintenance on UPS and batteries can reduce the chances of failure during power outages. The same applies to other critical systems such as HVAC and generators. Regular planned maintenance can lessen the risk of equipment malfunction, decrease the amount of energy used and extend the lifespan of equipment.
If you don’t have a planned maintenance program in place and you run into unexpected equipment breakdowns in your data centre – no matter the time of day or night, our reactive maintenance service will mean the suitable engineer will be sent to your facility to fix the issue immediately.
If things go wrong with data centre equipment, insufficient documentation can lead to further complications. Ensuring that you keep well-documented reports on your equipment will mean data is easily accessible whenever our specialists at MSL come for inspections. In addition to this, historical work order information can be utilised to detect chronic equipment issues or unacceptable levels of downtime.
It’s essential that cables in your data centre are being given meticulous attention. For instance, cables looped across the floor during installation are a trip hazard. As well as this, they can also create dirt or static build-up as they’re pulled across floors. At MSL, our Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) services will mean you’ll never have to worry about such problems as our qualified electricians will take care of it for you. With this program, you’ll receive specialist expertise in design and delivering first-class electrical systems.
Good cooling is crucial to keeping equipment reliable. Enlisting the help of our experts at MSL with our planned maintenance program will mean that the filters in the air conditioners are checked as well as the filters and heat sinks in computing equipment. In addition to this, our program will ensure cleaning or replacing these filters will be a routine practice with temperature and humidity readings verified at least once a year.
Cooling equipment and server fans can be extremely noisy. In mind of this, protecting your employees from noise damage is essential. Therefore, ensure staff are using hearing protection and make this readily available to all, with instruction on where and how to use such gear.
- Load Balance
Unbalanced loads consume a lot of energy and can result in unnecessary replacements of UPS systems. With our planned maintenance program, our team of professionals at MSL will check power draws regularly at each point in the power chain – racks and cabinets, power distribution units and then the UPS. We can ensure that your load balance is consistently maintained to get maximum power from your UPS at the highest efficiency.
Anything with water should be checked on a regular basis, for instance sprinkler pipes, floor, system, air conditioner condensation drains and liquid detectors. Ensure that the roof is frequently surveyed for leaks and any other water sources above your data centre. Unmaintained roofs and gutters can result in big problems, not only in terms of floods and leaks, but also when it comes to the soaring cost of repairs. At MSL, our team of professionals will carry out a thorough roofing and guttering maintenance service within our planned maintenance program. This will mean that problems such as cracks, broken tiles or blocked gutters are dealt with in a timely manner, reducing the probability of prolonged and costly repairs.
Ensure all staff have full fire incident training, which should cover the locations and proper use of fire extinguishers. The maintenance plan should also include verifying that extinguishers are properly charged.
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires employers to undertake general fire precautions such as regular fire safety assessments and ensuring safe escape routes. Our compliance maintenance program will help ensure that you remain compliant with this legislation, and we also have a guide on ensuring your fire safety is up to scratch.
Keeping your data centre clean from contaminants such as dust is essential. Ensure the floor is regularly damp-mopped – our hygiene service gives special attention to flooring. In addition to this, foot wipe mats at entrances should be changed on a regular basis. At MSL, we also offer laundered dust control mats. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about dust from entrance mats finding their way into your data centre.
Looking after your data centre is essential as a business owner. With the support of a planned maintenance program, your data centre will be cleaned and maintained regularly, ensuring critical equipment continues at peak performance, the environment remains hygienic and safety risks are reduced.
If you are interested in finding out more about how our services can ensure dust control in your data centre, get in touch with us on 0333 1234 450.