Like all technology, data centres do not last forever. With many electrical components, cooling equipment and wiring, many parts run the risk of failing if not properly looked after and maintained. Failing components can result in downtime, data loss and hazards such as fires - all of which can be truly catastrophic to your data centre.
In this blog we’ll look at the expected length of time of your data centre lifespan and how data centre and server room maintenance can be used to ensure that it remains working for longer.
Read on for answers to your questions: What is the lifespan of a data centre, how long will the hardware last, and things you can do to keep your data centre working at optimal performance for longer. For more information about any of our services, contact our team.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Data Centre?
To give one figure for the lifespan of a data centre is difficult as it contains so many variables. For a start, data centres contain many different components that all age at different rates depending on their frequency of use. Computers, cabling, cooling systems and storage devices will all age at different rates, so it’s easier to look at the lifespan of each to get a better idea. Another factor to consider is how well maintained the components in your data centre are. Regular checking and maintenance will ensure that your technology lasts longer and any signs of ageing can be spotted early to avoid any risk of failure.
Data centre lifespan also depends greatly on how often your gear is upgraded. This will not only impact how long your technology lasts for, but it will ensure that it performs to a high standard for years to come. Advances in technology are inevitable in the data centre world and there will always be a way to do something better, faster or more efficient. It’s important to upgrade your data centre when necessary and most companies will assess any potential updates roughly every three years.
How Long Does Your Data Centre Hardware Last?
Different components in your system will need to be replaced at different intervals depending on their importance and frequency of use. Servers are commonly replaced every 3 - 5 years, although they can last for up to 8 years if well maintained. The timescale of 3 -5 years is given as a guideline as any time over that will risk system failure. Other forms of electrical equipment such as UPS batteries and networking gear will typically be used for a similar amount of time.
Cooling equipment can be replaced much less frequently and a typical air conditioning unit will typically be used for 12 years. A galvanised steel cooling tower will be used for roughly 10 years, whilst your water piping for chillers will have a lifespan of up to 30 years. Other common data centre components include electrical distribution boards and diesel generators, both will be used for roughly 25 years and 30 years respectively.
We can see from this that a data centre lifespan is impossible to judge. What is more important is knowing the optimum amount of time that your individual components should be used for - the longer they are used past their typical deployment time, the greater the risk to your business. Monitoring risk is a key aspect of data centre management and it can be the difference between having a complete system failure or remaining up and running at all times. Even still, it is all a balancing act. In an ideal world equipment would be kept up to date and renewed every year, but this just isn’t possible. Not only would this cost far more money to upkeep, but it would also be practically impossible to achieve. The environmental aspects of equipment renewal should also be considered.
Keep Your Data Centre Working For Longer
Getting the most out of your technology is important for keeping your spending low. Buying new parts and fixing broken components costs money and the more they need replacing, the more it costs. Luckily there are some things you can do to help boost your data centre lifespan. Using a data centre cleaning service every three months (recommended) is necessary to enhance your data centre lifespan. This reduces the risk of unplanned downtime, data losses and other safety risks such as fires. As well as a cleaning service, general cleaning tasks should be performed more regularly when necessary such as dusting and vacuuming.
For server rooms, time should be taken to ensure that all areas are clean, with unobstructed airflows that supply sufficient amounts of cool air. Organising cables is also good practice as any loose cables can become a tripping hazard and bare connections can cause a short circuit. Preventative data centre maintenance is key to making sure your data centre has the lowest level of risk possible. By engaging in preventative maintenance you help to ensure all of your systems remain in working order and sufficiently supported for the future.
Data Centre Maintenance Services
To help enhance your data centre lifespan and upkeep its efficiency, Infiniti IT offers a range of different preventative and proactive maintenance services. Our data centre cleaning service will help to protect your servers, racks and other equipment from a build up of dirt and dust, which will keep your hardware working for longer.
We can also perform an EICR (Electrical, Installation, Condition Report) to assess the reliability of your electrical equipment, such as emergency energy sources, power systems and electrical distribution equipment. This gives you an early indication as to the health of an electrical component so you can upgrade if necessary and avoid the risk of system failure.
For more information regarding our data centre maintenance services please click below to contact one of our experts today.