Why is Cleaning your Data Centre Important?
Cleaning your data centre is essential to reduce the risk of system failures, server issues, and unplanned downtime occurring. Dust, debris, and dirt can all damage mission-critical equipment. Keeping the data centre environment clean not only improves system performance but is crucial for health and safety as an unclean data centre is also a fire hazard.
Ensuring your data centre is clean has always been important. However, because of the pandemic, following cleaning best practises has become even more valuable. Covid is transmitted in two ways: through respiratory particles and by touching contaminated surfaces. If many people are entering your data centre throughout the day, regularly cleaning touchpoints and surfaces reduces the risk of transmission, so staff can keep healthy and avoid needing to isolate.
Your data centre should be a silent hero for your business; working away diligently in the background of your operations, allowing your company to grow and succeed. However, for this to happen, you need to look after your data centre by ensuring it’s clean and hygienic. Following industry best practises for cleaning your data centre ensures it is functioning safely and effectively.
Data Centre Best Practises
Sometimes the most effective measures you can take to keep your data centre clean are preventative. Employees should never eat or drink while in the data centre, avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning, and office supplies need to be stored in a separate location.
Alongside this guidance, data centre cleaning has 4 key best practises to follow:
To clean your data centre’s flooring, you must use a specialist ESD vacuum fitted with HEPA filters. This device ensures that even the smallest particles of dust are picked up by the vacuum. Once you’ve covered the floor using the vacuum, it’s best practise to wipe down the flooring with anti-static rags, a non-conductive staticide, and a PVA mop.
Across your data centre, there will be many surfaces. These all need vacuuming and wiping down to remove dust, dirt, and debris. Air conditioners, cabinets, and equipment all need attention to ensure there is no lingering debris that could lead to long-term damage. Any accessible areas should be cleaned during this stage, such as the grills of server cabinets. Use the vacuum with HEPA filters before wiping down the surface with an anti-static cleaning solution.
Any cleaning of your data centre’s tape library should ideally be completed with a member of the information system development (ISD) department. Each tape slot needs to be cleaned and vacuumed and an ISD team member can ensure the tape components are handled carefully. They can also ensure that each tape is restored to its correct position once the process is complete.
Below Floor & Plenum Cleaning
Beneath the flooring of your data centre is the subfloor plenum area. Although the area is out of sight, it’s essential to clean beneath the floor as part of your data centre cleaning routine. It’s simple to access by carefully removing and lifting the floor panels one at a time without removing too many at one time. If too many floor panels are removed, this can lead to instability and may cause mission-critical equipment to overheat.Cleaners should wipe down the surfaces with microfibre, lint-free wipes or electrostatic discharge (ESD) wipes. The process must be undertaken slowly and with care because the cables and hardware are stored in the subfloor plenum area. Once completed, restore the floor panel to its previous position and wipe it down with a staticide chemical solution.
What Could Happen if a Data Centre is Not Regularly Cleaned?
There are many risks to not cleaning your data centre regularly. Dust particles can potentially interfere with equipment causing a fault that leads to data losses. As well as data losses, debris or particles of dust can damage your data centre’s hardware. If you’re fortunate it may be a small problem that can be fixed. However, without a proper cleaning routine, an issue could require an expensive repair or lead to the equipment needing a complete replacement.
Over time, particles can build up in your data centre which affects the effectiveness of cooling units and air conditioning systems in particular. When debris is allowed to collect in your data centre, all your equipment is impacted. To optimise your data centre’s functionality, you must clean the environment thoroughly and regularly.
How Often Should a Data Centre be Cleaned?
You should comprehensively clean your data centre every three months. This is what our data centre experts at Infiniti IT recommend based on years of industry experience and expertise. Establishing this routine reduces the risk of data losses, unplanned downtime, and extreme hazards such as fires. Alongside this routine, dusting and vacuuming should take place on an ad hoc basis when needed.
As a data centre provider offering both consultancy and construction services, Infiniti can help offer
guidance and support on the best options for your business.