Spring is here. It’s the time of year when people throw open the windows, pull out the dust rags and fire up their vacuums for a burst of Spring Cleaning. This annual household ritual serves as a good reminder of the importance of regular cleanings within the data center environment.
Regularly scheduled site cleanings help to keep the data center environment free of dust, dirt and other particulates that can harm your operating systems and create health risks for employees. Particulates circulating within a data center can accumulate and interfere with electronics causing a variety of potential problems, including media errors and data loss.
A good rule of thumb is to schedule data center cleanings on a quarterly basis, or when particulate counts exceed the standards set by ISO 14644-8 or ISO 14644-9. By sticking to this cleaning routine, companies optimize the performance of data center equipment while cutting down on the cost of repairs. When you compare the cost of regular cleaning sessions to the overall financial investment in your data center, it’s a smart buy.
Choosing a Data Center Cleaning Service
Don’t grab a broom and dustpan just yet. While it’s good to clean both houses and data centers on a regular basis, that’s where most of the similarities end. Cleaning a data center is a delicate process that requires the services of highly-trained professionals who know how to safely handle mission critical equipment.
To help you select the right cleaning service, here are some tips:
- Check the company’s references. In addition to the quality of the service, you want to make sure the company has experience dealing with facilities that are similar to your own.
- Makes sure the company is insured for damages caused during the cleaning process. If an accident occurs, are you protected?
- Evaluate the experience and training of the cleaning crew. For instance, are they trained to provide services per the requirements of International Standard ISO 14644?
- Review the company’s cleaning methods to see if they use HEPA filtration vacuums and chemicals that are safe for use with electronics systems.
- Be clear about your expectations for the service and establish parameters for cleaning. Will the technicians move equipment? Will they clean the sub-floor or above each rack? Are certain areas off-limits? What’s included in the service?
- Look for a cleaning service that offers availability that meets your needs. In addition to yearly cleanings, will they be available for daily maintenance activities or in the event of an emergency?