The importance of a clean Data Center 

Written by Administrator Data Center Journal   
Wednesday, 30 November 2005
You could be placing your data center and your job at risk when you fail to keep it clean. The following is a list of why you should keep your data center facility clean and how to select a cleaning service.
You could be placing your data center and your job at risk when you fail to keep it clean. The following is a list of why you should keep your data center facility clean and how to select a cleaning service:
Top 10 Reasons why you should keep your Data Center Clean

  1. A clean data center will help to increase employee moral and health.
  2. A clean facility will eliminate the possibility of unwanted pests.
  3. A clean data center optimizes equipment performance and the investment of a regular scheduled data center cleaning service equates to a fraction of the overall investment of running your operations center.
  4. It helps to minimize maintenance and filter replacement on computer room air conditioning units.
  5. ALL components within the operations center are at risk when a data center is not kept clean.
  6. Annual maintenance agreements for servers are approx. 10% of initial cost.
  7. Cleaning below your raised floor will help keep unwanted dirt and dust from mixing into the data center air. Not to mention remind you that it is time to organize your cables.
  8. The hardware costs of standard servers, including maintenance can average $30K-$50K per server rack cabinet.
  9. Media errors can exceed $50,000 per Megabyte. Dust is a prime candidate in causing media errors.
  10. One year ago you spent over $300 per square foot to build your data center and your CIO will be visiting tomorrow.
    How to Select a Cleaning Service
    When selecting a data center cleaning service we recommend the following:
    1. Review the company’s crew experience and ask for references.
    2. What methods of cleaning are being used (be aware of any proprietary agents and be sure that HEPA filter devices are used on all vacuums).
    3. Determine what services are included and the limitations set by the company. Such as will the cleaning technician clean above each rack?
    4. Be sure that the cleaning company is insured or bonded. Insurance, which should range from $2M-$5M, should include errors and omissions in the event an accident is caused by a cleaning technician.
    5. Determine how familiar the cleaning service and its team are with your type of operation. A cleaning technician should always be familiar with his or her surroundings. The techniques are not magical, but the attention to detail is important.
    A Final Thought
    When considering whether to begin a simple and affordable yearly cleaning program for your data center we suggest that you calculate the IT investment in peripherals, data base, application software, data center space and media and ask yourself if it is not worth protecting by keeping it all clean.

Bill Montgomery