The beating heart of any modern business in the 21st century is usually its server room, and this phenomenon is not just limited to IT companies. While most companies go to great lengths to ensure that their server rooms and data centers are updated with the latest software, are able to withstand hacking efforts, and prevent viruses & other malware, the crucial aspect of server room cleaning is given a miss.
This can have a significant toll on the smooth functioning of any server room. In a Domino effect, it will ultimately disrupt a company’s normal routine.
Data center cleaning has several benefits. The next section deals with a few of them.
Why is regular server room cleaning necessary?
Data centers are usually huge spaces filled with hundreds of thousands of servers that store data of various types and great importance. Naturally, the centers need constant monitoring of two aspects: dust and temperature.
Unfortunately, without proper cleaning of your server rooms, it will be almost impossible to get rid of malfunctions. Here are some reasons why.
- Dirt and dust of different sizes can get lodged within machines over time. If the dust is not taken care of, it can increase the operating temperature of some very high-tech equipment by more than 30F.
The result, at best, can increase electricity charges. At its worst, complete data center failure is not unheard of.
- Most of the hardware installed in these huge centers gives rise to zinc particulates, plus some metal whiskers (which are thinner than a human hair strand) over time. A regular cleaning schedule that includes vacuuming usually takes care of them.
These metal particulates can create havoc inside the expensive hardware if data center cleaning sessions are glossed over. According to reliable studies, the downtime thus generated can cost a company more than $5,000 every minute!
Clearly, cleaning sessions can improve a company’s profit margins too.
A checklist for cleaning and maintaining server rooms
It is vital that you contact a professional service provider in this niche before creating a checklist. If your office and data center is located in Florida, you can always contact an experienced office cleaning service in Tampa FL.
Here are some ideas.
A. Prevent spaghetti wiring
If you have ever visited a data center, you will notice it has miles upon miles of wiring. They are mostly seen entangled, giving rise to the spaghetti concept. The first thing that needs to be done as part of a data center cleaning session is to organize the wires and label them according to their nature and use.
Vertical cable management is also an excellent idea.
Once the wires are untangled, they need to be color-coded and bunched securely using a non-reactive band.
Failure to untangle all wires might cause people to trip, consume more electricity, and have been known to even cause fires.
B. Effective temperature control
As you know, all data centers have to be kept at pretty low temperatures to avoid overheating. One of the principal elements of cleaning the server room is to ensure that the air conditioning is working perfectly.
This is achieved by proper maintenance of the cooling systems. Ideal temperatures inside most data centers are around 77F. Entry must be restricted. Also, the most sensitive equipment must be placed with some space between them to encourage the free flow of air.
A professional Tampa office cleaning company will go one step further and bring down the humidity levels to prevent corrosion!
C. Using the correct cleaning products: While all data centers have regular mopping, the agents used are not the ordinary detergent-based cleaners we are used to. Instead, an antistatic cleaning agent mixed with water is used to clean all sorts of equipment and also miles of wires.
Most such antistatic cleaners contain zero ammonia; instead, they have diethyl amines, propyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfates (which produce a bit of foam), and deionized water.
After using this cleaner, a quick scrub with a microfiber cloth rounds up data center cleaning.
D. Cleaning the floor correctly: While deep-cleaning of each corner of the server room is recommended twice a year, dry mopping on a daily basis is the backbone of cleaning sessions!
At no time can water be used to mop the floors. The dry mopping should be done in circular motions and the dirt thus collected has to be piled in designated bins. Once that’s done, a session or two of vacuuming is enough.
Since professional server room cleaning is expensive, taking some preventive measures to ensure that dirt particles don’t enter the premises is of paramount importance.
Regulating human activity and entry, using fiber-based booties, and reducing the points of entry inside data centers are some suggestions.