Cleaning and regular maintenance is not something you should ignore. While this is true for a number of areas, it is especially true for companies whose efficiency and success is dependent upon cleanliness. Take data centers, for example. A data center is like the business’ central nervous system, and when you ignore data center cleaning, this increases the risk of unplanned downtime and other performance problems. According to the Ponemon Institute, when data centers are unexpectedly brought to a halt, this outage can cost up to $9,000 per minute.

Common Problems That Arise In Dirty Data Centers

  • Airborne contaminants — dust, mold, clothing fibers, etc. — cause component failure
  • Servers can overheat because of dust clogging up fans
  • HVAC filters can become grimy, making it necessary for more power consumption, which thereby lowers power usage effectiveness (PUE) 
  • Other problems — corrosion damage, mechanical failure of disk and tape drives, power supplies, and circuit boards. 

Common Ways Contaminants Get Into Data Centers

  • The mess from construction projects spills over
  • Doors are left open
  • Opening packages and cardboard boxes
  • Vendors, technicians, and servicemen working on infrastructure equipment

Can I Clean My Data Center Myself?

You could. But if, and only if, you have an established cleaning protocol, all the necessary equipment, and are well-acquainted with the necessary precautions and tasks. If you do not have experience with computer room cleaning, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Improper cleaning can actually make things worse. Additionally, if you are addressing one particular problem, it is necessary to have the experience to be able to pinpoint the contamination source. Otherwise, the contaminants will return and potentially cause even more damage.

However, if you are contemplating trying to handle all of your own data center cleaning and maintenance, we want to give you some basic tips and reminders:

  • Adhere to a data center cleaning schedule — as we mentioned, routine cleaning and maintenance are crucial for a data center. Following a schedule religiously can help you avoid emergency situations and unnecessary downtime.
  • Clean all surfaces — floor tiles, subfloor, equipment cabinets, ceiling…all of these areas, along with all other surfaces, should be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Change HVAC filters as part of a preventative maintenance program, it is necessary to routinely change the filters in your HVAC unit.
  • Never open or unpack boxes — whether it is when cleaning or opening new equipment, avoid opening boxes in your data center. In fact, never use cardboard, wood, or paper products inside your data center. These are common contaminants.
  • Monitor the level of airborne contaminants routine tests should be done to measure the level of airborne particles in your facility. This is a simple test to perform, and once you have the results, you can compare these with industry standards and make any necessary adjustments.
  • Make sure you know the equipment and cleaning products being used — the equipment and products you use to clean is paramount. This equipment should be made for the purpose of cleaning data centers or cleanrooms. Additionally, make sure you have a strong understanding of how to use all of the equipment and products.

Since data centers house some seriously sophisticated equipment, it takes a professional, experienced, and well-equipped crew to handle all of the cleaning services. If those trying to clean your data center are not using all of the proper equipment and protocols, this can make things worse and add to the accumulation of dust, grime, and other contaminants.

Where Can I Find A Data Center Cleaning Company?

Right here! Give us a call and we can schedule your cleaning services. At Pacific Maintenance Company, we are pioneers in the cleanroom cleaning industry. In fact, in the mid-1960s, we wrote the scope and protocols for cleanroom cleaning and gowning. When you partner with us to handle your controlled-environment cleaning, we leverage our experience, equipment, and expertise to provide absolutely superior cleaning services. Contact us today to discuss the particulars of your data center and our cleaning services.

In addition to data center cleaning, we also offer cleanroom cleaning, commercial cleaning, biochemical cleaning, emergency cleaning, and other cleaning and maintenance programs. Check out our full list of services.