Keeping Your Server Room Clean

Regular cleaning of your computer room is an incredibly important part of maintaining your data center environment. You should regularly schedule site cleanings in order to keep your environment free of dust, dirt and other harmful particles that can damage your operating systems and create health risks for personnel. Dust and other particles that circulate within your server room can accumulate and greatly interfere with the equipment by causing a variety of difficult-to-deal-with or even tragic problems. Such problems could include media errors and data loss.

A good rule that should always be followed is to schedule a certified data center cleaning on a quarterly basis. You may need to schedule a cleaning even more often, if your particulate count exceeds the standards set by ISO 14644-8 or ISO 14644-9. By following this quarterly (or more often) cleaning schedule, you will be able to optimize the performance of your server room equipment, while cutting down on the cost of repairs or data recovery. If you think about it and compare the cost of a regular cleaning to the overall financial investment that was put into your data center, it’s definitely a smart buy.

How Should You Choose a Cleaning Service?

Don’t get up to grab a broom and dustpan quite yet. While this is what you’d do at home, data centers are very different from your home environment. Yes, you should clean both your house and your server room on a regular basis, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. Cleaning an entire data center is a very delicate process that requires the services and expertise of professionals who are highly-trained at what they do and who know to go about safely cleaning your critical equipment.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right cleaning service:

* Make sure you check company’s references, and specifically ask about the quality of their service. You should specifically find a references or two that has facilities like yours. Make sure the company you might select knows how to deal with the type of equipment in your computer room.

* The company should be insured for damages they might cause during the cleaning process. If there’s an accident during the cleaning, you want to make sure you’ll be protected.

* Evaluate the experience and training of the cleaning crew and ask to see their credentials. There are certain standards that they should be trained and certified in.

* Review their cleaning methods. You need to make sure they use HEPA filtration vacuums and all their chemicals should be safe for use with electronics systems and other hardware.

* Tell them up front what your expectations are and establish parameters for cleaning. Who will move the equipment? Does the service including cleaning in the sub-floor or above the server racks? Perhaps there are certain data-sensitive areas of your server room. Will those areas be off-limits? What else is included or not included in their cleaning service?

* You’ll want to look for a company who will be available to clean according to your needs. Perhaps in addition to your regular cleanings, will they be available in the event of a last-minute emergency?

Perhaps cleaning is not part of the design of a computer room, but it’s still one of the most important elements of maintaining a server room.

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