Globally, data center and server room expansion are occurring at a rapid pace. With all of their complexity and operational overhead, keeping them clean can be a challenge. For anyone managing server room operations, cleanliness must be on the critical list! Thus, ensure a written operational maintenance plan is in place. Furthermore, observing and preparing for outside impact is key. Data centers, server rooms, network operations rooms, telecom rooms, and critical environments should be maintained with consistency and precaution. We’ll present key tips for server room cleaning success in this article.
Tip 1: New Equipment Packaging – Have Controls
As an example, in your home, when opening and unpacking a large box, have you noticed your hands feeling dusty and grimy? What about when unpacking the contents? Are you having to deal with tiny styrofoam pieces, plastics, and other small debris? In a home or office environment, this may be considered only a mere nuisance.
However, in a server room, data center, or like critical environment, both unpackaging and storing cardboard and paper-based boxes will assuredly release dust particles and micro-debris into the environment. This can be quickly ingested by computing equipment cooling fans, cause vent buildup, and settle on sensitive electronics inside of the equipment.
This may seem like ‘only’ a minor concern. However, for large data centers with a heavy cycle of new and rotating vendors and equipment, unboxing and unpacking such equipment can generate large quantities of debris and dust. Facilities management may consider implementing collaborative environmental controls with Information Technology staff to ensure all new equipment is unpackaged outside of the server room. Oftentimes, server rooms end up being de facto storage for said boxes and packaging, old gear and equipment, and the like. Your environmental controls should address this as well.
Rest assured this simple but preventative measure can assist with keeping air quality at a high level in your critical environment. The more preventative you can be with your controls, the less invasive server room cleaning will be.
Tip 2: Construction Activity – Avoid A Stress Mess!
It’s inevitable – construction activity will happen in and around your server room. From electricians to HVAC technicians, cable pullers to fire suppression vendors, and more, the potential is endless. And, let’s not mention the unannounced neighboring office remodel project generating all kinds of sheetrock dust! Without controls in place, such contractor activity can prompt issues and even wreak havoc on air quality and server room cleanliness.
Experience has proven the following proactive steps can greatly help to protect your server room from construction activity:
- Inform and Be Informed: Information Technology Data Center Management should have a tight relationship with Facilities and Building Engineering Mangement. Appropriate IT Operations staff should be included in building construction and remodeling planning meetings to address any potential impact to critical environments. And, they should be included on status update communication. Furthermore, neither IT nor Facilities Mangement should initiate contractor/construction grade projects (no matter how small) without formal Controls sign-off or without being informed by each party.
- Stay Alert and Speak Up: If contractor activity occurs near your server room that you were not aware of, speak up! While the vendor may be performing what they consider to be an ‘approved’ task, speaking up or checking to ensure such activity has appropriate approval could prevent much trouble. For example, a telecom vendor may be pulling cable through sheetrock, and terminating it in the Server Room, when actually, they were to terminate it in a nearby IDF closet!
- Be Ready For Emergencies: Regardless of how proactive we are, emergencies arise. So, ensure all appropriate maintenance contracts are up-to-date. Ensure also that both Facilities and IT Server Room Management understand who to contact and when for emergency level occurrences. For example, if a contractor introduces a large quantity of sheetrock dust into your server room, what action will you take? Do you have a cleaning company experienced in critical environment cleaning on your vendor response list? Do you have a communication response plan in place?
Thus, it’s always best to prevent urgent situations due to server room construction activity. But, the next best thing is to ready yourself for an emergency!
TIP 3: Have a Server Room Cleaning Maintenance Contract
If your server room is critical to your business operations, then a cleaning maintenance contract for it is also critical. Proactive regularly scheduled server room cleaning will help protect your critical environment. Having a contract in place also lends itself to setting up emergency response and corresponding SLA’s.
Perform an onsite walkthrough of your Server Room with an experienced Critical Environment Commercial Cleaning company. Consider all aspects of your cleaning requirements based upon size, foot traffic, project work, rack density, etc. Reviewing these specific areas can help build a comprehensive data center cleaning maintenance program:
- High work such as ceilings, ducts, and piping
- Cabinets and Racks
- Floor Surfaces
- HVAC Vents
- Raised Floor Cleaning including sub-floor plenum
Foreman Pro Cleaning – Your Trusted Server Room Cleaning Company!
Foreman Pro Cleaning is a trusted Critical Environment cleaning company. We have experience cleaning data centers, server rooms, telecom rooms, battery backup rooms, raised floor scenarios, and more. The combination of our Information Technology and Facilities Management background offers unsurpassed safety and awareness. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on server room cleaning at any of our three office locations in Annapolis, MD, Yorktown, VA, or Washington D.C. And, we thank you for reading our tips for server room cleaning!