A server room stands as the heart of a business for most modern companies and enterprises. Network equipment stores important data about clients, contracts, employees, etc. Thus, the maintenance of optimal operating conditions is vital for them.
While businesses protect hardware from unauthorized access and intentional damage by intruders, the main threat is present inside premises. The enemy of IT equipment is hard to perceive. It flies in the air, and the human eye can hardly notice it. Dust and all sorts of pollutants are the factors that pose a threat to the smooth and uninterruptible functioning of network systems. By settling on circuit boards and devices, debris can lead to hardware malfunction and breaking, which results in data loss and system downtime. This is why it is essential to clean network rack timely.
Preparation for Server Room Cleaning: Tools and Products
When choosing chemicals for cleaning server rooms, make sure to keep in mind the following rules:
- If you use vacuuming methods, make sure to use HEPA filters. Otherwise, dust will release back into the air.
- Avoid water since moisture (and caused humidity changes) damages IT hardware.
- If you use antistatic cleaning products, apply them only with heat-resistant and microfiber cloths.
The staff must be trained to clean such premises. It is not enough to hire ordinary cleaning agencies. Workers must know the features of server rooms and have appropriate tools and chemicals.
Modern manufacturers produce different kinds of server furniture. They know how to treat it. Thus, you can consult on this issue when buying server furniture. Sysracks company is a licensed distributor of high-quality server cabinets for data centers. Managers will be glad to help and explain how to maintain and clean both furniture and devices.
Step-by-step Guide on Correct Server Room Cleaning
Since network equipment is vulnerable to moisture and other types of impacts, any mistake can become fatal and lead to breaks. Thus, the staff must stick to a strict order of steps. Here is the right sequence of server rack cleaning.
Turn Off Equipment
Make sure to disconnect hardware from the power to avoid problems if you touch wires with your foot accidentally or if moisture contacts vulnerable surfaces. If equipment is unplugged, there is no risk of trouble and data loss.
Remove Debris and Dust from the Floor
Take away the garbage. A vacuum cleaner is the best tool, but make sure that it has a HEPA filter to prevent debris from recirculation. A broom is useless since it just stirs up pollutants in the air and stimulates dust settlement on hardware.
Clean the Floor, Ceiling, and Walls
Use a dry mop to remove dust from all surfaces at least once a week. Note that raised floor is frequently used in data centers since they stand as a convenient solution for cabling and accommodating supplementary accessories.
Clean Furniture and Equipment
Debris settles on furniture and hardware first of all. Its accumulation on circuit boards and devices hardens the airflow. Moreover, an accumulated dust layer speeds up the heating, hardening equipment cooling, which results in overheating. This is why it is important to hold electronic devices clean.
Use damp wipes to remove pollutants from hardware surfaces and server cabinets. When dealing with equipment cleaning, make sure to use antistatic chemicals.
Clean the Air Conditioning and Ventilation Systems
Dust tends to settle on fan blades. The consequences of such contamination include a slow rotation speed, less air throughput, and other changes in the environment. Each of these problems leads to climate condition violation and overheating.
Reassemble the System and Room
Make sure to put all devices, accessories, and cables back in their places. After cleaning the room, it should have the same order and appearance since each apparatus has its place. Each detail performs its function.
Note that each type of cleaning requires a certain periodicity. For example, garbage vacuuming is done once a week. Raised floor washing is done once per month. Deep cleaning is every 3 months. If your data center had a ceiling plenum or raised tiles, treat them once in 6 months.
Safety Measures when Cleaning Server Premises
When doing a server rack clean up, workers must observe particular measures that help prevent hardware breaking. Here they are:
- Prevent cord tangling. Keep wires organized. Spaghetti from cables is the worst nightmare of the cleaning staff (see why here). The cleaning process is hardened, and the risk of accidental rapture increases.
- Use antistatic solutions for cleaning electronic devices.
- Check equipment fastening to avoid failure and damage as a result of accidental pushes.
- Control environmental control indicators to make sure that the optimal climate is created in the room.
Make sure to meet networking requirements when you leave the room. Recheck whether all indicators are within the set parameters.
How to Reduce Data Center Pollution?
Contamination with dust is natural since tiny pollutants fly everywhere in the air. Use the following tricks to reduce the level of debris in server room space:
- do cleaning regularly;
- control human activity (limit access to premises and force the staff to wear coveralls to prevent rooms from pollution with hair or skin particles);
- use double doors since they accumulate too much dust that enters the room upon opening.
The issue of cleaning data centers is crucial since contamination of such premises leads to expensive IT equipment malfunction and failure. While network systems stand as the brain of modern businesses, such problems cause data and money loss. Thus, it is better to foresee trouble and clan rooms timely to enjoy a smooth performance.