Data centres are running the risk of power outages and losing critical data by not planning regular cleaning schedules, according to a leading technical cleaning business.
New statistics from 8 Solutions, the UK and Europe’s leading data centre healthcare business, highlight a significant hike in the demand for emergency cleans that, it says, could suggest a worrying lack of planned maintenance.
David Hogg, Managing Director of 8 Solutions, says that in the last 12 months alone, emergency cleans have increased by 300% compared to 2014: “Planned cleaning schedules are essential to maintaining the health of a data centre, and identifying issues before they occur,” he explains.
“When we are called out in an emergency, it may suggest that such schedules are not being followed, or worse that they do not even exist. It is a concerning trend and facilities managers (FMs) need to understand how quickly a site can become contaminated especially during building or maintenance works.”
Ironically, Mr Hogg continues, ‘overcleaning’ can also be a problem: “Cleaning, when not properly conducted, can also cause an increase in contamination so it all needs to be very carefully planned and coordinated.”
‘Dust’ and other equally damaging contaminants can emanate from various sources, the most obvious being dead skin or clothing deposits, so David says it is crucial that FMs are aware of the environment they are operating in.
“Uncovering and discovering sources of contamination is a challenge. It is not uncommon, for example, for a data centre to believe that the contamination comes from one source, to find – after testing – that the contamination stems from another source altogether, and one that the data centre management had never even considered.”
So-called ‘unexplained contamination’ requires a better understanding of the environment, and intelligent analysis of the data presented: “By taking away samples and testing them in an independent laboratory, the mystery of the ‘unexplained’ can invariably be explained, and the impact of contaminants properly measured,” he adds.
“Technical cleaning of course has its place; but technical cleaning without recognising and understanding the source of contamination, is effectively throwing good money after bad.”