Changes to ISO standard will require more rigorous testing

March 24, 2016

8 Solutions, the leading data centre healthcare business in Europe, has warned that upgrades and updates to ISO regulation standard 14644 will require more rigorous testing and reporting to meet the new guidelines.

ISO 14644 is the international standard for measuring the cleanliness of cleanrooms. Last updated in 2005, the changes reflect the progress of cleanroom technology over the past ten years, and the importance of ensuring that data centres are kept to the correct level of cleanliness to ensure that the integrity of the IT systems installed is not compromised.

Failure to clean to the new standard could increase the data centre’s liabilities, according to Gary Hall, Head of Operational Delivery at 8 Solutions: “We have retrained our technicians to address the new Standard,” he explains.

“This will ensure that our clients are getting the correct ISO classification of cleanliness and that they do not invalidate any manufacturers’ warranties on IT equipment from failure to clean correctly. These are positive moves for our industry.”

Data centres need to be kept at the ISO 14664-1 level 8 of cleanliness or better to ensure that the risk from contamination is minimised. In practice this means ensuring that particles of a size of less than 0.5 microns are removed from the environment where IT equipment is kept. To put this into context, a human hair is about 50 microns in width. Specialist vacuums and cleaning regimes are therefore critical to achieve this level of clinical cleanliness.

The ISO standard has been upgraded and re-issued and has the following impact on data centre cleanliness ratings:

  • A new formula for the number of readings of air cleanliness required within a data centre space in order to achieve the ISO standard
  • Rules surrounding where the measurements of air quality within the data centre are taken within a designated working space have changed
  • Part 2 of the ISO standard which determines how often an IT space is monitored for contaminants has also been changed which affects the frequency of how often the air quality is measured to ensure adherence to the required level of compliance

Gary Hall, Head of Operational Delivery