Having a repeatable and scalable data center cleaning checklist and procedure is important for many reasons. For one, having clean facilities is just part of good operational practices. Additionally, because data centers are sensitive, controlled environments, their cleanliness is important to their functionality. If dust and debris collect on or inside of your data center equipment, that equipment could fail, putting your customers’ data at risk. When the data you are charged with protecting is put at risk, so is your company’s reputability, reliability, and bottom line.
In order to keep a data center as clean as it needs to be, you need to establish a process. There are routine cleaning tasks that need to be performed regularly in addition to intermittent deep cleaning that is essential to your equipment’s performance. If your data center goes down for any reason, your organization goes into crisis mode. Everything else is put on hold until the data center is back up and running. During the downtime, you hope that the data isn’t compromised. Don’t let inconsistent or improper cleaning be the cause of such stress. Cleaning is a function that is predictable and controllable, you simply have to have the right process in place to execute it effectively.
Sample Data Center Cleaning Checklist
So what is the right process to have in place? How can you ensure you’re dotting your Is and crossing your Ts when it comes to data center cleaning? Here are some essential steps your data center cleaning process needs to be sure to include:
Clean the sub-floors.
A major contributor to keeping data centers running optimally is their raised flooring that houses the plenum that pumps cool air upward. If this plenum is not kept clean, it could blow the dust and debris collecting on it up into the data center equipment, or it could become so clogged it’s unable to blow cool air at all. This could lead to your hardware overheating and malfunctioning. To properly clean the plenum, you’ll need to remove the raised floor tiles, wipe particulate from the sub-floor panels, vacuum, wipe with a staticide, and collect any loose parts.
Clean the top floor.
Once the sub-flooring has been thoroughly cleaned, you’ll need to replace the raised floor tiles, vacuum up all particulate, wipe down the floor tiles with anti-static wipes, and mop. However, because of the sensitive high-tech equipment that fills data centers, you need to be extremely careful with any water brought into the environment. Limit the volume of liquids in the data center as much as possible at all times.
Clean all surfaces.
Once your flooring has been cleaned, you’ll need to clean all surfaces and wipe them down with anti-static wipes. You can vacuum hard to reach surfaces as needed as well.
- Clean and organize the tape library.
The tape library is included in the surfaces you need to clean, but it’s also important to keep this library neatly organized. Be sure to replace tapes in the same position and order they were in before removing for cleaning.
While these basic cleaning steps listed above are absolutely essential to keeping your data center running optimally, there are a lot more nuances involved in data center cleaning that you need to be well acquainted with. As previously mentioned, there’s a difference between deep cleaning and maintenance cleaning.
You need to know the difference and when to perform each type of cleaning. You also need to be sure your cleaning crew is familiar with what data centers are, how to behave in them, and what standards need to be met. For a full guide that includes checklists, training, and recommended products, check out our free data center cleaning guide.