Just as vehicles need oil changes and tire rotations to run optimally, data centers also require preventative maintenance to stay in peak performance. Maintenance includes the process of keeping things from breaking prematurely or out of neglect, and this type of preventative maintenance is hugely important when dealing with data center upkeep.
When data centers are not properly maintained, they don’t operate as securely or efficiently as they should, and both of those situations put your organization’s bottom line at risk. Think about it: a 15,000 square foot data center spends approximately $100,000 per month on electricity alone. One minute of data center downtime costs almost $8,000 on average. Any data center downtime is incredibly costly to your organization. You still have to supply the funds to support the data center while it’s down, even though it is doing nothing to provide you a return on investment. Additionally, data centers exist to keep data secure. If your organization or customer data is jeopardized because of improper data center maintenance, you put your reputation on the line as well as risk facing legal battles from those whose information was not properly protected.
Here are a few preventative maintenance tips to protect your organization, your customers, and your bottom line by protecting your data center:
1. Complete Safety Training
While this may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about preventative maintenance, it is a huge component of data center upkeep. Keep your staff informed of potential safety hazards and how to navigate them to avoid accidental and unnecessary harm to them and your equipment.
2. Schedule Inspections
Be sure to have your equipment regularly inspected by professionals to ensure it meets regulations and standards. When any facet of your data center fails an inspection, address the issue promptly to avoid costly repercussions.
3. Enforce Preventative Maintenance
This might seem obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. You need to create a system for performing preventative maintenance, such as establishing a thorough checklist of what needs to be examined. Require your staff and technicians to complete the maintenance regularly. Don’t let prevention of downtime be an optional component of running a data center. Bake it into the fabric of your operations.
4. Keep Records
Track your preventative maintenance efforts and keep thorough documentation of what was performed, when it was performed, and who performed it. This will help you stay on top of all necessary tasks, know what needs to be done next, and, if needed, identify where the ball was dropped.
5. Use Software
There are tools out there to help you stay on top of preventative maintenance. Many even come with dashboards designed for management to see trends, needs, and successes at a glance. Do some research and identify the resources that make sense for your organization.
6. Keep It Clean
A major part of data center preventative maintenance is simply keeping the data center clean. That’s easier said than done, however, as data centers are sensitive environments that require specialized care. If you’re unsure exactly what needs to be cleaned or how to go about cleaning properly, there are organizations you can hire to help. We’ve put together a free Data Center Cleaning Guide to get you started and are available for additional help as needed.
Data center failures are extremely costly and often avoidable with proper preventative maintenance. Keep your staff informed, set standards they must meet, and employ third-party resources as needed to ensure your data center downtime is as minimal as possible. Your organization and your customers will thank you in the long run, and your bottom line won’t take any unnecessary blows in the process. Download our free Data Center Cleaning Guide to help you get started.