By DENIS BLOUIN, Belden -- Keeping up with data center maintenance brings lots of benefits: reducing unplanned downtime, improving safety, extending reliability and product lifecycle, and decreasing energy usage -- to name just a few. Here are some important factors to remember when creating and carrying out your data center maintenance routine.
1. Consult Equipment Manuals
Data center hardware and equipment comes with paperwork outlining recommended maintenance practices and timelines. Make sure you’re adhering to what the manufacturer recommends; this not only helps system performance, but also ensures that your warranty remains valid.
2. Maintain Up-to-Date Documentation
Your data center maintenance plan will be faster and easier to manage if you write down the procedures you’re following, how often they’re being completed and the issues that are uncovered along the way.
Documenting these procedures eliminates questions about who, what, where, when, why or how data center maintenance occurred – and makes the onboarding process smoother for new employees who join the team. Technicians will know exactly what to do and how often it should be done.
It can also help you spot equipment problems or potential reliability issues early on so that action can be taken before downtime occurs. Lastly, documentation can save the day if a system failure does occur. Were there signs and symptoms along the way? Was a skipped maintenance procedure part of the problem?
3. Test and Inspect
This is a great time to check and test batteries, UPS systems, power generators, switchers and routers to make sure they’re functioning as expected. If not, you’ll be able to circumvent downtime by addressing the issues you uncover.
Part of this process should also involve a visual examination of cabling and connections. Does everything look tidy? Are cables labeled properly? Is there cable slack that needs to be taken care of? Is a cable being bent or twisted?
4. Don’t Forget to Clean
Data center maintenance doesn’t just involve tests and inspections – it also calls for seemingly simple cleaning tasks. Dust, for example, can block airflow and create issues with overheating. By regularly removing dust, equipment will last longer and perform better.
5. Perform Safety Checks
Although they’re not necessarily related directly to data center performance, this is a good time to check certain security features. Do data center doors close and lock correctly? Are the emergency exits functioning as expected? Are the access control and surveillance systems working and capturing the information you need and expect?
What else do you include in your data center maintenance routine? Let us know in the comments below! And contact our data center team if you have any questions about what you should be doing – or how often you should be doing it.