10 tips on contamination from a data center veteran

A 30-year veteran of facilities management shares the dangers of contamination and how to avoid them. Several tips can be applied directly to data center network cabling.

Ken Koty, a 30-plus-year veteran facilities manager who is now with PDU Cables, recently shared 10 tips for dealing with data center contamination in his "Ken's Korner" column on the PDU Cables website.

In the column, he explains that contamination can come from inside or outside the data center, and details many of the potential consequences of a contaminated facility.

The column is written from a facilities standpoint, but several of the tips he offers can be applied directly to the cabling of data center networks. We've added the emphasis to those items.

Here is Ken Koty's list of 10 tips for dealing with data center contamination. Whenever possible, he says, do the following.

  1. Keep the doors closed at all times.
  2. Limit access into the data center.
  3. Use contamination-control mats at all entrances.
  4. No food or drink inside the data center.
  5. Do not unpack items inside the data center - Koty advises to establish a staging area outside the data center for unpacking and assembling equipment.
  6. Do not store paper, cardboard or similar supplies in the data center.
  7. Perform work outside the data center - Among Koty's advice here: Don't let electricians build power cables on-site. Presumably, that advice also applies to data cables.
  8. Make sure tools and equipment brought into the data center are clean.
  9. Change air handler filters at least every three months.
  10. Establish and maintain a regular cleaning schedule.

The column goes into more depth with each tip, and also greater detail about overall data center care. You can read this entry in Ken Koty's "Ken's Korner" column here.

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