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Saving Money and Preventing Headaches with Preventative Data Center Maintenance

Uptime in a mission critical Data Center is paramount, as all owners and operators of these critical facilities understand. Any break in services means lost revenue and, if the downtime is unplanned or the result of a crisis, can mean loss of reputation and customers. With 24/7 operations, it may be tempting to put off regular maintenance tasks, especially those that require shutting down the power—like required servicing of electrical equipment. In fact, since many failures are attributable to power interruptions and failed backup batteries and systems, routine Preventative Maintenance is what keeps your Data Center fully operational.

Creating a Preventative Maintenance Program

A well-planned maintenance program has a few key elements that ensure mission critical uptime and that your equipment is operating optimally. In addition to avoiding downtime, regular maintenance ensures equipment is operating as efficiently as possible, saving on power costs.

Critical systems

Identify critical operational areas to ensure that each part of the Data Center—power and backup, cooling, fire suppression, and computing equipment—has a unique and appropriate maintenance and cleaning schedule.

Scheduling

Schedule regular maintenance, based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and your individual situation, including geography and usage. Those Data Centers in climates with a hot summer, for example, may plan quarterly maintenance on cooling equipment or ensure that annual maintenance takes place before the hottest part of the year.

Checklist

Using recommended maintenance activities, modified for your own situation, use or create a standardized checklist for each device or system, to ensure that each element is reviewed and addressed with each maintenance check.

Safety

Ensure that any maintenance is done with safety in mind—for both the staff conducting the work and to protect the equipment. This may include shutting down power to avoid electrocution or fire hazard or using only approved chemicals or solvents for use around sensitive equipment with proper protective measures.

Also, make sure that staff performing maintenance have experience with the device or system they are working on and are well-versed in the health and safety processes and procedures.

Documentation

Keep track in a central location, using a computerized maintenance management system or other system. This enables you to document all maintenance and repair procedures, planned or unplanned, and to see a complete picture of the device or system. An advantage of documentation is that it often identifies chronic issues in equipment and devices, giving you the chance to fix them before they cause significant downtime, and replace items as they near the end of their useful life.

An established Preventative Maintenance program has many benefits and ensures that your Data Center and all its parts are functioning properly. In the long run, addressing issues before they become problems saves you money and time, and enables you to provide your clients with the best service possible. Learn how Data Specialties can help you set up a Preventative Maintenance Program.

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