Related to cleaning, as mentioned on the front page, specialized maintenance is required for most data centers due to the fragile and sensitive nature of much of the equipment in them. For example, if you are having the center cleaned, there are certain precautions the cleaners must take in order not to introduce static or chemicals into equipment that can harm computer boards, disk drives, etc.
You are much better served to hire companies that specialize in this kind of cleaning. See the home page for a little more detailed analysis of this.
In the current landscape, downtime is enormously costly given how dependent businesses have become on their IT infrastructure. Plus it can cause untold damage to its customers equipment and reputations. Many collocation facilities host customers whose systems are customer-facing, meaning the customers interact directly with these systems to order, shop, etc. Downtime means the customer base is lost for the duration.
Next to capacity management and human error, poor maintenance is the next largest contributor to a data centers downtime.
Some different types of maintenance should be looked at by prospective customers before signing up with and data center or collocation facility. They are listed in no particular order.
- The site should have a schedule for regular testing including load testing, infrared, and fail-over testing.
- The site should perform regular preventive maintenance on machinery like generators that require such maintenance.
- The site should perform regular inspections, including some daily, of equipment and systems to insure smooth functioning. These would include fuel levels, plenum pressures, water level and temperatures, and even lifting floor tiles to inspect below for water or other issues.
- When it is time to replace or even repair certain components of the system, corrective maintenance should be performed including replacement of bearings, fans, valves, and even leaks.
Proactively investigating and addressing issues before they become problems is a huge step in the right direction to insure it is a high quality data center.