The 3 crucial data center maintenance tasks that are often overlooked

Good data center maintenance is an art. Maintaining your data center properly can help you avoid millions of dollars of future headaches. Neglected data center maintenance can leave you with devastating losses and angry clients.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at three sometimes overlooked data center maintenance tasks all data center and facility managers should perform on a regular basis.

1) Cooling unit maintenance and cleaning

The cooling unit is one of the most crucial pieces of equipment in your data center. With ASHRAE temperature and humidity level tolerances being pushed further than ever, data centers are being cooled using precision cooling rather than cooling to the weakest point in the facility.

Proper cooling unit maintenance helps prevent unwanted downtime and is absolutely crucial for creating a smooth-running facility. Some of the maintenance tasks for cooling units include:

-Clean clogged air filters: Clogged air filters reduce airflow and increase loads on blower drive systems. It doesn’t take long for even a minor air filter clogging problem to affect your entire data center.

-Inspect blower belts, bearings, motors, and wheels: These crucial pieces of equipment keep your cooling equipment running. Over time, they’ll inevitably become damaged or show signs of wear and tear. In addition to regular cleaning and inspection, a good data center manager will check and adjust belt tensions every month for air handlers and CRAC unit fans using belt drive fans.

-Compressors: Check compressors for any signs of leaks. Inspect the oil level while you’re at it, as too much or too little oil can impact the service life of your compressor. If you need to adjust oil levels, make sure you use the type of oil recommended by the manufacturer (there’s a reason they recommend that specific type of oil).

By performing these tasks regularly, you can avoid having to make an emergency call to your local HVAC specialist in the middle of a summer heatwave.

2) Power maintenance

Proper power distribution and maintenance is understandably crucial for a data center. One lapse in power can cause devastating outages.

Power failures at your data center prevent communication between employees, customers, and vendors. It can also lead to the loss of enormous amounts of data.

Even data centers with backup power systems can experience power outages. Your backup power system is only effective if it’s properly maintained. When your backup power system fails to operate, you may be left exposed until replacement parts arrive – and that’s simply unacceptable for your clients.

Obviously, the goal of any data center is to have a rock-solid UPS – uninterruptable power supply – system that provides temporary backup power during brief outages. They can also help your data center survive through power events like spikes and sags.

UPS maintenance is crucial in the data center world and it’s often overlooked. Typically, UPS systems come in the form of chemical energy (like a battery) or energy of motion (like a flywheel). Regardless of which type of UPS system you have, it needs regular inspection and maintenance to ensure it’s actually going to work when the power goes out. Some tips for good UPS maintenance include:

-Schedule preventive maintenance and stick to that schedule (annual, semi-annual, or whatever you choose)

-Keep detailed records of cleaning, repairs, and replacements of certain components

-Visually inspect the area around the UPS and battery (or other energy storage) equipment for any obstructions or things that may prevent proper cooling

-Check to make sure no operating abnormalities or warnings have registered on the UPS panel (look for things like an overload or a battery near discharge)

-Check the batteries for signs of corrosion, acid wear, and other defects

-Use an infrared camera as an early warning detection system: an infrared camera can help you spot overloaded breakers and switches before they shut down

Remember: UPS components will inevitably fail over time. Just because you had a good UPS system installed ten years ago doesn’t mean that’s still a good UPS system today. Proper maintenance is crucial and often overlooked.

3) Floor maintenance

As server hardware continues to grow in scale, data center flooring has struggled to keep up. In many data centers, flooring has become weak or compromised over time due to unexpectedly heavy server loads (or just general wear and tear).

Proper floor maintenance is crucial. Some floor maintenance tasks you should be performing regularly include:

-Have your floor inspected annually by a qualified Access Floor Technician

-Rotate panels on raised floors at least once a quarter (this is particularly important in heavy traffic areas)

-Adjust grid systems twice a year to correct structural problems

-Consider installing additional support pedestals

-Inspect flooring regularly for warping or delamination, then replace immediately when found

-Replace missing flooring components – like edge trim, grounding clips, foam rubber, gaskets, and stringers – immediately

If your floor needs repairs or replacements, Sealco’s SealHoist system can come to the rescue. Sealco’s SealHoist will safely raise equipment off of the floor with no interruption in downtime. Your flooring gets replaced and repaired with the industry’s best materials and experienced technicians, and you enjoy no interruption to service. There’s absolutely zero downtime.

Order world-class cleaning and maintenance for your data center

Sealco has provided world-class cleaning and maintenance services to data centers for over 30 years. With local offices in Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Phoenix, Sealco can provide professional-grade preventive cleaning and maintenance with zero downtime.