Thursday, 2 April 2009

Time for a Spring Clean!

If a non-IT colleague visited your computer room or data centre I bet that they would be shocked by the amount of dust and dirt in there – it’s like a 15-year olds bedroom. Thank goodness food and drink are generally banned! It is amazing that most offices are cleaner that a great number of computer rooms.

It’s a ridiculous state of affairs, when dust and dirt are probably the biggest enemies to any computer equipment. Dust and dirt clog the fans trying to cool the equipment which therefore increases the chances of overheating and subsequent failure. It gets into the CRAC units, clogging the filters and makes them run inefficiently. This leads to additional costs and CO2 emissions caused by all those fans working overtime!

Dust and dirt can be carried into the room on footwear and clothing, from inappropriate ceiling tiles and from having unsealed slabs at floor and ceiling height. Carpet and carpet tiles should never be used in a computer room environment; they harbour dust and are difficult to keep clean.

Cardboard is also often found in computer rooms. Another no-no. The dust created from opening and tearing boxes is very fine, and is attracted to the fans in you IT equipment.

So, as it’s now spring, think about a good old fashioned spring clean. It can be done for next to nothing and will improved the life of your equipment, and reduce your running costs.

Remove all cardboard, packaging, and other rubbish from your facility. Then look at removing those boxes of cables lying on the floor, the polystyrene, the CD cases from the tops of servers, and all the other debris.

Show your ops guys and gals what a hoover is, and get them using it on a regular basis. It doesn’t take long – and will make all the difference. Set up a cleaning schedule which can be added to the Ops Checklists. Install Tak-mats at the entrances. These are just the basics.

Why not consider getting in specialist cleaning company to carry out a ‘clinical clean’? Find a suitable ‘de-boxing’ area so that there is no need to take cardboard into the computer rooms.

These are all easy steps for minimal cost and can make all the difference, as well as being a more pleasant working environment.

Migration Solutions is a vendor independent computer room and data centre specialist company. As well as designing and building facilities, we operate them. We understand the importance of good housekeeping in any facility. For more information, take a look at our website at

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