Monday, 17 August 2009

Box in Box in Box

Cardboard, bubblewrap, parcel tape, foam padding, plastic strapping. In IT there is excessive packaging with every item purchased. A keyboard will come in 3 boxes covered in tape and surrounded by foam. The Register recently reported about a delivery of a standard PS2 Mouse to a reader from HP which was the only item strapped to a pallet. Excessive? I think so! They also reported another reader's delivery from HP of 32 pages of information. Each 2 sheets was wrapped in foam and enclosed in its own box. These 16 boxes in turn were in a larger box. Is it all really necessary??

There is a serious point to be made though. 6-10% of all IT equipment failures in Data Centres are solely caused by dust. Cardboard dust is the worst dust as it is very fine. It gets sucked into servers by the fans where it settles. This makes the fans work harder to cool the equipment as the dust reduces airflows and the fans create more heat as a result. The cooling plant must cool a higher temperature driving up power costs.

Many facilities have dedicated de-box rooms so that cardboard never enters the operational floor, but 90% of these rooms are ignored and people unpack equipment in the facility and use any spare space for storage. A number of facilities that Migration Solutions has visited has had boxes, clothes, furniture and food on the live floor to name a few! The design of a facility makes it easier for staff to keep to tidy habits and maintain a clean environment, but it is up to the Data Centre Manager to ensure that these standards are adhered to by the entire workforce. A well run facility will as a result be a clean and efficient facility.

Migration Solutions created ERA, an environmental report and assessment to look at Data Centres and Computer Rooms and investigate what improvements could be made to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Cardboard dust cropped up on many ERAs that were undertaken which greatly effects the efficiency of a Data Centre. Over 150 points are assessed in an ERA which provide Data Centre Managers a great incite into the health of their facility, and a selection of free, small cost and large cost suggestion on how to improve efficiency and save money. For more information vist

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