Of course you want your colocation provider’s data center to be clean, but what does that mean? In a place where even a tiny bit of debris can lead to problems, making and keeping such a data center clean can sometimes seem on par with working in an OR. One of the leaders in data center cleaning, Spec-Clean, recently boasted about the completion of a major data center clean in Waltham, Massachusetts for an anonymous client that is a leading telecom company. Spec-Clean doesn’t just take care of cleaning data centers, but that is one of their specialties. The company also serves other “mission critical environments” such as computer rooms.
In the Waltham cleanup, Spec-Clean was bustled in because the data center had not been cleaned in “several years.” Unfortunately, this isn’t uncommon for many enterprise data centers. Just like it is easy to put your own spring cleaning on the back burner, when you are in charge of a mega data center, things can easily look “clean enough.”
Spick and Span
Spec-Clean revealed that during the initial consultation, it was clear that there were many contaminants throughout the data center—in fact, nearly no area was actually clean. The cleaning experts noted that this resulted in an environment that threatens the many pieces of sensitive equipment in the center. However, a dirty data center isn’t just a threat to equipment in the actual room. Dirt and contaminants can spread to surrounding floors and rooms.
In this particular data center, the supposedly white tiles were actually a yellow and brown stained mess. The cleaners say the tiles looked very old, and in the subfloor the dust buildup was incredible. According to the experts, “extensive downtime” could happen at any moment and the telecom company was riding on luck alone that nothing had shut down their systems yet. It is also important to bear in mind that such a dirty environment isn’t just dangerous for the equipment. It can also stir up allergens, asthma attacks and general “feeling ill” vibes from the workers and visitors.
Spec-Clean’s plan of action—or plan of attack in this case—started with an intense cleaning in the subfloor. Special HEPA certified filtration vacuums were used throughout, with care being taken on the actual equipment. An overall deep cleaning commenced above the floors. In total, it took nine weeks to properly clean this data center, but it certainly isn’t a record-holding clean for the company. Once complete, Spec-Clean guaranteed to the telecom company that there were zero contaminants. However, this isn’t a once and done process, and the telecom company will have to keep up with regular cleanings.
According to the president of Spec-Clean, Rich DeBlasi, “Our goal is to eliminate anxieties and risk in critical facilities that could lead to a significant downtime even. Because mission critical equipment is constantly at risk and has a higher threat of downtime due to the presence of a range of contaminants, Spec-Clean is dedicated to both immediate or emergent concerns, as well as proactive planning for the optimum operations of mission critical environments.” Based in Brookfield, Connecticut, Spec-Clean is an industry leader but there are fantastic, specialized cleaning companies located around the world.
What to Look for in a Cleaner
If you own or manage a data center, securing expert technicians who prioritize eco-friendly strategies is key. If you rely on a colocation provider, make sure they keep up with routine maintenance, which includes cleaning. This is one of the many perks of choosing a local, Utah-based colocation provider: You can visit their actual data center and see for yourself how spiffy the environment is. Otherwise, you are largely taking a provider on their word.
Cleanliness is next to uptime, and it is crucial that your colocation provider keep things clean and contaminant-free. It does not matter how great the equipment is if it’s laden with dust. Clients deserve better, and data centers need regular care to offer a sanitized, optimal environment.