When hiring a third-party data center cleaning company to keep your organization’s data center clean, it’s important to do your research. Data centers are controlled environments with specialized equipment that must be properly maintained to protect your organization’s bottom line, your customers’ information, and more. Failure to employ adequately trained resources to keep your data center up to par could have serious and far-reaching repercussions.
What Happens If Those Who Clean Your Data Center Aren’t Properly Trained
If you hire a cleaning service without specific training on how to maintain data centers, you run several risks. Your data center equipment could easily be damaged if your cleaning crew doesn’t understand the need to limit water in the data center or if they use the wrong cleaning products. They may not know to remove the raised floor and clean the sub-floor beneath, and if debris builds up on that sub-floor, the plenum could cease to cool the data center properly and cause unnecessary downtime.
In a nutshell, if the cleaning service you hire to maintain your data center isn’t properly trained, you run several costly risks. Your equipment could be damaged. Malfunctions could happen that can negatively impact your bottom line and your company’s reputation. People could even be hurt if proper precautions aren’t taken when removing floor tiles or spilling water on high-tech equipment. It’s important to ensure everyone who enters your data center understands the sensitivity of the environment and behaves appropriately.
Questions to Vet Your Data Center Cleaning Service
To help ensure the company you hire to clean your data center environment knows what they’re doing, here are a few questions you can ask:
1. Does your cleaning equipment and supplies comply with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards?
LEED is the industry standard for green building initiatives. Ensuring the products used in your data center are compliant with those standards will not only limit your impact on the environment, it will limit the debris brought into your controlled environment and the residue left behind by your products.
2. What do you know about data centers?
This is a basic but important question. If your cleaning service providers don’t know common causes or costs of data center failures, the hazards of dust and debris, sources of contamination, or even what a data center is, they won’t be able to effectively serve your needs.
3. How would you go about cleaning my data center?
This is another seemingly basic but very telling question. There’s a logical sequence to data center cleaning. There’s a difference between full cleaning and maintenance cleaning. There are special areas of data centers that need cleaned, like the sub-floor. Ask this question to make sure the cleaning crew you're hiring is aware of these nuances.
4. What security precautions do you take?
Data centers exist to house sensitive and important information. Plus, they’re high-tech, complex environments. Many security and safety risks exist — from physical to data-related. Anyone who enters your data center needs to be aware of the risks and how to best avoid any damaging behavior.
The questions above will go a long way toward identifying whether your data center cleaning service is qualified to clean your controlled environment, but they certainly aren’t all-encompassing. If you need more help identifying all the special skills a data center cleaning company needs to have to meet your needs, we’ve put together a free Data Center Cleaning Guide that outlines the high points of everything you need to know. Download it today to avoid unnecessary risks to your sensitive equipment, customer information, and organizational effectiveness.