With so many responsibilities being faced by data center management today, consistent facility cleanings can easily go overlooked. Here's why regular maintenance is a good investment for your organization and a must for any data center.
Cost Benefits of Regular Data Center Cleaning
With a global scale of 138.9 billion USD in 2020, the data industry has become one of the most prolific markets in the digital era today. Data has become such a precious resource because of the benefit it brings to successful business decision making. Still, for it to have any value, it must manage it effectively. Doing so is no small task, as data center managers have their hands full with the number of responsibilities it takes to ensure the successful maintenance of the facilities which store the 21st century's most valuable commodity.
To appreciate just how vital data center management is, we'll take a look at all it entails, as well as one critical element that often goes overlooked: regular data center cleaning. As we'll see, a data center manager's job is a critical one, and although they face many technical duties, neglecting this aspect of facility management is a financial risk they cannot afford to take.
What is Data Center Management?
As with any commodity, data must be stored, maintained, and protected to uphold its value. That process looks different for a digital resource like data, so preserving the worth of these 1s and 0s takes a particular skill set.
Enter data center management. Charged with the task of maintaining the integrity of all stored and incoming data, these digital stewards face a number of IT and technical challenges, including:
- Upgrading hardware and operating systems.
- Managing data distribution.
- Optimizing storage capacity.
- Guarding against cybersecurity and hacking threats.
- Working within the financial constraints of the data center.
- Ensuring data center best practices.
A job description as challenging as a Data Center Manager requires a combination of technical and administrative expertise. When the cost of downtime and facility maintenance, coupled with that responsibility, data center management's importance that leaves no detail overlooked quickly becomes evident.
Unfortunately, one aspect of DCM that is often neglected amidst all the security protocol and OS upgrades is thorough data center cleaning. It may sound trivial at first, but failure to implement a maintenance regimen that adheres to all data center cleaning standards can be very costly. It can have a severe impact on an organization's bottom line.
Why is Regular Data Center Cleaning Important?
Today's servers are made from electrical circuits built on the micro — and sometimes nanoscale, making them more efficient and fragile than ever. The smallest dust particle or contaminant could potentially shortcircuit entire servers, resulting in expensive downtime and perhaps resulting in the loss of massive amounts of data. Because of that, DCM's must carefully clean these data centers following the strictest guidelines, and much investment goes into ensuring their optimal performance. Here are a few statistics to explain just how much is riding on the maintenance of these facilities and how much it costs when something goes wrong.
- The average data center outage costs $8,851 per minute.
- The average data center outage time is 83.6 minutes, at a cost of $740,357 per outage.
- 11% of all outages are caused by inadequate duct and air conditioning system cleaning — 10% more than those caused by weather.
- The cost of electricity for a standard 150,000 square foot data center is $100,000 per year, much of which is used for cooling.
- 60% of available cooling is wasted due to bypass airflow, resulting in wasted electricity expenditures.
- A thorough cleaning could reduce the typical data center electric bill by up to 20–25 percent.
- The International Standard for Clean Rooms, Clean Zones, and Controlled Environments requires a maximum particle count of 3.52 million particles per square meter that may exceed 0.5 micrometers.
The high data center cleaning standards that must be met show that this type of maintenance requires a technical skill that matches the servers they protect. We've compiled a list of cleaning procedures that should be practiced in any data center. Still, the takeaway from the above numbers is twofold: First, that a data center outage is a severe financial burden to be avoided at all costs, and second, that consistent data center cleaning to prevent those outages is an investment worth making.