Data center maintenance is the inspection, testing, cleaning, monitoring, and repairing of data center systems.
Data center managers should employ an effective maintenance strategy to ensure the availability of critical systems, protect the data center from unplanned outages, and reduce repairs and downtime-related costs.
The components of an effective maintenance strategy include:
- Visual inspection. Data center managers should frequently inspect systems and equipment to ensure efficient operation. This may include daily inspections of fuel levels, air and water temperature, humidity, and much more.
- Cleaning. Maintaining cleanliness in a data center protects systems from common external threats such as fires, contaminants, and power failure. A general cleaning routine can include filter changes, sweeping, cleaning racks, and removing dust.
- Testing. Continuous testing of systems ensures efficient operations within the defined parameters and allows for potential problems to be recognized and solutions to be put to action. Traditional testing may include load testing and fail-over testing to prevent system failure.
- Reporting and monitoring. Measurements, reports, and other analysis tools can help identify trends and changes within the system infrastructure that can determine if a repair or replacement is needed.
- Repairs. Corrective maintenance involves the repairing and replacing of faulty parts. This may include tightening nuts and bolts or replacing bearings and motors to ensure the reliability of system operations.
The Importance of a Lifecycle Strategy
Without a proper maintenance strategy, the IT infrastructure may experience more downtime than anticipated, which can be costly both financially as well as in terms of the organization’s reputation. A lifestyle strategy works in conjunction with a maintenance strategy and includes both preventive and predictive measures to boost the lifecycle of data center equipment.
The components of an effective lifecycle strategy include:
- Replacing before failure. Many systems are intended to be replaced after a certain period where their usefulness has expired. Neglecting to replace this equipment increases the likeliness of failure and unplanned downtime.
- Rotation. Similar to replacement, some components of a data center are to be rotated according to an established schedule in order to ensure efficient performance.
- Replacement after failure. Inevitably, equipment may fail due to a variety of unforeseen external factors. It is important that these failures are recognized during the maintenance strategy process so that the equipment can be replaced. Speedy replacement ensures that other critical systems are not interrupted or damaged as a result of an incomplete facility.
Simplify Data Center Maintenance with DCIM Software
Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is used to track, manage, and monitor the components of a data center. Some ways DCIM software facilitates an effective data center maintenance strategy include:
- Monitoring, trending, and alerting on power and environment to be the first to know of potential issues and ensure data center health.
- Providing accurate views of all data center assets including servers, network, storage, racks, rack PDUs, patch panels, structured cabling, patch cabling, UPSs, busways, branch circuits, and parts like modules, cards, and even boxes of screws to ensure spares are available.
- Recording the relationships and connectivity between equipment, which allows data center managers to determine which systems may be affected by a particular maintenance issue.
- Quickly provisioning new equipment, which boosts the efficiency of the replacement process and therefore improves uptime.
- Remote 3D visualization that enables you to see your data center and visualize live measured readings from power and environmental sensors, so you don’t have to physically visit the site.
- Tracking the available capacity of key resources such as space, power, cooling, and port connections.
Want to see how Sunbird's world-leading DCIM software makes it easy for you to maintain your data center? Get your free test drive now!