Advantages of Factory-Built Power Whips

Advantages of factory-built power whips are significant for data center operators. Since power whips are a vital component in distributing power to data center servers, it’s important to ensure they are reliable and cost-effective. Historically, power whips were built onsite by contractors, which can be time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. 

Fortunately, factory-built power whips are now available as a less expensive and higher-quality alternative to building power cables onsite. Understanding the differences between factory-built versus site-built power cables can help you make the best choice.

The Importance of Power Whips 

Power whips distribute electricity to computer servers in cabinets across the data center. Because power whips vary in length and power load, they are custom-made to the required specifications.  Thus, making power whips is a vital but potentially expensive part of operating a data center. 

Factory-built power whips offer significant advantages over site-built power cables. They are less expensive, take less time to assemble, and provide higher-quality assemblies built by contractors. 

Reduce the Cost of Power Whips

Using factory-built power whips is one way to cut costs in your data center without sacrificing the quality and safety of operations. If you purchase power whips from an original equipment manufacturer, you can reduce the cost of ownership by 30-40%. In addition, you can increase vendor diversity and save money by eliminating intermediaries who inflate expenses. 

Save Time on Assembling and Installing Power Whips

Saving time is often equally as important as reducing costs, and purchasing factory-built power whips can accelerate the process from beginning to end. With customer support available to process quotes, purchase orders, and tracking requests, you can receive a quote in 24 hours or less and reduce order turnaround time to less than 48 hours. 

In addition, an assembly line shortens production time, getting the product into your hands as quickly as possible. Factory-built power whips contrast significantly to having power whips constructed on-site, which can be delayed by many factors, including unavailable or insufficient workers, poor planning, and missing materials. 

Improve the Quality of Your Power Whips

Data centers store and process critical information for businesses, and downtime can be financially devastating. It’s therefore essential to use high-quality products like factory-built power whips. They have custom labeling, protected with clear heat shrink, to simplify and accelerate installation processes. In addition, the components are from name-brand companies that build in the United States. Most importantly, all components are UL listed, meaning they have undergone rigorous testing. When you purchase factory-built rather than on-site whips, the concern about finding high-quality materials is taken out of your hands, ensuring you get the best possible product for your money.

Standardize Your Power Whips

Businesses, particularly those with multiple sites, sometimes work with various contractors to build and install power whips. As a result, there is little to no standardization of components or labeling. 

When you purchase factory-built power whips, they will be standardized in terms of: 

  • Components
  • Colors
  • Receptacles
  • Labels
  • Testing

Standardization ensures you build power whips with equivalent specifications across all your data centers. It also simplifies maintenance or repairs in the future. 

Improve the Quality Assurance of Power Whips

Factory-built power whips and power circuits undergo quality assurance tests, including: 

  • HIPOT testing to ensure no arcing or shorting of any conductor within the cable
  • Load bank testing to mimic the maximum load in your data center 
  • Camera detection to ensure proper wire gauge and phasing 

These and other quality control and testing measures can alleviate stress about the product’s dependability. 

Factory-Built Power Whips are More Convenient

Using factory-built rather than site-built power whips is also far more convenient. You will save time by having access to: 

  • A one-stop shop for the power whips and circuit breakers needed at all of your sites
  • Site-specific customizations, which are kept on file for future orders
  • Order templates for a faster turnaround on quotes and large orders 
  • Centralized customer support through all phases, including program development, implementation, and any ongoing needs

Ultimately, purchasing factory-built power whips is far more accessible and streamlined with consistent pricing than on-site production. In other words, factory-built whips help your business save time and money. 

Power whips will continue playing a central role in the efficient and reliable operation of data centers. Working with a custom cable builder that assembles in a controlled factory environment helps create a reliable, efficient, and safe data center that best serves your organization’s needs. In addition, purchasing factory-built power whips is an excellent option to reduce costs and the amount of time it takes to assemble, order, and install power whips. 

ProSource is a leading data center maintenance product and service provider that provides custom factory-built data center power whips. Visit ProSource online at www.team-prosource.com  for more information or call (888) 247-0986. You can also get an online power whips quote based on your specific needs at https://www.team-prosource.com/power-cable-quote-request/.

Preventive Maintenance Standards for Data Centers

When it comes to data protection, many people think of encryption and ransomware detection but fail to consider data center preventive maintenance. Unfortunately, even the most sophisticated data center will fail if the physical space isn’t properly maintained. 

Data loss and downtime can cost companies thousands if not millions of dollars. To avoid them, it’s important to understand the necessary steps to keep a data center running smoothly. 

Why Preventive Maintenance Matters

Preventive maintenance is essential for the long-term success of a data center facility. Critical hardware requires a constant supply of power, appropriate temperatures, a lack of dust, and protection from natural disasters like fires.

When a data center fails, it can have devastating consequences. In 2020, the Uptime Institute surveyed IT managers and found that the majority of data center outages had cost more than $100,000, and nearly a third of respondents reported costs at or above $1 million. Fortunately, outages can often be prevented with planning and regular maintenance. 

Systems that Require Preventive Maintenance

Data centers rely on the same systems as other facilities, but special attention must be paid to their condition. If even one of these systems is improperly maintained, it can lead to hardware failure. 

HVAC

Data centers run on servers, which generate significant heat. For this reason, HVAC maintenance is of the utmost importance. 

A few key steps can optimize HVAC system performance, preventing outages and reducing energy costs. 

  • Perform recommended preventive maintenance for HVAC air handlers, including cleaning coils to achieve energy efficiency.
  • Consistently change filters to prevent dust accumulation.
  • Schedule preventive maintenance for chillers, including checking for leaks, oil and pressure levels, and electrical components.
  • Regularly inspect equipment for the buildup of limescale or other deposits. 
  • Inspect the subfloor plenum to look for problems that could interfere with the HVAC system’s ability to function.
  • Look for and clean any dust or debris accumulations under or around the air conditioning unit.

While it’s impossible to prevent every HVAC failure, a maintenance schedule helps detect and fix minor issues that could become big problems. 

Floors

Raised floors make room for expansive systems of cables and wiring and allow for sufficient airflow and cooling. Data center raised flooring preventive maintenance includes annual inspections to ensure that they are structurally sound, replacement of warped or delaminated panels, and rotating panels in high-traffic areas. 

In addition, raised floor cleaning is essential. This includes daily vacuuming to remove dust and debris. You should also schedule professional quarterly cleaning of the raised floor and subfloor plenum cleaning at least twice a year. 

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)

Failed power systems are one of the most frequently cited causes of data center downtime and data loss.  Unfortunately, many businesses experience UPS failure because they have not maintained and serviced the system properly. 

To avoid a potential power outage, it’s vital that you perform preventive maintenance for UPS systems, including: 

  • Monitoring battery life 
  • Conducting physical inspections 
  • Testing capacitors 
  • Calibrating equipment

Even if your UPS system has never been used, the battery life will still diminish over time. Continue to perform preventive maintenance for battery backup systems regardless of how frequently they have been used.

Generators

Generators are also key to protecting a data center in the event of power loss. There is a long list of tasks for preventive maintenance for generators and diesel fuel, but some of the most important ones are: 

  • Monitoring oil and coolant levels and inspecting for leaks
  • Inspecting exhaust pipes and air filters
  • Checking the fuel supply level and refueling when necessary

Well-maintained generators can mean the difference between a lengthy period of downtime and an operational data center. 

Fire Protection

Although data center fires are rare, it is worth the effort and expense to ensure that your business is properly protected from them. No matter what sort of system you choose to install, preventive maintenance for fire detection and suppression measures is critical. 

Among the tasks you will need to complete are maintaining your sprinklers, verifying the functionality of fire alarms, testing smoke detectors, and ensuring that all fire extinguishers are in working order. 

Cleaning

While many elements of a preventive maintenance plan may occur annually or every six months, you should have a daily routine for data center cleaning preventive maintenance. 

More specifically, your routine should focus on eliminating contaminants like dust and ferrous metal. If left unchecked, they can cause disk errors, overheating, and server failures. 

Basic daily cleaning significantly improves the stability of your data center hardware. This, in turn, helps avoid service interruptions, which can be extremely detrimental to any business’s long-term success. 

Seeking Maintenance and Cleaning Services

Properly maintaining your data center might seem like an overwhelming prospect, but there are resources available to help. You can partner with third-party providers for each of your data center’s systems and rely on the expertise of professional data center cleaners

While maintenance and cleaning may seem like an unnecessary investment, in reality, they save significant amounts of money by preventing data loss and downtimes. 

Sources

“Uptime Institute Releases 3rd Annual Outage Analysis” Uptime Institute

“Controlling Data Centers’ Air Pollution, Environmental Control to Ensure Equipment, Systems Reliability” ASHRAE

About the author: Kama Offenberger’s first writing position was at a chain of community radio stations where she wrote promotions, public service announcements, technical manuals, scripts, and news stories. She was then an English instructor for fifteen years and has written articles in the field of higher education. Kama has also worked as a ghostwriter in many different areas, including personal biographies, technology, real estate, entertainment, and home improvement. 

A Guide To Data Center Cleaning

A guide to data center cleaning is essential because it is considered vital maintenance as recommended by computer hardware manufacturers and industry associations like ASHRAE. In addition, data center cleaning is crucial because it improves the reliability of computer servers. Removing built-up dust contamination through routine cleaning prevents potential downtime. Experts recommend data center cleaning to enhance equipment reliability and avoid unwanted disruptions.

Contamination sources and effects

Hidden contamination is often overlooked and builds up over time in data centers. If left unchecked, contamination can cause servers to fail. This type of disruption can result in lost revenues and unnecessary expenses.

Contamination sources include fine dust, fibers, and ferrous metal that naturally accumulate inside data centers. However, these contaminants are often overlooked because they are hidden under raised floors. As a result, contamination builds over time and may migrate inside servers through the cooling system. Effects of contamination on servers include thermal failure, short circuits, and inter-connect failures.

Prevention and control of contamination

Planned maintenance cleanings can prevent and control contamination buildup to avoid risks to equipment. In addition, routine cleaning can remove harmful particulates and avoid migration into equipment. As a result, a regular cleaning program is considered essential maintenance.

Industry standards and recommendations

Data center cleaning standards recommend cleaning the subfloor, raised floor, equipment, and monitoring contamination. First, subfloors should be cleaned at least once per year to minimize risks. Next, Raised floors should be thoroughly cleaned at least four times per year to restore and prolong life. Finally, equipment should also be cleaned at least four times per year to remove contaminants. Airborne particle counts should also be taken at least once per year during the subfloor cleaning.

What to look for in a vendor

Use qualified vendors with trained employees. Get customer references from other data centers to confirm their experience and quality of work. Look for industry certifications like ADCCP or an equivalent organization that meets ASHRAE guidelines. Ensure they use the proper equipment like cleanroom ULPA-filtered vacuums to ensure quality. Also, look for vendors with scheduling flexibility and coverage that meet your needs.

Case study

A large data center experienced downtime due to a contamination-related event. Contamination was generated from a misaligned belt assembly in an air handler that supplied cooling to the server room. The issue went unnoticed because small particles accumulated over time in hidden areas under the floor and inside servers. This resulted in several days of downtime and business interruption with thousands of dollars in lost revenue and avoidable expenses. Instead of preventing this incident with routine cleaning, the company spent several weeks removing contamination from the subfloor and internal server components.

For more information please visit our website at www.team-prosource.com.

Data Center Disinfection

The importance of disinfecting your data center

Data center disinfection protects against the spread of the coronavirus. Understanding coronaviruses and how they spread is critical in developing a plan to protect employees and customers at your facility.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses discovered in the 1960s but commonly found in animals and not typically transmitted to humans until recently. Six strains of coronavirus were previously known to be capable of transmission to humans before COVID-19, the most well-known being SARS-CoV. These were responsible for outbreaks in 2003, and MERS-CoV was responsible for an outbreak in 2012. However, COVID-19 is a more contagious coronavirus and quickly spread among humans.

What are the symptoms of human coronavirus?

Human coronavirus usually causes mild to moderate upper respiratory illness, similar to a common cold. The symptoms often include a runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and fever. Most people contract the illness at some point in their lives. However, it usually only lasts for a short time. However, sometimes coronavirus can cause lower respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. This is more common in infants, the elderly, or individuals with weakened immune systems. In some severe cases, such as COVID-19, the virus can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, pneumonia, kidney failure, and death.

How are coronaviruses spread?

Coronaviruses are typically spread through the air via coughing or sneezing or contact with an infected person or contaminated surface. SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have initially spread from animals to humans, but there is growing evidence of person-to-person transmission. This pattern of transmission was also reported with SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

Recommended infection control measures

The CDC provides helpful guidance and resources relating to the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, including infection control measures:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid contact with infected individuals as much as possible.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects with an EPA-registered disinfectant.
  • The CDC recommends that individuals confirmed or suspected to have COVID-19 should wear a mask, and healthcare workers should use eye protection. Both contact and airborne precautions should be implemented in addition to standard precautions.

For more information, refer to the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

Recommended services for data centers

There are two recommended services for data center facilities to help reduce the incidence and spread of COVID-19. First, disinfectants should be manually applied using a treated cloth by hand-wiping affected surfaces. Hand-wiping frequently touches surfaces like workstations, telephones, keyboards, light switches, and door handles. Hand-wiping surfaces are recommended for areas inside server rooms, so disinfectants are not swept into equipment through the room’s airflow. Many experts now recommend disinfecting high-touch surfaces as a regular cleaning program.

For areas outside server rooms, like office areas, disinfectants may be applied using electrostatic sprayers. Electrostatic sprayers provide better coverage to surfaces at a much faster rate. Electrostatic spraying is often deployed when an outbreak has occurred across a large building or campus area, and speed is needed to get the facility reopened to employees and customers.

Use a professional data center cleaning company.

Look for a professional data center cleaning company that offers disinfection cleaning services as part of their services. Ask for details about the cleaning procedures and disinfectants your cleaning vendor plans to use inside your data center. Developing a disinfection program as part of routine cleaning is recommended for best results. Also, a qualified data center cleaning vendor will provide emergency response services when an outbreak occurs.

ProSource Technical Services is a certified data center cleaning company with over twenty-five years of experience working with mission-critical facilities across the United States.

For more information please visit our website at www.team-prosource.com.

The Importance of Server Cabinet Cleaning

Server cabinet cleaning is essential for an effective data center maintenance program and provides several benefits. Regular cleaning prevents contamination build-up and optimizes airflow. In addition, many server manufacturers recommend a clean environment for the best performance. Therefore, the industry recommends routine cleaning as a best practice for data center cabinets.

Contamination increases risks to servers.

Contamination includes dust, ferrous metal, and other harmful contaminants. If left unchecked, the cooling system will sweep contamination up into the airflow that cools equipment. Once contamination becomes airborne, it passes through the internal components of servers during cooling. In addition, electronic devices attract dust and remain inside servers. As a result, the build-up of these contaminants over time poses serious threats. However, the regular cleaning of the subfloor and cabinets helps prevent dust build-up by removing contamination using special vacuums designed for data center environments.

Cleaning prevents contamination build-up.

Cleaning server cabinets improve equipment reliability by ensuring airflow is free of contaminants. Dust build-up occurs over time. Problems arise when too much accumulation occurs inside servers. These problems include disk errors that may cause intermittent failures or permanently damage internal components. Even though equipment failures occur for many reasons, cleaning helps reduce the risk.

Cleaning optimizes airflow efficiency

Cleaning also optimizes airflow efficiency in servers. Another benefit is that equipment remains free from dust build-up on the intake and exhaust openings. Dust accumulation restricts airflow on intake and exhaust openings. Restricted openings reduce the volume of airflow entering and exiting the server. As a result, less airflow means higher internal temperatures. Therefore, routine cleaning ensures optimal airflow and cooling efficiency.

Utilize a professional data center cleaning vendor

Always utilize an experienced data center cleaning professional to perform this type of maintenance. Vendors who specialize in cleaning data center environments use the proper vacuums and processes to safely and effectively clean your equipment. Server cabinet cleaning should be part of a preventive maintenance program that includes cleaning of the subfloor, raised floor, and cabinets. We recommend that clients clean their cabinets at least once per year at a minimum. However, for best results, server cabinets should be cleaned quarterly.

For more information, please visit our website at www.team-prosource.com.