Data centers are critical facilities that require regular care. An effective maintenance plan includes regular cleaning to remove built-up contamination and keep the facility looking its best. In addition, since data centers contain sensitive computer equipment, a cleaning vendor should have extensive experience and meet data center cleaning standards. As a result, it’s essential to use a qualified company that can safely clean your data center.
Experience and qualifications
The first step when choosing a vendor is to check their amount of experience. Look for companies that focus on data centers and understand their sensitivity. A qualified vendor will have several years of experience with references. Plus, qualified data center cleaning companies will also help assess and determine what cleaning services and frequencies your facility needs to meet industry standards.
Another important factor when selecting a cleaning vendor is whether they use trained personnel. Look for companies that screen and train employees on how to clean safely. Background screening will ensure that personnel is high-quality and present no risks. A professional data center cleaning company will not use temporary labor to perform work in the data center environment. Training should include making employees aware of how data centers work and the importance of following proper cleaning procedures. More importantly, experienced and knowledgeable staff should supervise cleaning personnel.
Also, look for data center cleaning companies that offer a full range of services. Qualified vendors will provide cleaning for your data center’s critical and non-critical areas. Critical cleaning is necessary because it removes harmful contaminants that disrupt servers, and non-critical cleaning keeps your facility clean and neat.
A qualified vendor should offer critical cleaning for white and gray spaces. White spaces include areas like server rooms, telecom rooms, and command centers. Gray spaces include UPS rooms, generator rooms, battery rooms, electrical rooms, mechanical rooms, and HVAC galleries. All of these areas support data processing and require periodic cleaning and decontamination. Therefore, you need a vendor who can provide all of these services.
Professional data center cleaning companies also clean non-critical areas like offices, conference rooms, break rooms, restrooms, lobbies, and loading docks. These areas require routine cleaning and disinfection. Like other buildings occupied by employees and visited by customers, data centers should also clean these areas. Finding one vendor that offers these services can help implement industry standards. Plus, a single vendor enables you to provide greater control over the quality of cleaning and saves money.
Another factor to consider when selecting is a vendor’s ability to schedule work within prescribed maintenance windows. These work windows are often limited throughout the year and after regular business hours. Professional cleaning companies that routinely work in critical facilities typically have more flexibility to meet your needs. In addition, qualified vendors schedule weeks in advance so you can plan accordingly with other scheduled maintenance.
Approved cleaning equipment
A qualified vendor will also use industry-approved equipment to clean your data center. Using the right equipment ensures that contamination is efficiently captured, removed, and not reintroduced back into your environment. For example, data center cleaning vacuums should be rated for cleanroom environments and use ULPA (Ultra-low Penetration Air) filters. A ULPA filter removes 99.999% of dust up to particles at a size of 0.12 microns. Vacuums should also be equipped with insulated motor housings to eliminate magnetic and radio frequency interference around servers. In addition, all vacuum attachments should be non-conductive to prevent static discharge around data processing equipment. Finally, all cleaning chemicals should be anti-static, non-ammoniated, and rated safe for use on high-pressure laminate floor tiles and equipment surfaces in data center environments.
Standards and certifications
Finally, a qualified data center cleaning company will meet the minimum standards of organizations like ASHRAE, American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) and the Association of Data Center Cleaning Professionals). Data center cleaning standards have been established to protect data center equipment. Therefore, the industry recommends that data centers use only professional cleaning companies. To be considered a professional data center cleaning company, vendors should meet minimum requirements. Minimum requirements include expertise, experience, employee screening and training, scheduling flexibility, and proper equipment and chemicals.
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