Any business or organization that relies on data for any part of its success should take data center maintenance seriously. It should be front and center on any CEO’s or president’s list of necessary functions for the organization. If this is not given the proper support and focus nor properly executed, the effect of any loss of data could be catastrophic in multiple ways, including financially. Some of the key components that need to be checked and maintained regularly include energy generators, UPS systems, HVAC infrastructure, batteries, breakers, switches and components, PDUs and ATS. In addition, IR scans should undergo routine performance and checks as part of an overall data center maintenance program and plan.
A data center manager should follow a few basic steps in ensuring proper maintenance. This starts with fully defining the goals of the program, what information needs to be protected, what is considered “appropriate” downtime and more. Setting up a procedure for documenting all activity is a critical step. In the event of any problem, having the ability to go back later and try to identify where a problem was introduced can help tremendously in the effort to prevent the same or similar situations in the future. Similarly, if things have been going well, it is equally important to be able to identify the processes and steps that are making that happen in order ot continue them.
Data center maintenance also is best done when many tasks are performed routinely. Setting up regular intervals for different steps helps to avoid the problem of something getting forgotten and not done which has a greater chance of leading to an outage or other downtime than if it had been addressed in a timely fashion. Data center managers should make sure that overall company management is aware of the plans and actual events. This helps them to understand the parameters and also be more willing to help spend necessary dollars to increase data center management efforts because they understand the overall landscape and situation.
A map of the data center can be very helpful. Having an inventory of all components of the data center connected to a schedule of who checks what when and how, goes a long way toward ensuring no balls are dropped or nothing falls through the cracks. Every single component from servers to power cords is important in the efficient operation of the data center. In order to deliver the utmost in uptime or lowest occurrence of data loss, data center maintenance needs to be one hundred percent thorough. It also needs to ensure that every task has an identified owner with a good set of priorities. When every team member knows his or her responsibilities clearly, you have a better chance of making sure they will actually get done.
When creating a data center maintenance plan, do not forget to follow all safety guidelines. There are many hazards in a data center world as electricity abounds and is at the center of all operations. Also, it is important to make sure that all personnel understand safety codes and processes in order to make the workplace safe and hazard free for all. Following these few basic parameters will help make sure that a data center is well equipped to provide the services it is needed for.