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Human Error and Data Center Maintenance

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The most underrated force that leads to downtime or inefficiency in the data center is personnel. Even when systems are functioning optimally human error can lead to unexpected consequences due to carelessness or forgetfulness. As systems become more automated and self reliant the human factor is stronger than ever in the reasons why downtime is experienced. There are some considerations that should be made in how to manage human error in the data center and reduce downtime associated with it.


Proper documentation in a task mannered step by step checklist is a great way to reduce risks associated with routine tasks. Even the most experienced IT worker may fall out of step if procedures become too visceral, leaving room for mistakes that result in downtime. This is why it’s critical that guidelines are made for all tasks, in order to ensure that there is reference for anyone who needs it, especially in emergency situations or to rectify a mistake. All equipment, should be labeled properly and diagrams drawn up to ensure procedures can be followed without unneeded time to find the referenced items or areas said in documentation. At a bare minimum critical items such as the emergency off and switching devices should be labeled.

Training and Consistent Policy

Training personnel to follow a standard set of practices within the business is essential for those with access to the facility or data systems. All personnel should be familiar with essential equipment in order to avoid an unexpected shutdown as even with proper documentation carelessness or lack of understanding of importance of systems can lead to mistakes. Security should be tight with a sign in policy that requires observation of non-essential personnel not just to protect the equipment, but to ensure nothing is inadvertently damaged. As with any electronics liquids and foods are a huge risk on a daily basis and should be kept away from any rooms with critical equipment, proper signage should be in place and this policy should be enforced thoroughly.




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