There’s no doubt that many of today’s working data centers are a far cry from the stock images we see of perfectly clean rows of racks filled with immaculate servers and neatly wound cabling. But since real data centers are constantly under pressure to do more with less, setting data center cleaning standards and putting in place other best practices to maintain their operational efficiency are too often forgotten in the rush to meet day-to-day challenges.
But with organizations strategically depending more and more on quick, reliable access to their and their clients’ data, delaying data center cleaning and the establishment of best practices to support efficiency is clearly no longer a gamble any smart administrator wants to take. After all, in 2016 alone, the average cost to a business that suffered an unplanned data center failure was in excess of $700,000 — and these were instances where the median breakdown lasted only a little over 90 minutes!
Data Center Standards Best Practices
To help you prioritize which specific steps to take to bolster your data center’s reliability and efficiency, we’ve put together this list of the top five things you can do:
1. Clean Up Your Space
If your data center is looking more like an electronic dump of old servers waiting to be decommissioned, it’s time to clean up your physical space.
Start by getting all the equipment that’s not being used or that’s past its useful lifecycle out of there. Of course, remember that whether you’re looking to consolidate your present equipment or make room for new equipment, it’s also important to thoroughly erase all data from the old equipment you’re either destroying, recycling or returning to the manufacturer. This is when working with a data destruction specialist can prove to be a prudent move.
2. Best Practices to Clean Up Your Data
Beyond cleaning up your space, you also need to establish best practices for your data hygiene. This is defined by the International Data Sanitization Consortium as the ongoing process of classifying and migrating appropriately all duplicate, incorrect and unused data. Once put in place, a process of good data hygiene can help reduce the total amount of data you need to manage and help you better focus your efforts and resources.
3. Clean Up Compliance
For data centers that handle anything from electronic health records that need to be HIPAA-compliant to clients’ financial information that must meet privacy and transparency regulations found in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, cleaning up your compliance standards can go a long way toward improving your reliability and efficiency — especially when audits and other industry checks occur.
4. Optimize Data Center Cooling
With so much riding on the reliable operation of your equipment, establishing best practices for efficiently cooling the operating environment is a step you don’t want to delay. From optimizing your air conditioning systems to containing, funneling and even reusing exhaust heat, robust environmental controls make sense and can greatly reduce energy costs.
5. Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM)
With all the other steps in place, the best way to monitor and refine your data center’s efficient operation is to use DCIM software. This is specifically designed to give you insights into the relationship between your IT equipment and the physical space that houses it.
Cleaning Data Centers? Get DataSpan to Help.
As a company certified by the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID) and fully compliant with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and a host of other data handling regulations and standards, DataSpan can help you choose which efficiency steps are most important to institute to prevent any unplanned interruptions in your service.
Why wait for an emergency to occur when DataSpan can keep you running? Learn more about our data center cleaning, management and destruction services. Contact us today.