The Dangers of a Dirty Data Center

November 1, 2019

It’s an unfortunate fact that data centers collect significant amounts of dirt. Dirt particles are carried in on the shoes and clothing of personnel or through ventilation systems, and contamination may accelerate due to nearby construction sites or natural disasters. Over time, dirt particles can collect on hardware, walls, floors, subfloors and the ceiling.

A dirty data center poses a particular danger to both the equipment and staff members. Here are the top three risks associated with dust in data centers, and the cleaning procedures that companies use to address them.

1. Equipment Downtime

Dust particles that collect in a data center may carry an electrostatic charge. Even small voltages can lead to problems with sensitive data center hardware. Electrically charged dust particles can cause signal disturbances, data losses, short circuits and power failures, compromising not only the hardware but important data.

If a data center is exceptionally dirty due to infrequent cleaning, dust may prevent fans from functioning efficiently and lead to overheating and extended downtime.

Downtime is one of the biggest dangers of a dirty data center. Downtime interrupts business and costs North American companies $700 billion every year. Though dirt isn’t the only cause of downtime, it’s certainly one factor. Using data center cleaning best practices could help you reduce downtime and cut losses.

2. Data Center Fires

When dust particles end up on or near heat-producing hardware in a data center, the equipment can ignite or even explode. The result is a data center fire, which could pose a danger to your hardware as well as your staff.

The good news is, proper cleaning can greatly reduce the risk of fire. Managing fire risk through the cleaning and installation of fire suppression systems is an important part of managing a data center today.

3. Employee Health Complications

In addition to danger from potential data center fires, employees face other work-related health complications. As in any working environment, airborne contaminants in a dirty data center can negatively impact employee health, leading to extended illness, low productivity and reduced job satisfaction.

Proper data center cleaning can help eliminate health concerns, filtering hazardous contaminants such as fungi and bacteria out of the air. The result is better overall health outcomes for data center employees.

Reducing the Dangers of a Dirty Data Center

It’s clear that a dirty data center comes with many dangers for business operations and employees. So why do many data centers still struggle to keep their centers clean? Eliminating contaminants in a data center environment is highly complicated. If a contractor attempts to clean your data center using improper cleaning procedures, they could make the situation worse, spreading around dust and increasing static instead of eliminating it.

At DataSpan, our experienced and trained technicians use anti-static data center cleaning best practices to remove dirt while protecting your storage media. Because we complete every job to ISO standard, many Fortune 500 companies trust us to handle their regular data center cleanings.

If you need data center cleaning services that fit your schedule, we want to help. To learn more, find your local DataSpan representative or reach out to us today.

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