Why Preventive Data Center Maintenance is Important

Posted by Kim Otte on Oct 19, 2009

Preventive data center maintenance is one of the key approaches to protecting a facility through detection of potential points of failure before the deficiency initiates a system-wide malfunction, this is key for mission critical facilities. What if the output of your UPS or DC power system was interrupted for even a few seconds? This would cause a huge disruption in your critical load, which in turn could cost your business serious downtime and money.

Neglecting to maintain equipment or implementing improper data center maintenance procedures are two of the biggest reasons why mission critical equipment fails. Two of the heaviest hitters in the data center - power and cooling equipment - require regular maintenance to ensure that power, temperature, or humidity fluctuations do not cost a company thousands, if not millions, of dollars. According to Ken Nason, Power Technician at Electronic Environments, 90-95% of failures that he sees in the field are caused by batteries, capacitors and fans that have not been properly maintained.

Timely and Proper Equipment Maintenance
There are a few important questions that IT and data center managers need to ask themselves to make sure they are on the right track in terms of timely and proper equipment maintenance; these include: What maintenance needs to be done on the equipment or hardware? When? How often?

Pictured here is a damaged UPS Inverter Assembly, the damage happened when one of the aging capacitors blew up; this is the type of damage that can occur if your UPS isn't properly maintained.

There are different scopes of work for each piece of equipment and most equipment manufacturers have a recommended maintenance schedule. Maintenance should include a visual inspection where you are looking for dust, leaks, or corrosion. In the end, a properly maintained system will ensure that when called upon, the system performs according to the manufacturer's specifications.

Electronic Environmentspreventive maintenance visits serve as an in-depth examination of specific equipment, as well as a general review of the site conditions. Electronic Environments' goal is to minimize unscheduled emergency visits and maximize infrastructure run time.

In today's critical environments, IT service continuity is a high priority; incorporating a preventive data center maintenance program will help keep your systems up and running continuously. The below figure depicts the change in the mindset of IT managers today. (provided by Forrester Research, Inc.)

Tags: data center power