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Physical contamination: a forgotten downtime threat

Unaddressed contamination is a major issue in the data centre (center) sector according to Mark Plant, CEO at 8 Solutions; with only around a quarter of data centre managers implementing a regular cleaning regime of their critical environments. 8 Solutions is a UK based data centre healthcare company specialising in the deep cleaning and decontamination of critical environments.

“Despite increased power consumption, the risk of performance loss, the impact on cooling and airflow and the fact that OEM warranties have the potential to be invalidated without regular cleaning, we estimate around 75 percent of critical environments are at serious risk of contamination,” warns Plant.

He continues, “Companies invest millions of pounds in critical IT systems and unfortunately many only appreciate the risk and dangers of contamination when there is a major failure within their data centre. In comparison to the cost and inconvenience of installing replacement equipment and the potential impact downtime can have on the performance of a business, the costs of a preventative cleaning and decontamination regime is minimal.”

“We are often shocked by the level of cleanliness we come across when carrying out deep cleaning for new clients. In one case recently, we took away over 50 bags of rubbish, including concrete residue, cable ties, copper piping, and discarded filters from air conditioners and air handling units. The client had not implemented any form of cleaning or decontamination regime, seriously undermining their risk mitigation process.”

“When contamination has had a negative impact on a data centre the management team typically point the finger at the data centre manager or facilities manager and want to know why best practice hadn’t been followed despite it being recommended as part of ISO 14644-1. Regular specialist data centre deep cleaning is not a service that can be pushed to the back burner it’s critical to the health and productivity of an organisation’s critical environment.” Plant concluded.


•Date: 16th December 2011 • UK/World •Type: Article • Topic: Data centres/centers

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