Data Center Preventative Maintenance

Data Center Preventative Maintenance

Data Center Preventative Maintenance is crucial to reduce breakdowns and avoid potential costs of downtime.

Costs for data center outages rise minute by minute. And, each minute of unplanned downtime can cost upwards of $9,000. However, you can minimize unscheduled downtime and avoid preventable breakdowns with preventative data maintenance. The objective of preventative maintenance is to establish scheduled inspections that identify defects before they become a significant problem. Data centers that don’t schedule planned preventative data maintenance are at a higher risk of asset failure. Read on for some of the best tools for safe and successful preventative data maintenance.

Put Safety First

Data centers can be hazardous, and the health and life of technicians can be impacted. While performing preventative maintenance actions, technicians must be aware of any possible safety hazards. Utilize “tag out” whenever necessary to ensure that dangerous machines are properly shut off and not able to be started up again before the completion of maintenance. Also, be sure data center technicians are knowledgeable about safety procedures by providing regular safety training classes. And, make sure that they are documenting all of their preventative maintenance procedures.

Schedule Regular Inspections

Carrying out preventive data maintenance on uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and batteries significantly reduce the possibility of malfunction during power outages. UPS units that receive no preventative maintenance are 23 times more likely to fail than ones that receive two per year. This is also true for essential systems like generators and HVAC. Not only is the lifespan increased on equipment, but the energy consumed and potential for failure reduces with regular preventative maintenance.

Standardized Checklists

The utilization of standardized checklists ensures data center technicians are knowledgeable about the procedures performed during the PM service, while at the same time ensuring they perform the same standard checks each service time. In data centers, these checklists are called Methods of Procedure or MOP, Standard Operating Procedures or SOP, and Emergency Operating Procedures or EOP. Further, additional safety procedures and training may be required for specific jobs and should reflect them in the MOP, SOP, and EOP.

Make Sure the Work is Done

Performing preventative maintenance on time is crucial because of the potential costs of downtime that data centers face. The ideal way to accomplish this is by measuring and enforcing preventative maintenance compliance. The percentage of scheduled preventative maintenance service orders that are completed on time is your score for preventative maintenance compliance.

Maintain Detailed Records

Ensure the data center is able and ready when auditors arrive to inspect by maintaining well-documented reports of maintenance. Chronic equipment issues, as well as undesirable downtime levels, can be identified with a documented service order history. This puts solutions in place to reduce downtime in the future.

Get a CMMS

The optimal way to assist in measuring, tracking, and improving your data centers preventative maintenance is by having a Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS). CMMS is also referred to as Preventative Maintenance Software. This software enables data center managers, his/her subordinates, and customers the ability to track the position of maintenance service on their properties and the costs associated. CMMS software reduces equipment downtime, improves productivity and reliability, increases asset lifespan, and reduces maintenance costs. Additionally, the program allows the technician to access crucial equipment information. That includes service history, procedures, metric indicators, and maintenance data.

Regularly scheduled data center preventative maintenance pays for itself with the prevention of unplanned downtimes caused by various issues. Using a CMMS allows you to streamline and digitize preventative maintenance procedures.  It is a consolidation of personnel, data, documents, work logs, inventory, and assets in one location. On the other hand, it is also important to learn about the proper temperature of your data center and how to maintain it. For more information on this topic, check out our blog.