Minor missteps can turn into huge problems in the data center — and that can spell big trouble for your enterprise. Here are some of the common little mistakes at data centers that are easily overlooked:
Cabling infrastructure is the foundation of every data center because these fiber-optic or copper wires are what enable the billions of transactions that take place every second and help businesses make mission-critical decisions. Failure to properly manage this aspect can cause issues from increased operating costs to outages. Now, while cables may be fitted properly, overlooking something like dust accumulation on cables can spell disaster.
Fiber-optic cables are sensitive to dust, so if they are not cleaned properly and regularly, performance dips. Haphazard cable management with cables lying everywhere, on the floor, from drop ceilings, over server racks and desks are also safety hazards.
Electricity is the lifeline of a data center. If things like generators, battery backups, and power distribution are not taken care of properly it can lead to expensive outages and downtime.
To take a simple example, Emergency Power Off (EPO) buttons are often located near doorways in the data center. Usually, these buttons are overlooked and not covered or labeled. There are times when they are mistakenly shut off during an emergency. This shuts down power to the entire data center. An act as simple as labeling EPO buttons or covering them can prevent this disaster.
Also, a data center needs to be designed to suit growing electrical needs. Power distribution is another key area to ensure there are no power issues. Hardy Racks manufactures several types of PDUs including switch PDUs, basic PDUs, and metered PDUs, which can maximize and monitor power usage.
Security needs to be at the forefront of a data center. There are simple measures to ensure security is maintained. Multi-factor authentication for example can ensure access is given only to those who require it. Wi-Fi networks can be segmented from production networks to prevent lateral movement. Systems must be kept up to date with the latest security patches. And don’t forget about securing backups – backups hold the same information and therefore need the same security and care.
According to the 2021 Annual Data Breach Report from the Identity Theft Resource Center, the number of data compromises is up more than 68 percent compared to 2020. The new record number of data compromises is 23 percent over the previous all-time high set in 2017.
A big safety risk in a data center are food and drink spillages. Airborne materials settling out or condensing on surfaces of equipment are dangerous. If food particles get into open racks, it can lead to a rat infestation, which results in chewed-up wires and cables and ultimately equipment failure. Spilled drinks can lead to short-circuiting. So, yes, that burger and cola are best eaten outside the data center or in designated areas.
On that note, did you know that cardboard too is a hazard in a data center? Cardboard is prohibited on server floors because they are highly combustible material and are dust magnets.
Hardy Racks is one of the leading server rack manufacturers. Our expert team offers customized solutions for the installation and optimization of data center enclosures and accessories such as PDUs, fiber raceways, and aisle containment. Do get in touch with us to explore more.