When it comes to data center maintenance, there are three ways to go about it: reactive, preventive, and predictive maintenance. Let’s explore each of these approaches so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Reactive maintenance, as the name suggests, is corrective action that is taken in response to equipment failure or a network issue that has already occurred. There is nothing left to do, but face the downtime and fix the issue, repair the equipment, or replace the asset.
It is, therefore, not the most ideal of approaches, but is sometimes necessary to adopt in case of an unexpected or inevitable failure. Up to 20% of maintenance work in a data center is usually of the reactive kind, although it is best to avoid such a situation as best as possible.
Both preventive and predictive maintenance are sub-types of proactive maintenance, wherein you attempt to address an issue or prevent a failure before it occurs. This is the best way to minimize downtime and maximize uptime in the data center.
At least 80% of all maintenance undertaken in a data center needs to be proactive. Depending on the effectiveness and efficiency in which these maintenance efforts are taken, the need for reactive maintenance will come down.
Preventive maintenance is the type of proactive maintenance that is scheduled regularly in periodic intervals. It is an all-encompassing maintenance routine that requires expert technicians going through every server, equipment, cable, and accessory within the data center premises.
It is usually carried out with the help of a checklist so that no aspect/area is missed out. In addition to checking and carrying out regular maintenance activities, preventive maintenance also does entail cleaning of assets.
Increases productivity and equipment lifespan
Prevents major outages and data interruptions
Identifies and rectifies human error and missed out processes
No additional prerequisites
Needs to be carried out regularly, even when everything is functioning well
May not always identify underlying issues if not done thoroughly
Does require some amount of downtime for certain maintenance tasks
Difficult to pinpoint return on investment (RoI) made
Predictive maintenance uses technology to monitor and record real-time data relating to equipment performance across the data center. It then compares this data with pre-existing performance trends/asset data to identify any anomalies, discrepancies, or irregularities. Based on such discoveries, it generates predictive algorithms and determines whether an equipment/asset needs to be repaired.
If any potential risks, damage due to wear-and-tear, or less than optimum performance is identified during such a maintenance routine, the technicians will immediately rectify them to prevent any problems due to it in the upcoming future.
Saves time and effort needed for physical maintenance checks
Not prone to human negligence or errors
Considerably reduces maintenance costs
Eliminates downtime, except during unavoidable failure
Requires high initial investments in monitoring equipment
Needs complex infrastructure, installation
Can be operated only by skilled personnel
Which one should you choose?
At Hardy Racks, we believe that preventive maintenance across the data center is still essential while setting up predictive maintenance tools for critical assets (not all) is recommended. If you find the right balance of these two, you will not have the need for unpleasant and unexpected reactive maintenance.
Need help with your data center maintenance? Get expert support today!