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Ways to keep your data center dust-free

Dust – fine particles of airborne matter – can wreak havoc with your data center hardware. It can affect energy efficiency, and even result in critical equipment failure. Sometimes the dust can also become statically charged and interfere with servers, causing data loss.

Dust prevents effective heat dissipation, and over time increases operating temperature and lowers efficiency and life expectancy of the equipment. If you have a data center raised floor, dust can pile up there and prevent heat dissipation, meaning hardware and devices are no longer adequately cooled.

The bottomline is, the less the dust that gets in, the better. 

That’s why we have compiled these tips to help you keep your data center dust-free.

Does a simple wipe down help? No, not really

When it comes to dust cleaning in a data center, a simple wipe down of equipment may not help. It is better to use a special vacuum cleaner that filters the dust well and does not blow it out again. There are special vacuum cleaners that filter even fine dust. Once that is done, the surface can be wiped down with rags made of microfiber, which can pick up the dust.

Try a damp cloth

If wiping once or twice does not help, then a damp cloth can be used (but not in the server room). It is recommended that only clear water be used as otherwise streaks may form.

Wire trays need more

For wire trays and cable routes suction vacuum cleaning needs to be done in order to ensure that dust does not accumulate in gaps and crevices.

What about raised floors?

If the data room has a raised floor, then there is likely to be contamination by dust particles. Dust accumulates under the raised floor panels in the cavity in the data center after construction or renovation work. The floor panels and underfloor space can be cleaned with antistatic suction pads and cleaning agents.

Although this can only be done by professionals, these are the basic steps – a few floor panels are lifted, cleaned and coarse dust and coarse dirt particles removed. After that the underside of the floor panels are cleaned and the bare floor, sub-floor and floor supports vacuumed before the cleaned access floor tiles are put back.

Raised floors can be cleaned dry with a vacuum cleaner or with a damp floor cloth. Avoid water on the surface and on the edge of the panels as it could damage the floor.

Choosing the right hardware accessories helps

Now, although a lot of care has to be given to the maintenance of a dust-free data center, one of the ways to ensure less dust accumulation is to choose the right hardware accessories. The 1U & 2 U black rack mount panels from Hardy Racks for instance come with built-in brush strips to help keep cables under control as well as protect them from dust and other contaminants while still providing thermal protection to maintain hot aisle/cold aisle isolation. The brush mounting panel is designed for use with 19″ server racks.

To know more on how to buy the right products to keep your data center free from dust, contact Hardy Racks today.

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