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Helping Prevent Downtime and Increasing and Reliability

The need to prevent and remove contamination inside data centers is related to preventing downtime and increasing the performance and reliability of the data center's data processing equipment. ADCCP recognizes that data center managers need to understand services and frequencies when developing a safe and effective data center cleaning preventive maintenance program.


Cleaning Standards

Data center cleaning services and frequencies are related to several factors when determining the necessary elements of a preventive maintenance program to help ensure an optimal environment for data processing equipment. The higher degree of reliability required in a data center will require a higher degree of cleanliness, and thus require a higher frequency of services. ADCCP has consulted industry leading manufacturers, consultants, and end users to help develop the following industry standards for four levels of cleanliness.

Recommended Cleaning Services

It is important to include the following data center cleaning services as part of a preventive maintenance program to ensure the optimal environment for your data center.

Subfloor Surface Cleaning

Subfloor surface cleaning includes vacuuming the concrete subfloor plenum using specialized critical filter vacuums in compliance with recognized standards for cleaning data centers. This service removes contamination from your subfloor plenum to eliminate the build-up of particulate that can be carried into your room’s air flow and cause downtime inside your datacom equipment.

Raised Floor Surface Cleaning

Raised floor surface cleaning includes cleaning the surface of the raised floor panels. This service includes vacuuming and damp mopping the floor surface with cleaning chemicals approved for use in data center environments.

Exterior Equipment Surface Cleaning

Exterior equipment surface cleaning includes cleaning the exterior surface of cabinets, equipment, and workstations by vacuuming where applicable with critical filtered vacuums, and then wiped clean an approved anti-static cleaner approved for use in data center environments. No input devices should be cleaned unless the device is completely powered down.

Interior Server Cabinet Cleaning

Interior server cabinet cleaning includes cleaning the surface of the server cabinet doors, server exhaust fans, and surfaces of the servers inside the cabinet. Surfaces are vacuumed with critical filtered vacuums and then wiped clean using an approved anti-static cleaner approved for use in data center environments.

Ceiling Cleaning

Ceiling cleaning includes overhead cleaning by either vacuuming above the drop ceiling tiles by using critical filter vacuums in compliance with recognized standards for cleaning data centers, and / or vacuuming and wiping clean overhead raceways with an approved anti-static cleaner approved for use in data center environments.

Anti-Static Floor Finishing

Anti-static floor finishing includes applying an approved anti-static floor finish to non-raised floor surfaces to prevent dangerous static build-up. Manufacturers of high pressure laminated (HPL) access floor panels strongly recommend never to apply floor wax to the surface of the access floor panels.

Subfloor Encapsulation

Subfloor encapsulation includes the application of an epoxy coating to the concrete subfloor plenum surface that acts as a vapor and dust barrier. Epoxy coatings should be applied manually to the surface of the subfloor plenum. Installing a Subfloor encapsulant is one of the best ways to reduce concrete dusting and subsequent airborne particulate concentrations in your data center.

Airborne Particulate Count Sampling

Airborne particle count sampling includes a sampling of airborne particulates within your data center utilizing a laser particle counter. Particulate sampling is an indicator of airborne contamination. We recommend that an airborne particle count sampling be obtained at each regularly scheduled maintenance cleaning by trained personnel.

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Recommended Cleaning Frequencies

Cleaning frequencies are designed to provide an easy and clear standard for determining what services and frequencies are needed for your data center. Frequencies are based upon guidelines recommended by ASHRAE in their publication Particulate and Gaseous Contamination in Datacom Environments.

Datacom equipment center cleanliness can be maintained by establishing a consistent cleaning schedule. Cleaning frequency should be increased during construction or other contamination-producing activities. The essential areas to clean and time intervals are described below:

Under Floor

Minimum of once per year:

Floor Surfaces

Minimum of once per week:

Minimum of once per quarter:

NOTE: Most raised floor panels are covered with high-pressure laminate (HPL). This surface material is very durable but should not be abused. High-speed buffers should not be used. Low-speed scrubbers can be used. Water and non-corrosive cleaning solutions should be used sparingly and should be removed promptly from the surface. HPL flooring should never be waxed. Some, but not al HPL materials are conductive for electrostatic discharge (ESD) control. Coating this surface with standard floor finish may block the ESD path through the panel. Vinyl composition tile (VCT) floors should be periodically stripped and refinished with antistatic floor finish.

Equipment and Cabinet Exteriors

Minimum of once per quarter:

Environment - Walls, Sills, Ledges, etc

Minimum once per quarter:

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Recommended Equipment & Chemicals

It is necessary to ensure when cleaning the data center environment that the proper equipment and chemicals will be utilized to ensure that contamination is captured and removed, and not reintroduced back into the environment. Control over contaminant levels in a computer room is an extremely important consideration when evaluating an environment. The impact of contamination on sensitive electronic hardware is well recognized, but the most harmful contaminants are often overlooked because they are so small. Most particles smaller than 10 microns are not visible to the naked eye under most conditions; yet, it is these particles that are most likely to migrate to areas where they can do damage.

Vacuums

All vacuums should either employ a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter at a 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 microns; or a ULPA (Ultra Low Particulate Air) filter at 99.999% efficiency at 0.12 microns.

NOTE: ULPA filter efficiency is preferred to HEPA filters because of the higher efficiency rating. Also, all vacuums used around datacom equipment should utilize an Electromagnetic/Radio Frequency Interference shielded motor housing.

Tools and Supplies

All attachments and tools utilized in the data center should be non-conductive, and supplies like wiping cloths and mops should be made of a low lint material designed to be used in clean room environments.

Cleaning Chemicals

All cleaning chemicals used to clean floor surfaces should be non-ammoniated and rated safe for use in data center environments on HPL floor tiles. Chemicals used on equipment surfaces should be an antistatic cleaner designed to be used in a data center environment.

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Recommended Air Particulate Concentration Levels

Particulate contaminants can impact the sustained operations of computer hardware. Effects can range from intermittent interference to actual component failures. Therefore airborne contaminants should be maintained within defined limits to help minimize their potential impact on the hardware by regularly scheduled data center cleaning. ISO 14644 cleanroom classification is now the accepted world wide standard for classifying the cleanliness of the air in cleanrooms and clean zones. ISO 14644 replaced Federal Standard 209E (FED-STD-209E). Data Centers fall in ISO Class 8 which is the equivalent of Class 100,000 in the FED209E.

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Recommendations When Selecting a Vendor

When selecting a data center cleaning vendor make sure that the vendor is experienced in cleaning data centers. An experienced data center cleaning vendor will meet the minimum standards set forth by the ADCCP. The certification requirements of the ADCCP are designed to ensure that data center managers can trust that vendors meet certain minimum requirements to be considered a data center cleaning professional. Certification minimum requirements include expertise, experience, services, processes, training, equipment, chemicals, and insurance coverage to receive certification in our association.

Expertise
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors must demonstrate that the majority of their service revenue is involved in direct data center cleaning activities with company owned personnel that have been properly trained.

Experience
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors have at least five years of demonstrated direct experience in cleaning data centers with their company employees.

Services
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors must demonstrate that they offer required services included in the industry standards for cleaning data centers.

Processes
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors vendor must demonstrate that their cleaning processes comply with accepted data center cleaning standards.

Training
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors must demonstrate that they utilize a formal training program for both cleaning processes, as well as safety training while working inside data centers.

Equipment
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors must demonstrate that they utilize cleaning equipment that complies with accepted data center cleaning standards.

Chemicals
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors must demonstrate that the chemicals they utilize complies with accepted data center cleaning standards.

Insurance Coverage
ADCCP requires that all certified data center cleaning vendors must demonstrate that they have the appropriate and minimum insurance coverage in accordance with accepted industry standards.

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