The electrical infrastructure of a data center provides critical power to the facility. While significant focus is consistently placed on the UPS and PDU systems, it is not uncommon for other aspects of electrical maintenance to be ignored. Most of the time, data centers are not ignoring additional electrical maintenance intentionally, rather it is simply a lower priority which consistently gets put off. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple electrical maintenance steps data centers can implement in order to ensure the entire facility always have access to the energy it requires to achieve maximum efficiency.
Make Safety the Top Priority:
The biggest mistake many data centers make when it comes to electrical maintenance is making safety a low priority. This is readily apparent when data centers choose eliminating downtime over maintaining their electrical equipment. No business wants to suffer from lost hours of connectivity, but it is a much better alternative than placing employees in harm’s way or continually pushing back electrical maintenance needs.
Create a Step-By-Step Procedure:
Nothing makes electrical maintenance easier than developing a set schedule for performing checkups and maintenance on the entire electrical system. While inspecting the system to frequently is a waste, not inspecting it and not quickly jeopardizes uptime because potentially devastating problems are not addressed in a timely manner. By developing a specific step-by-step procedure and maintenance schedule, data centers can keep their electrical infrastructure operating at maximum efficiency.
Know When to Outsource:
Many data centers, especially smaller ones, try to do everything without outside help. Electrical maintenance is an area where the learning curve is often high enough that hiring professional assistance is the best course of action. While in-house staff can maintain all of the inspection related tasks, outside professionals are often beneficial to use in unfamiliar or potentially hazardous situations. Outsourcing this type of task is often beneficial, but only if the skills of the in-house staff are not capable of performing electrical maintenance tasks.
Emphasize the Importance of Detailed Records:
One of the most common problems with electrical maintenance and data centers isn’t the lack of attention it receives, but rather the lack of documentation that should accompany it. Developing a step-by-step maintenance and inspection procedure is critical to identify potential problems early but this is only possible if detailed records are kept. Without detailed records, it is impossible to compare the current health of any particular piece of electrical equipment with its original level of efficiency.
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Create a Realistic Budget:
The final step to implementing effective electrical maintenance strategies in data centers is providing a realistic budget. Data center maintenance is a high priority, but many data centers fail to provide funds for both scheduled checkups as well as maintenance. Instead, they tend to devote a significant amount of funds to one of these areas but not the other. Data centers which do provide a realistic budget for inspections and preventative maintenance immediately see significant returns on their investment.
Data centers are a complex organism and are growing more complicated by the day. This makes preventative maintenance a paramount issue to ensure long-term viability and efficiency. Electrical maintenance is often the first preventative procedure to be overlooked, but implementing a few simple steps can provide a variety of benefits.