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June 8, 2012 -
I'm Steve Schuster, associate editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is data-storage environmental protection.
Computer servers and data-storage requirements are expanding in institutional and commercial facilities, thanks to increasing amounts of data, as well as growing demands for access to critical data at any time from anywhere. This demand for instant access makes maintenance and engineering schedules tighter and downtime for maintenance unacceptable.
The decision of where the computing and data storage will reside falls to information officers. But maintaining the support systems falls to maintenance and engineering departments. Technicians must monitor the performance of HVAC, power, security, communications, and fire-protection systems to ensure systems operate reliably and efficiently.
The major challenges for managers include identifying the maintenance and operating issues technicians must address to keep the systems operating reliably and meeting increasing regulatory demands for higher efficiency.
Power monitoring to discover and rectify potential overloads, poor power quality and source loss all constitute proper approaches to effectively maintaining data centers. Using infrared scanning of conductors and equipment to detect loose termination and possible overloaded circuits is a good way to locate and diagnose issues with power.
Understanding the organization's data needs will help managers discover the equipment and operations that are right for the facility. Regardless of size, data centers require careful planning and execution and diligent facility involvement to protect the increasingly data-driven assets of institutional and commercial facilities.