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Data Center Maintenance: Is Your Colocation Provider Up to Par?

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The Importance of Understanding Your Colocation Provider’s Maintenance Practices

Given the frequency at which businesses are utilizing colocation services within third-party data centers, the fundamental importance of strong data center maintenance programs is key to the health of colocated IT environments and businesses themselves. According to the Ponemon Institute 2016 Cost of Data Center Outages report, the average cost of IT downtime is $9,000 per minute. While there are multiple tools available to prevent and limit downtime, such as backup and disaster recovery options, much of the preliminary responsibility is on the colocation provider to ensure strong maintenance practices. Not to mention, it’s well known that the negative impacts of downtime aren’t just financial. Reputation and relationships with customers are also at stake.

Proper data center maintenance activities should extend beyond simple outage prevention. If your organization uses a colocation provider for your IT infrastructure, ensure that your IT team understands the significance of data center maintenance. Poor maintenance is one of the number one reasons for data center downtime.

The Ins and Outs of a Solid Data Center Maintenance Program

Before weighing maintenance considerations, ask yourself if your provider is truly an expert in colocation. Often times, managed IT service providers are spread thin as a result of offering too many solutions that they don’t have the resources to support, as explained by Data Center Journal. Consequently, quality of service is diminished greatly and customers are at risk.

Summed up by Data Center Frontier, your colocation provider should guarantee a full maintenance strategy that includes the following:

  • Consistent testing

    Facility staff should conduct regular testing on all systems to make sure everything is in optimal working order. Load, fail-over, and infrared testing are all important.

  • Around-the-clock, full inspections

    A piece of equipment can malfunction within a data center at any time—this is where the human touch is key. Data center staff should make regular rounds throughout facilities to fully inspect systems and equipment to confirm functionality and identity any potential problems. Regular inspections should cover electrical and mechanical distribution systems, fuel levels, and generators. The human element is essential in the inspection scenario because machines can malfunction in ways that technology can’t necessarily detect. For example, if a cooling unit is leaking, or a compressor sounds different, a facilities staff member is required in order to identify potential problems and carry out remediation before a customer is impacted.

  • A holistic maintenance strategy

    1. Preventive: Preventive maintenance is more directly involved with individual systems and pieces of equipment with the objective of ensuring that all data center components are operating optimally, ultimately prolonging equipment longevity. Cleaning electrical systems and heat exchangers or doing oil changes are all examples of preventive maintenance activities.

    2. Predictive: Predictive maintenance is a preemptive measure to anticipate possible changes or anomalies among data center systems that could eventually lead to failure. In making use of predictive maintenance, the colocation provider is able to identify issues before they arise.

    3. Corrective: If a particular system or piece of equipment needs to be fixed or replaced entirely, corrective maintenance tools are used. Replacing a valve or repairing a leak are both examples of corrective maintenance.

Data Center Maintenance at Peak 10

At Peak 10, we have a dedicated facilities team which spans every data center facility. Our facilities experts are specialized in maintenance activities and remain in communication with each other on a daily basis. Facility design, construction, and maintenance are collaborative activities carried out meticulously by facility team members.

Our data centers have detailed maintenance programs which span all systems and components, including power, networking, and infrastructure, all in an effort to prevent failures and maintain the 100% uptime we’ve promised and upheld for customers on an ongoing basis. We have regularly scheduled maintenance tasks for: buildings, switchgear, power distribution units, generators, UPS banks, fire protection systems and extinguishers, and CRAC units. We only utilize best-in-class equipment, supported by around-the-clock monitoring.

We consider caring for our data centers equivalent to caring for our customers. The uptime we promise is not only supported by the equipment we use, but the systems, people, and processes in place.

If your organization has questions about proper maintenance activities to support your colocated IT environment, Peak 10 is here for you. Contact us today at www.peak10.com/contact-us or (866) 473-2510 to speak with one of our experts.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest