Tiny Particles, Big Problems

Posted by Instor on Jun 12, 2018 9:00:00 AM
Regular, methodical cleaning of your data center will pay off unseen dividends by stopping microscopic threats in their tracks. Here’s how to contend with zinc whiskers and other potential contaminants before they cause serious problems for your IT equipment.




The Importance of Regular Data Center Cleaning

Zinc whiskers. No, it’s not the name of the next hipster indie rock band out of Portland, however zinc whiskers are equally annoying and unwelcome. First discovered in 1948 by Bell Labs on telephone transmission equipment, zinc whiskers are small shards of zinc often found within the raised floor tiles of data centers. Even if your tiles are wood or composite, it’s still possible to develop zinc whiskers.

Zinc is conductive, therefore tiny shards of the stuff can wreak major havoc such as short circuits, variances in voltage, equipment failure and other problems in the data center. These problems often come to light during or after a floor tile removal, but can crop up at any time.


cantaminant debris picture 

Metal shavings from an RPP install.


An Ounce of Prevention

It’s not just zinc that presents potential problems in the data center. Whenever anyone (technicians, employees) enter your server room, they’re bringing all manner of possible contaminants and micro-particles into your otherwise pristine environment. You can use tacky mats outside the server room to catch some debris and employ double doors for further protection, but these methods aren’t 100 percent foolproof.

Preventative maintenance from Instor’s data center infrastructure experts can help prevent unplanned downtime and damage. We ensure dangerous elements are eliminated, helping to protect your valuable equipment.

Instor offers the following data center cleaning services:

  • Subfloor cleaning: We carefully remove all construction debris by hand.
  • Subfloor vacuuming: Top-of-the-line triple-filtered HEPA/ULPA vacuums ensure total cleanliness.
  • Ceiling plenum cleaning: This prevents contaminants from entering your data center’s cooling system.
  • Overhead ceiling cleaning: We methodically vacuum and wipe all surfaces.
  • Equipment cleaning: Our team works to remove construction residue and contaminants.
  • Floor surface cleaning: This process helps rid you of micro-particles.
  • Full environmental audit: Once we’ve finished our cleaning, we’ll report on particle counts after a post-construction cleaning.

At Instor, we believe in the power of preventative maintenance and we’re here to help any way we can. Short on time and need to do a walkthrough of your own? Download our data center cleaning checklist below to get started. And, when you’re ready for the Instor team to help out, contact us for more details.

Free Download- Data Center Cleaning Checklist

Click image to download guide


Topics: Services