Maintenance mistakes to be aware of in the data center

Be aware of these common complications faced by IT professionals.

By Max Burkhalter
April 24, 2015

Recently, state auditors in Oregon found that serious performance flaws that had been discovered in their data facilities in 2012 had gone unaddressed in the three years since being identified. Part of the reason that the problem went unfixed is because nobody knew about it, said the Portland Tribune. The correspondence discussing the problem occurred over private emails between IT team leadership and executives, so opportunities to get a clear read on the data center's real security issues became impossible.

"Steer clear of the maintenance mistakes that could sink your data center."

Only after the email was made public, several years later, were state auditors able to begin addressing the problem. Along with teaching observers a lesson about the importance of transparency, the unfortunate security flub that struck the Oregon state auditors could easily occur in any data center. A company's data center performance falls apart when IT team members assigned to maintenance fail to effectively communicate what was going wrong in the facility to the right people. Following these tips, however, will help you steer clear of the maintenance mistakes that could sink the quality of a data center's performance.

Small organization improvements go a long way
One of the easiest mistakes an IT team can make when addressing data center maintenance is overlooking the importance of an efficient infrastructure organization. An issue as basic as sloppy wire arrangements, said TechRepublic. Thankfully, these types of basic maintenance issues only require equally simple solutions to fix. For instance, investing in fiber to Ethernet converters will make it easier for data centers running copper-wire connections to access faster connections without building up excess wiring in the data center.

The resource also encouraged IT teams to urge employees to take extra care to avoid creating avoidable maintenance issues. Communicating strongly to IT team members that drinks won't be tolerated in the data center, for example, will help to minimize changes of a spill turning into unplanned downtime for your facility's data center. The same due diligence can help to minimize a facility's exposure to unexpected power loss and security breaches as well.

Prioritize corrections to your maintenance missteps
A major mistake that IT teams can make early in the maintenance planning stages is weighting each aspect of maintenance equally. A malfunction in a single wire will have far less of an impact on the performance and operating costs of a data center when compared to a major power failure. Treating each point of maintenance like an equal threat will only put your data center in harm's way.

That's why it's no surprise that The Data Center Journal recommended IT teams take the time to rank the importance of components data center infrastructure. It's a smart idea to put a facility's generators and batteries at the top of the list as even small power failures can cause substantial unplanned downtime.

Skimping on repairs won't do your data center any favors.Skimping on repairs won't do your data center any favors.


Heating and cooling concerns come as a close second, and can contribute to the risk of power failure risks if not properly resolved. Finally, take special care to note the efficiency of your hardware components. Tag quick drops in efficiency as a red flag for a system in need of repair. Ranking these maintenance threats and addressing them in order of importance is a smart way to dodge the maintenance errors that can swallow up an entire data center if left unfixed.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.

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