Spring Cleaning Your Server Room

Your server is one of the most important pieces of technology equipment you have. It is the heart of your company’s network. So, it is important to make sure you take really good care of it, and that means making sure where you store it is in great shape. And what better time to learn the basics of keeping your server room clean then Spring?

So, whether you have an entire room for your server, a closet, or if it shares space in the corner of an office or a storage closet, here are some tips for keeping it clean and healthy.

1. Dust

Dust will build up over time on a server. It makes sense, since your server is rarely (if ever) moved once it is put somewhere. Dust can pile up on the server and find it’s way inside the equipment, which can cause major performance issues, or even permanently damage your server.

However, you don’t want to dust your server with regular dusting materials. First, you don’t want to spray anything near the equipment, as that could also cause damage. And second, if you use a rag or even something like a Swiffer duster you could accidentally unplug something.

We recommend using a pressurized air cleaner to dust your equipment. It will be harmless, you don’t need to touch the actual hardware, and it will get into all the little nooks and crannies where dust could hide.

It’s also a good idea to use the pressurized air to clean out the vents for the AC unit. Maintaining a steady temperature is important for the safety of your server, and if there is dust in the vent, it could blow onto the equipment, defeating the point of dusting.

2. Location

If your server is sharing a storage closet or an office, make sure it not around anything that could potentially fall on it. For example, you probably don’t want to keep stacks of boxes next to the equipment. If one of the boxes falls on the server it could damage it, or unplug something and bring the whole network down.

It is also important to make sure that however your hardware is stored, it is secure. Remember that random earthquake in the DC metro area a couple of years ago? If your equipment wasn’t secure, it probably would have fallen over, not only bringing your network down, but damaging the actual hardware in the process.

3. Temperature

The weather in this area has gone from cold to hot seemingly overnight. You need to make sure your server storage space is kept at a cool temperature no matter what. Your server works really hard for you, and can overheat really easily.

The best idea is to have the server stored in a place where you can control the temperature for that room separately, so that you can make sure it is always the idea temperature for a server, no matter the weather outside (or even in the rest of the building).

4. Mind your surroundings- nothing flammable

If your server is sharing an office or closet, make sure there is no paper or cardboard stored too close. It’s a fire hazard. The equipment tends to get very hot, and having easily flammable materials stored nearby could cause a big problem. So make sure that any paper, cardboard, or other flammable materials are stored preferably in a separate room, but at the very least as far away from the server as possible within the space.

Take a few minutes every week or so to go into your server room and make sure that these server safety guidelines are being followed. By spending that short amount of time every so often, you are going to help ensure that your equipment has a longer, happier, healthier life- which means your network will too.

Any other Spring cleaning tips? Questions about how to clean some equipment? Leave a comment!

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