Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on March 26, 2019
In an age where data and data center accessibility and security are top concerns for companies large and small, it’s more imperative to ensure data center facilities are fully optimized to avoid any downtimes. And predictive and preventive maintenance play a key role. Companies simply cannot afford downtimes.
For one, they’re costly financially. In 2014, Gartner estimated that IT companies lose $5,600 per minute (and up to over $300K per hour). With data traffic only increasing in the last four years it’s safe to assume those costs have only risen.
And if a facility’s data is client-facing, potential downtime could cost a company future business while damaging an otherwise spotless reputation. Yes, some downtimes are simply unavoidable and a natural part of the tech industry. But for too long companies have been complacent about maintenance, often taking a reactionary approach; something goes wrong, we’ll shut down and fix it.
Fortunately times have changed. Technology and our own understanding of proper data center maintenance have advanced to much more proactive solutions. And that starts with the right predictive and preventive maintenance strategies.
When we talk about predictive maintenance, usually it’s referring to a means of improving and avoiding delays in data delivery. Particularly about how to fix or eliminate any interruptions from the data delivery to an individual application.
Examples might include customer-facing transactions like an order-process in sales or withdrawals/deposits at a bank. For many companies, the use of flash storage has replaced traditional hard drive disk storage. The speed and efficiency improvements with flash storage help overall performance and cut down on the delay in data delivery.
And fortunately, many new flash storage units come equipped with advanced artificial intelligence and predictive analytics capabilities already built in. However, if your hardware does not, there are plenty of softwares readily available to integrate with existing systems.
Predictive storage uses a combination of millions of sensors and AI telemetry to constantly record, predict, and prevent any major problems or interruptions that might occur.
Benefits of predictive maintenance:
- Save money. Decrease your maintenance fees, personnel costs for reactionary fixes, and reduce data center failures and downtime costs.
- Increase efficiency and productivity. Since any problems will be predicted, prevented or solved in real time, maintenance will occur before any issues can escalate too far.
- Preserve company reputation. You won’t be associated with any app-data gaps, short data center downtimes or interruptions. Plus no fear of a public relations nightmare due to a full catastrophic failure.
- Easy integration. Getting the right software is easier now than ever.
Maybe it’s a matter of upgrading your hardware. But investing now to save time and money later makes more sense than the day-to-day risks of not actively using predictive analytics. In the event you decide to upgrade the network equipment in your data center, make sure you know how to sell your used hard drives and that you’re receiving the best value for any computer parts.
In hindsight, predictive maintenance seems like it would be a standard part of all companies dealing in major data storage and delivery. However, it’s a relatively new idea and practice. Technology and data storage trends will only keep driving forward. Make sure your company stays modern.
Don’t get left behind. Fully optimize your data centers to perform at their highest capabilities! Data center maintenance is a multi-faceted issue that’s ever-changing. Integrating predictive analytics are only part of the battle.
Well in this case, preventive maintenance is simply physically taking care of all of the important, expensive network equipment in your data center. More often than not, major outages, data interruptions and downtimes are directly caused because simple, physical maintenance and care haven’t been properly established.
Sometimes it’s simply human error and a neglect of procedures. Other times it’s not having an actual preventive maintenance plan in place. A standard preventive maintenance plan will help extend the life and reduce any repair costs of the equipment in your data center (again, it better suits you to be proactive than reactive!), improving the overall efficiency of your data center.
Equipment and systems that require proper maintenance and attention include:
- Uninterruptible power supply (UPS)
You can use your in-house staff to annually perform many of the major maintenance checks and standard inspections. When’s the last time that air filter was changed? Are cables tangled or damaged? How old are your company’s generators? If left alone, these small maintenance checks can eventually catch up and may cause a major problem.
Maybe you’re not confident in your company’s ability to internally handle any inspections or maintenance. That’s ok! There are plenty of third-party companies that are more than capable of handling standard preventive maintenance procedures.
An external company can help you create an optimal preventive maintenance plan. Schedule everything annually, from general reviews of your data center site’s condition to more in-depth examinations of all of your equipment and hardware. The right preventive maintenance plan will also free your employees up to focus solely on their own work.
Whatever route you choose, be sure to keep correct and proper documentation of any past or current preventive maintenance procedures and history.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
The moral of the story here is to do your best to be proactive and not reactive. Network issues with data delivery may happen just like a physical system can fail. And if and when that time comes it’s important to have the right staff in place to quickly get your network back on its feet and restore all your services. Read our blog on Windows Server 2019 Key Features for more information.
But you can reduce the likelihood and probability of small interruptions, long downtimes, and full breakdowns. All you need to do is implement simple, effective predictive and preventive maintenance techniques. Both may seem like expensive investments in the present. But they’ll double their value later on with all the time and money saved in reduced repair costs.
And for any network equipment upgrades or change of space where you’ll require a full on data center decommission, be sure to enlist the help of a certified IT asset disposition company. At Exit Technologies, we offer full IT equipment services ranging from asset recovery, network equipment sales and recycling, data erasure, and full data center decommission services.
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