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News & Press: News

DCA Anti-Contamination Action Plan

11 February 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Simon Campbell-Whyte
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Members of the Data Centre Alliance (DCA) Anti-Contamination Steering Group met on 4th February at the University of Leeds. The meeting was the first time experts from rival competitors came together for a common purpose to assist and inform data centre designers, builders and operators on cleaning regimes and strategies that minimise risk and ensures the optimum energy efficiency of data centres.

The DCA will co-ordinate a best practice paper drawn on these shared experiences to improve visibility of common issues. The DCA will also co-ordinate the project output with standards bodies and the industry DCA Data Centre programme.

The meeting chaired by DCA Executive Director Simon Campbell-Whyte was attended by Alan Fisher of Dycem, Gary Hall of 8 Solutions, David McLenachan of Initial Data centres, Spencer North of CRM Services, Dr Ian Bitterlin of Critical Facilities Consulting and Dr Jon Summers of University of Leeds.

The workshop reviewed current standards and also addressed the challenges of the modern data centre and risks caused by cleaning strategies that haven’t adapted to match, these include problems caused by “over-cleaning” such as polishing floors with abrasives, “zinc whiskers” that can “grow” in data centre environments causing risk of short circuits, the need to inform at design and construction phase to eliminate easily avoidable future problems and relationship between good cleaning and energy efficiency. The DCA aims to produce a best practice guide in May 2013. David McLenachan commented “Thank you to the DCA for taking the initiative, the proposed actions from the first meeting exactly matched our hopes in identifying risks and best practices, and consequently improving standards of data centre cleaning in the UK.” Spencer North of CRM Services added “The meeting examined in detail how a professisional clean of a data centre prevents static electricity, dust and contaminants infiltrating equipment causing overheating, reduced filter performance and unnecessary wear to components”.

The steering group agreed that the DCA should provide a “best practice” paper that advises data centre owner/operators what areas of the data centre should be addressed and to inform on the potential hazards and risk. The paper is intended to provide value-add assistance to all data centre designers, builders and operators to ensure they are able to implement an appropriate cleaning regime and strategy that minimises risk and ensures the optimum energy efficiency. The group agreed to provide a list of these areas and submit it to the DCA C/O Simon Campbell-Whyte by Monday 11th Feb. The DCA will then collate this and submit it to the wider DCA community for comment and validation, final editing was kindly volunteered by Dr. Ian Bitterlin, before final publication by end May 2013.

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