Dubai-based sustainable and technology-driven home maintenance specialist Hitches & Glitches (H&G), is witnessing a significant rise in demand for specialised cleaning, especially for the region’s booming data centre business.
Demand for data centre cleaning is surging due to rapid rise in digital businesses throughout the region. Dependable data centres are vital, especially with the rapid escalation of internet technology and mobile connectivity. As such, it is no surprise that many businesses are adopting secure, efficient, and sustainable solutions to store their data.
According to a Research & Markets report, the Middle East and Africa data centre market witnessed investments of $6.55 billion in 2021, with investments forecast to rise to $12.19 billion within the next five years, growing at a CAGR of 10.90 % during 2022-2027.
Fueling the demand is 5G network deployment, IoT, smart cities, and the fourth industrial revolution. In particular, countries such as Israel, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt, have all attracted significant investments in recent years. In the UAE, Etisalat is the largest data centre service provider, with nine data centres spread across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
“Our experience over the past 18 months shows that demand for professional data centre cleaning services is increasing exponentially. Data centre managers now want to hire a specialist company to delivery high quality cleaning services in these complex environments,” said Zohaib Azhar, Head of Operations, Hitches & Glitches.
Data centre equipment is highly sensitive and optimal performance is critical to their business. The equipment consists of switches, routers, hubs, UPS batteries and racks which collect dust & debris like any other object. However, the cleaning process is sophisticated and technical.
The dust particles and conductive ferrous metals accumulated on the circuit boards require highly trained, technically adept cleaners. Improper cleaning procedures can allow additional debris, which can lead to equipment overheating and malfunctioning. This also applies to all types of controlled environments including data centers, data rooms, data halls & server rooms.
According to H&G, if left unchecked, contaminants in the long run could damage circuit boards, corrode metals as well as cause disks and tape drives to fail, which can subsequently result in an outage. Data Centre cleaning should follow strict standard procedures, such as ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 8 standard which details the international cleaning procedure for controlled environments.
H&G has provided its controlled environment cleaning services to a range of sectors such as Government, Telecommunication, Maritime, Banking & Infrastructure. It shows the importance and a shift away from traditional operations and maintenance (O&M) of data centres into a high degree of technical cleanliness and facility maintenance.
“Considering the amount that is being invested in data centres, the trend now is firmly towards professional and specialised cleaning, to ensure IT equipment is well maintained, consistently powered in a cool environment, with a high degree of cleanliness, mitigating the chance of a serious outage, or significant downtime,” added Azhar.
H&G always uses vacuum cleaners with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, to remove the dust & debris from IT equipment, which removes 99.97% of dust particles, bacteria, mold & metal particles. The surface of racks & doors is vacuumed and wiped with microfiber cloths.
“It is also essential to work with the airflow to avoid raising dust that is then blown towards the area you have already cleaned. Underfloor smoke detectors should be cleaned with the soft brush of the vacuum, while fire pipes should be cleaned effectively from top to bottom where the dust is invisible,” said Azhar.