Data Centre Cleaning Standard ISO 14644-1 Class 8

IT Cleaning Ltd Magazine Article published in Cleanroom Technology

ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 8… International Standard for Clean Rooms Clean Zones and Controlled Environments.

A Standard For Cleanliness for all types of Controlled Environment including Data Centre, Data Rooms, Server Rooms and Comms Rooms is ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 8, plus all accessible surfaces free from dust. This is currently best practice.

Believe it or not, there are data centre cleaning standards, based on the international standards for cleanroom, clean zones and controlled environment (Data Centre’s / Data Halls / Data Rooms are controlled environments) this is ISO 14644-1. The ISO 14644-1 2015 series of standards (14644-1 to 14644-12) are a series of documents that establish various classifications for cleanliness as well as methods for testing compliance, test methods, design/constructions/start up considerations, and others, fro controlled environments. Click on ISO standard to see standards. Data Centre Cleaning Standards, Data Room Cleaning Standard, Data Hall Cleaning Standards and Comms Room Cleaning Standard are based on the same ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 8 standard, as these rooms are controlled environments. ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 8 is often misnamed, by specifiers, as a Clinical Clean.  ISO 14644-1 1999 has been withdrawn and replaced by ISO 14644-1 2015.

“Contamination has been the indirect cause of more IT downtime than all the fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and disgruntled employees combined.” – Jon William Toigo, Disaster Recovery Planning, Third Edition. 

Less than optimally clean hardware can severely impact data centre performance. Sub-microscopic particulates can interfere with your critical equipment’s electronics, leading to hard-to-troubleshoot problems and even data loss. “Datacom manager focus most of their energies on the physical structure and performance of the datacom infrastructure environment (cooling, power, and equipment). However, today’s intricate and sensitive information technology equipment requires certain levels of control of particulate contamination. This is often overlooked and left unchecked to disastrous effects”. ASHRE 2009. ISO 14644-1 2015 Class 8 is the solution.

Dissipating heat is essential to data centre operations, which means maintaining a steady airflow through the data centre. But this constant airflow can bring with it dust, dirt, and other types of particulates that find their way into your equipment’s delicate electronic innards. No matter how well your filtering systems work, every now and then it is necessary for data centre cleaning or computer room cleaning to be done. Indeed most equipment manufacturers state that data rooms should be cleaned regularly by a professional data room cleaning company.

“Perhaps the most important step to take to control contamination, is to contract with a reputable computer room maintenance company, to perform routine cleaning”. John William Toigo, Disaster Recovery Planning Third Addition.

The yardstick for measuring cleanliness is the amount of microscopic particles found per cubic metre of air. These particles range in size from 5μm (micrometre: a millionth of a metre) in diameter down to 0.5μm in diameter. Obviously, the larger the amount of large particles in an environment, the visibly dirtier the environment is. On the other hand, a small amount of very small particles means an extremely clean environment.

The ISO 14644-1 standard sets up ISO classes from 1 through 9; ISO Class 1 the most stringent, for example, allows only Ten particles at 0.1μm and two at 0.2μm per cubic metre’s of air. Class 1 is the ultimate in cleanliness, a tremendously stringent standard that only highly controlled environments, such as clean rooms in microprocessor fabrication or drug manufacture, can achieve.

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