Cleaning Standards

Data Centre Cleaning Standard Class 8

The international standards for cleanroom, clean zones and controlled environment (Data Rooms are controlled environments) is referred to as ISO 14644-1. The ISO 14644-1 series of standards are a series of documents that establish various classifications for cleanliness as well as methods for testing compliance, test methods and others.

Less than optimally clean hardware can severely impact data centre performance. Microscopic particles can interfere with your critical equipment’s electronics, leading to hard-to-troubleshoot problems and even data loss. IT staff and facility staff focus most of their energies on the physical structure and performance of the  IT infrastructure environment (cooling, power, and equipment). However, today’s complex and sensitive information technology equipment requires certain levels of control to reduce particulate contamination. This is often overlooked and left unchecked to disastrous effects”.  ISO Class 8 is the solution.
Dissipating heat is essential to data center 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 electronics. No matter how well you’re filtering systems work, it is necessary to clean your data centre. Indeed most equipment manufacturers state that data rooms should be cleaned regularly by a professional data room cleaning company.
The gauge 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 includes several ISO classes that range 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.

Airborne Particulate (Dust) in a Data Room.

The data centre standard that a majority of data centres need to achieve is ISO 14644-1 Class 8 standard or better. Class 8 allows 3.52 million 0.5μm particles per cubic metre. Class 8 is often referred to as a 5 Micron Clean or Clinical Clean. IT manufactures such as Cisco, HP and EMC now all state what the acceptable levels of contamination are for their equipment. Most major hardware vendors now state "their equipment must be kept in a data centre which has been decontaminated to a sufficient level on the ISO 14644-1 Clean Room and Controlled environment scale". This is Class 8 or better. Should your environment not meet this requirement their OEM warranty may not cover equipment damaged by dust.

As part of our any of our services, we will carry out a particulate survey to ISO requirements. After the data room cleaning we will issue a certificate of conformity to show what Class the room has achieved.

These certificates are invaluable for internal and external audits plus OEM's may require them after a contamination event to allow them to re-apply their warranties ISO 14644-2 states that to achieve the ISO 14644 Class 8 standard the room must be cleaned at no more than 12 monthly intervals