By Jason Drewniak

Weather is warmer, days are longer, and birds are chirping! As we begin to clean away our winter woes and jump into the spirit of spring cleaning, we must also consider the clutter of our IT environments. Cleaning your data center helps provide continuity throughout your system and reinforce the effectiveness of your security efforts. That’s why the Garland Technology team came up with 5 recommendations to clean and optimize your data center:

Cleaning is a little easier with some tunes, so here’s our favorite music nerd cleaning playlist

https://open.spotify.com/user/rgh5029/playlist/3YPtcos07XRfV0B9YccsBM?si=FF-19JARTWGr7-Ztf6u0Xg

Recycle Time

Computers, equipment, hardware – it starts to pile up quick. First, in the corner of a cubicle, then in a coat closet, and finally scattered around the office building like a bunch of poorly hidden Horcruxes. Spring is a great time to address unused and out of date electronics hardware. Track down any equipment you’ve previously demoed or have completed proof of concepts with, and return it to the vendor partners to solidify your cleaning wizardry. For any company-owned tech equipment that is outdated or faulty don’t throw it in the garbage creating e-waste. (There is already more e-waste than any of us care to admit.) Consider responsible recycling. e-Stewards promote electronics reuse and recycling best practices and they have a list of electronics recyclers on their website (you can search by zip code and recycling service).

Password Choice

What is your spouse’s eldest sibling’s first pet’s name? Uh…”Madden”-ing! Passwords and two-factor authentication answers add up in the course of a year with new software programs to load, GUIs to access, and dozens of accounts to manage. Take a moment to find all of the post-its around your workspace and organize your passwords. Don’t wait for an emergency or an island vacation to wish you had a better management system for you and your team’s passwords. There are several enterprise password managers on the market to really take corporate network access to superior levels. An article on cio.com suggests the Best Enterprise-Grade Managers available. No password is needed to read the article.

Dustless is More

Business in the front. Party in the back. Take a few hours in a day or a few minutes every day for a week and clean up your server racks, post racks, and cabinets. Cables and wires become tangled as frequently as your earphones. Dust is the silent enemy of electronic equipment because it can increase the operating temperature and even corrode circuit boards over time if not cleaned properly. Air filters become clogged. So take this opportunity to untangle, dust, and change air filters regularly and enjoy an immaculate data center or IT room.

Drowning in Data

The deep ocean of data you’re drowning in was not always an overwhelming abyss. The accumulation of duplicate, corrupt, incorrect, or inactive files, and application, mixed with reliable important sources can make you feel like you’re floating in a boat without a paddle. When is the last time you went through your system to delete files or applications? If your answer is over a year, consider setting some time aside to file away old data you aren’t actively using and archive the ones that may be important. Once you’ve gone through old files, make critical updates and patches to your overall security plan. You can find an overview of how to clean your network here. A data cleanse can help improve security detection, as well as save time and increase efficiency for your operation.

Streamline the Network

Now that you’ve taken the steps to clear the clutter in your center, it’s time to streamline your inventory and monitor sensitive data. With vital tools for network visualization, Cirries PacketPoint and Garland Technology’s TAPs can digest data from multiple sources and reduce it to the right format. Together, they generate a real-time notification, storage, or application used to reveal real-time performance and security of any network.

We’d love to hear your data center spring cleaning successes and suggestions. Hit us up on LinkedIn or Twitter to continue the conversation.

Jason Drewniak is the Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Garland Technology in the Buffalo, New York office. His experience building brands and delighting customers cover a variety of tech-forward products like computers, toys, and beer. At Garland, he is responsible for educating network stakeholders about the “Garland Difference!”