Data Center Work Rules

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This document is designed to prompt a data center professional’s thinking about the types of practices enforced in a data center.  Please use the following as benchmarks against the practices employed in the data center.

  1. No work shall take place in the data center without an approved Method of Procedure (MOP). The MOP shall outline each specific action that will take place to achieve the necessary work—before, during, and after the work takes place.  Durations and responsible parties shall be assigned to each task.  There shall be a Backout Procedure defined in the same level of detail.
  2. If the specified activity to be completed in the data center changes, approval shall be obtained prior to continuing work.
  3. If a condition is noticed that varies from what was expected or anticipated, approval shall be obtained prior to continuing work.
  4. Prior to commencing work, the appropriate provisions will be made in regard to the fire suppression system. This may include putting the system into “manual discharge” mode.
  5. Any activity that involves removing more than two access floor panels or a single ceiling tile must be approved in advance.
  6. Whenever equipment is moved into the data center, the access floor shall be sufficiently protected. This is typically achieved by using 4’ x 8’ sheets of fire-rated plywood.  Additionally, no access floor panels shall be out of the floor when equipment is being moved.
  7. Contractors shall sign in the contractor log and check in with the data center manager prior to commencing work. After the work is completed, contractor shall check in with the data center manager or other designated personnel.
  8. Prior to commencing work, contractor shall sign off on acceptance of Data Center Work Rules.
  9. Procedures shall be developed for periodic and emergency maintenance and repairs. They shall be documented and kept in hard and soft copy.
  10. A change control process shall be enforced regarding hardware moves, adds, and changes.
  11. If the result of the work performed in the data center alters existing conditions, the as-built drawings will be updated to show the new existing conditions.
  12. Documentation on all work performed shall be kept and stored with data center operations personnel along with documentation of equipment operations and maintenance manuals.
  13. Two way radios, cell phones, cameras, zip drives shall be not be brought into the data center without specific permission.
  14. All vacuums used in the data center shall contain HEPA filters.
  15. Any work that produces dust shall be isolated. HEPA vacuums will be used to remove dust from area.
  16. All electrical devices must be plugged into wall service outlets. No under-floor outlets shall be used.
  17. No liquids and/or chemicals shall be brought into the data center without prior approval.


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