Tech Corner

7 Common Data Center Problems And How To Fix Them

Imagine 328 million terabytes of data. That’s how much data is estimated to be produced every single day, and data centers are at the heart of it all. 

However, managing and maintaining these facilities isn’t without challenges. Common data center problems can disrupt operations and result in downtime. 

Data centers worldwide form the backbone of enterprise operations and communication. From healthcare to banking, businesses and people rely on data centers to work. These facilities require 24/7 monitoring, maintenance, and support to ensure infrastructure runs optimally and data is available around the clock. 

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In this article, we will provide the following:

  • A list of the most common issues data centers face.
  • An explanation of how management can prevent and resolve them.
  • An explanation of how professional third-party services can help.

1. Inadequate or Poor Use of Space

It’s not uncommon for data center facilities to use floorspace inefficiently. As a result, data centers find it difficult to add new racks as their data needs grow. External factors like limited energy availability further exacerbate the issue. 

Poor design and insufficient capacity planning limit infrastructure and data handling expansion. Some facilities may have no choice but to relocate to a more extensive area to accommodate the physical growth. And data center relocation can be challenging and expensive. 


While relocation and even colocation are plausible solutions for expansion, a more cost-effective option is to rethink the design and architecture to accommodate equipment optimally. Plan for current and future capacity. 

Capacity planning diagram showing industry specific regulations, power utilities, cooling, rack optimization, BC/DR, and green/CSR

Consider upgrading to high-density racks to accommodate more servers and storage in the same space. Ensure that cooling needs are met as more devices are added to the infrastructure. 

2. Power Disruptions

Data centers face a common but also debilitating issue: power disruption. Outages are expensive for data centers – over 60% of data center outages in 2022 resulted in a loss of $100,000 or more. 


The answer to power disruption concerns lies in data center redundancy, particularly for uninterrupted power supply (UPS) units. For the power supply, try to realize a 2N+1 redundancy level, which is the highest and the most reliable. 

In other words, have ample backup UPS units to keep critical and non-critical equipment running when the main power supply is interrupted. 

3. Network Connectivity Issues

Faulty cabling, latency, and congestion may cause networking connectivity problems. These issues commonly impact data transfer rates, a key metric for the performance of data center communication systems. 

Congestion is the most frequent issue where traffic surpasses the network's capacity, resulting in delays and slow throughput. Similarly, latency may be caused by suboptimal network configuration or poorly maintained equipment. 


You need to take both preventative and supportive actions to tackle network issues. First, rework the network connections to ensure no bottlenecks are causing congestion. Secondly, use network monitoring tools to proactively discover connectivity issues and nip them in the bud.

Many data centers use content delivery networks (CDNs) to bring data closer to the edge and remove latency. 

Content delivery global map showing user, CDN server, and origin server locations and connections

Maintenance is critical for ensuring the good health of the network. Ensure that all devices, especially the old ones, are maintained by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or a third party. With OneCall, data centers can combine OEM and third-party maintenance (TPM) to maximize equipment reliability. 

4. Low Energy Efficiency

Data centers use a lot of energy, contributing to their carbon footprint. Inefficient energy use results in not only monetary but also environmental loss. 

According to CBRE, data centers in many locations face unavailability of power to grow, which only necessitates optimization of energy use. On top of that, there’s increased pressure on tech companies to do more to curb and offset emissions. 


It’s imperative to monitor the energy usage of crucial equipment like servers and storage and the facility as a whole. Take a step back and analyze how equipment use can be more energy-efficient. For instance, using servers at total capacity maximizes their efficiency. 

As for reducing the data center's carbon footprint, invest in several green technologies to help reduce emissions. 

5. Misconfigurations and Compatibility Issues

Misconfigurations or incompatibilities in hardware or software can disrupt operations. These issues are especially likely in multi-vendor environments. And things get worse if you don’t have technical expertise, such as hardware engineers, to resolve such issues quickly. 


Conduct a compatibility check when refreshing equipment or acquiring new software solutions for the data center. Ensure that what you’re adding works with what you already have. Multi-vendor environments are highly encouraged as you avoid vendor lock-ins and get the best of equipment, but look out for possible compatibility issues in advance. 

Similarly, maintain configuration changes to restore settings to the earlier state if any drifts occur. Human error is often the culprit behind misconfiguration, so ensure that only authorized personnel can make configuration changes and that those changes are recorded. 

6. Management Challenges

Data center management is a challenging calling. The managers and administrators must oversee resource allocation, performance monitoring, and workload distribution to ensure everything goes smoothly. Of course, some curveballs make management difficult. 


With the right tools and training, the management at any data center facility can tackle issues head-on. 

All the other issues in this list also fall under management’s responsibility, making them a data center management challenge. 

Analyzing data from the equipment and tools can give management insights into performance, efficiency, and more. Instead of waiting for issues to become apparent, administrators should proactively look for and resolve issues before they become significant. 

Equipment maintenance has a significant role in easing management. Where OEM maintenance is lacking, managers can use TPM like OneCall to bridge the gap and ensure the appliances are backed by necessary support. 

7. Security Issues

From human-caused access compromise to malware causing havoc on performance, the severity of security threats data centers face keeps growing. Ransomware, the most prominent threat to data centers, amounted to 24% of all data breaches in 2023


Data centers need both physical and digital security. To stay ahead of threats, you need to constantly monitor access and look for unusual activity. Follow tried-and-tested practices for data protection, including isolated backups, advanced security hardware, and a robust security/compliance policy. 

As human error is a common cause of security breaches, provide periodic informational and practical training to personnel on all levels. 

Tackling Data Center Challenges With the Right Help

Running data centers without issues is no easy feat. Realistically, getting everything right on your own is challenging, and there are various common data center problems. Visionary leaders know when and how to delegate external assistance to ensure success. 

In the case of data centers, maintenance is intrinsically linked with the most common issues. From interruptions caused by hardware failure to poor compatibility, several problems can be directly resolved with proper maintenance. 

OneCall’s maintenance services are designed to help data centers run smoothly with minimal to zero disruptions. Maintenance should solve your problems, not create new ones.


Get coverage tailored to your networks and confidence, knowing when something happens, your spares will be there. Discover why so many enterprises trust OneCall as their maintenance partner!

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