miller60 writes: Is preventive maintenance on data center equipment not really that preventive after all? With human error cited as a leading cause of downtime, a vigorous maintenance schedule can actually make a data center less reliable, according to some industry experts.“The most common threat to reliability is excessive maintenance,” said Steve Fairfax of "science risk" consultant MTechnology. "We get the perception that lots of testing improves component reliability. It does not.” In some cases, poorly documented maintenance can lead to conflicts with automated systems, he warned. Other speakers at the recent 7x24 Exchange conference urged data center operators to focus on understanding their own facilities, and then evaluating which maintenance programs are essential, including offerings from equipment vendors.