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If you’ve ever wondered what we carry around and why, then read on as I take you through my toolkit essentials.

Everyone needs the right tools for the job – and that’s certainly true for data center technicians and engineers. I don't just mean a thrift-shop screwdriver or a wonky wrench – I mean the tools you can rely on, time and again.

Of course, sometimes literally any old screwdriver will do, but when it’s midnight on a mission-critical task, you want to reach for the tools you know you can rely on.

Now, as you’d expect, most companies offer some of the tools necessary for the job, but you never know when things will break, go missing or end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ultimately, it’s on you to make sure you’ve got what you need, when you need it.

If not, you can be sure that the tool you’re missing is the one you need when you’re in a pinch. What happens if there isn’t another soul in sight in the data center to ask, 'Hey, buddy, could I just borrow your headlamp?'

What are your go-time go-to's?

This is just my view, though: your recommendations may vary. So, whether you’re a data center technician, an engineer or an ops technician, we want to hear what’s in your data center go-time kit. Take our survey to share your top must-haves and register to receive a kit of your own. Once all the votes are in, we’ll send you a kit with the top four most popular items.

Click here to tell us what your top data center tools are and register for a kit.

Tech works with a screwdriver on a Hard drive

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Igor’s essential data center toolkit

We work in noisy places, and we never know when we’ll be in those places. Having earplugs on hand ensures we are being safe and protecting our ears. They are essential in places such as the data floor, an electrical room or a generator enclosure.

Let there be light! That’s what I say every time I turn on my headlamp. Often, we need to troubleshoot a piece of equipment that’s not exactly well-lit. It might be under a raised access floor or above a ceiling tile. The deep crevice of an air handler can also be pretty dark. Having a headlamp handy means we can see the problem we’re there to investigate. Plus, we have both hands free and don’t risk dropping our light source into a dark recess.

This is a lifesaver for anyone working in a data center. It allows us to ‘MacGyver’ any problem that comes our way. If we need to open a panel locked with flathead screws, no problem – our multitool comes with an integrated flathead screwdriver. If we need to pry something open, again no problem – the multitool has a pair of pliers. The list goes on, because a decent multitool will include at least 10 different tools – and the best part is that it fits on a belt! 

Woman working late at a data center surrounded by empty coffee cups

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When isn’t this needed?! From late-night requests to 12-hour shifts, we always need to be alert and focused. Coffee is our best friend when we have just experienced a UPS going to bypass, need to write or review an MOP, then perform said procedure. A good reusable coffee cup or travel mug is an investment.

The toolkit bag
I couldn’t finish my round-up without mentioning the toolkit bag itself. After all, this is your pal, your right-hand man, the Goose to your Maverick. You get the idea. It sounds simple, but if your kit bag is too small, you'll end up compromising on what you keep inside it. If it’s too big, you could end up with a swirling mass of tools that you have to dump out on the floor to find the one thing you need.

The ideal bag will be as Goldilocks would want it: just right. That means heavy-duty zippers, double stitching to house heavy tools, some waterproofing and a whole load of pockets, pouches and slots to keep things neat and tidy.

What’s in your go-time kit?

Click here take our survey and receive a data center kit with the top four items listed in the survey (while supplies last).