Raised Floors

Wayne S wayne.sudol at hotmail.com
Tue May 21 19:19:28 CDT 2019


The arguments I’ve heard from a few data center builders/managers is that the main factor in how a DC is built is that can the business be insured against catastrophic loss. It has to meet all fire codes and has to be reasonably resistant to unforeseen catastrophes, like flooding and earthquakes.

For instance, in the event of an earthquake,  equipment should be anchored to the floor so that it won’t fall over in an and no wiring should be able to short out. Ups power should be out of the room in case of fire so that the firemen can shut it off or else they won’t go into the room because of the shock hazard so the equipment will probably be lost until the fire burns out. And you probably won’t have business continuity insurance. Water hazard is a big one.  A/C water leaks, water/liquid from firemen and fire suppression systems, and water supply leaks damage equipment, so if you build on the first floor a slightly raised floor with a drain in it will usually pass insurance inspection.  Above the first floor then a flat floor with somewhere for liquids to go is probably okay. Also depends on the computer equipment in the room. If everything is in racks at least a few inches above the floor,  where liquid can build up, then it’s probably going to be okay.  If they sit on the floor then not so good.

If the DC is in the basement below sewer pipe level, then you need to take some extra precautions to provide somewhere for the water to go.

I’ve been involved in 3 incidents regarding water at different sites… One where a drain pipe cap in another part of the building popped off during a heavy rainstorm and rainwater somehow flooded the computer room. No damage because the room was raised floor with 6 feet underneath. Another time a 12” water main in the cafeteria broke and flooded everything. That was a lot of water – took a long time to shut off. Computer room was okay because of raised floor, and because the water ran out the front of the building,  just had to soak up the water with rags, but people outside the room who had towers sitting on the floor lost them.  You could actually see the highwater mark on the computers. Third time was the roof leaked over the computer room during a rainstorm and water got in. The DC was a non-raised floor on the second floor so the water ran under the doors and down the stairs.

From: cctech <cctech-bounces at classiccmp.org> on behalf of Craig Ruff via cctech <cctech at classiccmp.org>
Sent: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 4:33:07 PM
To: cctech at classiccmp.org
Subject: Re: Raised Floors

The NCAR Wyoming Supercomputer Center has raised floors of about 20 feet. The auxilary cooling and PDUs are installed down there.  Needless to say, you don't pull a floor tile there unless you are on the facility staff!

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