Raised Floors

Patrick Finnegan pat at vax11.net
Wed May 22 10:08:02 CDT 2019

On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 3:43 AM Jim Manley via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org>

> Someone should be sued and go to prison for signing off on permits that
> would allow water to get anywhere near a DC - it's a violation of the
> National Electric Code, for starters.  If anyone sees something like that,
> it should be reported immediately, and not within the organization, since
> the facilities people are either incompetent or complicit in keeping quiet
> about it.  That's what anonymous.hotlines are for, and the media, if no
> action occurs with the hotlines - we're talking about the possibility of
> serious injury and death here.

Purdue's insurer REQUIRES fire sprinklers in data centers.  And it's not
atypical from what I've heard.  They are all dry, pre-action systems, which
eliminate most of the danger of it accidentally dumping water.  It's
unlikely that with a dry pipe, pre-action system water will be dumped
somewhere that a person is standing without warning[0]. These days,
equipment is easy to replace (compared to classic systems) given a good DR
plan and a good insurance provider.

The NEC also requires[1] an EPO system to shut off all power sources
(including any UPS).  I'm pretty sure that any fire that required a hose to
be pulled off of a truck would first result in the power being shut off.

The experiences that I've had with non-water based fire suppression systems
is that they're way too twitchy, and likely to go off because (another[2])
HPE server in the datacenter released its magic smoke.  Standard sprinklers
only affect the area where the fire set them off, and don't have to douse
your whole multi-1000 sq ft data center.

0. Generally, multiple smoke/heat detectors have to be triggered before the
sprinkler system is charged with water.

1. The NEC isn't always followed when management decides there should be an
exception.  Insurance company guidelines are followed because not following
them has a tangible cost.  No one is going to be sued/go to prison for
this, at least here.

2. In our experience, HPE servers tend to (internally) catch fire and
release smoke at a rate of around 10-to-1 vs the Dell servers we've had.

(Standing back and looking at the mess he made of cctalk... Sorry, Jay.)

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