Raised Floors

Ethan O'Toole ethan at 757.org
Thu May 23 14:18:59 CDT 2019

> 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.

Most systems do air first (pre action) while triggering the PDU/UPS 
systems to shut off first but some X seconds later water is coming out. 
Out of the sprinkler head that was broken, not all heads?

> 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.

I'm sitting in a fairly large multi-tenant datacenter right now and there 
are no EPO buttons. There might be somewhere on a UPS or PDU somewhere, 
but nothing I could hit. The amount of damage from doing so would be 
horrendus. The employees of the facility might have access to something, 
but I would hope it's zoned out.

> 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.

Right, and smoke sets off the smoke alarm. It takes actual heat to burst 
the liquid thing that pops and lets the sprinkler head open. It's not 
electronically controlled I would think? Not like the movie "hackers" 
would portray?

> 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.

Dell BIOS/Lifecycle crud is so slow and horrible :-( . Huge turd. Haven't 
seen any HP boxes go up. Had thousands of Supermicro boxes at prior gig 
and while the power supplies had engineering flaws never really saw one 
put out smoke (sample size possibly 5 digit # of servers.)

: Ethan O'Toole

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