Turing's Man Blog

Fuel filled! Quality? What for?

Let's assume we have detailed maintenance plan for our critical data center infrastructure. We're sure this covers all areas we have to take care of to provide required level of operational continuity. We invested a lot into best possible devices in field of emergency power systems (both diesel power generators and UPS), cooling and telecommunication. Everything we need is designed for optimum level of redundancy in accordance to industrial guidelines and all possible good practices one may know. Our staff is highly trained and integrated. There are clear procedures. We feel we have the control, we feel we're prepared for almost everything. Most incidents like typical power outages or partial cooling system failures don't make much difference for us. We remain operational all the time. We feel we're able to serve 24/7. We also value the maintenance, as every critical system in our data center has to be in its best condition possible. Yet, do we really remember about everything? I'm afraid that in many cases – no. We are simply not aware what more should be maintained. Do you know what is the most forgotten maintenance? It's the backup generator fuel.

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Data center professional, like a good sailor, looks for weather forecast each day

Do you see what is going on in the US right now? Hurricane Irene is approaching. While New York City begins evacuating residents from low-lying area ahead of Hurricane Irene, the region’s data center facilities are making preparations to continue operating throughout the storm – as we can read on Data Center Knowledge magazine on-line. Well, well, well... I hope all those my friends making some jokes about me, taking care too much of weather forecasts for my region each day are now seeing what's going on in the US. Of course, I'm not there, but being data center manager somehow influences you in some, at a first glance, strange areas. Weather is a good example.

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Are you ready for disaster?

Of course, you are. We all are sure that “we are”. We have our Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plans defined, sometimes even tested and being ready to be implemented in case of any disaster. This is true, isn't it? To be even more dedicated to the subject it's worth to consider some statistics that are, to some extent, widely known but somehow spread all over the Internet.

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Novec 1230, also known as "waterless water" or "dry water"

Alright. Last time I said (two times: here and here) we will discuss Novec 1230, a fire suppression agent that is worth to be presented for a longer while. Generally speaking, Novec 1230 is a fluid which is environmentally friendly Halon replacement designed for usage in gaseous fire suppression systems. The funny fact is, that Novec 1230 is known as “waterless water” or “dry water” - this really shows the whole idea behind. Like many other fire suppression agents, it's aimed to be used in situations where water from fire sprinkler would damage expensive equipment or where water-based fire protection is considered harmful, like in museums, banks, clean rooms, hospitals or our – beloved – data centers. What is really important Novec 1230 fluid does not deplete ozone, but let's watch a very nice video where everything becomes clear – we learn not only about Novec 1230, but also about Halon, ecological impact, global warming, Montreal Protocol, Kyoto Protocol and fire suppression in general. Nice!

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VESDA detects smoke before flames appear

Last time we've been talking for a while about fire suppression systems and extinguishing agents, like Intergen and FM200. We still have to look at Novec 1230 agent, as this one was only mentioned in my last blog post and really deserves to be investigated in more details. Anyway, suppression systems are critical for any serious data center, but before real fire occurs and has to be suppressed, it would be really good to have at least a chance of prevention in as early stage as possible. Hence, we need Aspirating Smoke Detectors (ASD) and the most popular solution is VESDA – acronym stands from: Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus. So, let's see how this really interesting piece of hardware works.

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