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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Rainy Oregon!
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    Inergen vs. Water in Server Room?

    I work for a large company that has dedicated server rooms for all of our servers + our PBX.

    At our building we have inergen as the fire retardant for our server room, but I was just talking to another Facility Manager who said she was told (by who???) that inergen causes as much damage to servers as water does, so on this advice she was putting sprinkler systems into all her server rooms in new building...

    Does anyone have any experience with this? Either the water or the inergen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
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    I'm no expert but I don't think you'd want to use water in an area where there is the potential for electrical fire.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2004
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    I dont agree with that, just imagine water in a server... men.. a must see situation (but not my servers)

  4. #4
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    Thanks... my thoughts exactly... I can't imagine mixing water & servers!

  5. #5
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    Jun 2004
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    You wonder if its possible to make a server room with no oxygen..then fire cant even start..lol

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Among the corn
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    Originally posted by camers
    You wonder if its possible to make a server room with no oxygen..then fire cant even start..lol
    Sure, then nobody could work.. Briillliant idea.
    I'm sorry, but our last oxygen mask was just used, and the guy STILL hasn't come out of the server room yet
    Linux admin, support tech, php developer for hire. PM for more info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    haha.. Im sure theres a way round it. Im thinking a masisve generator that sucks it all out some how and sorts the whole ion particals out etc etc

    be pretty sweet... we'll see datacenters in 10 years time haha

  8. #8
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    Nov 2004
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    Dallas
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    LOL

    Datacenter :"Sorry we have some problem with our MGTSIAOSH (massive generator that sucks it all out some how). It went crazy and sucked the technician that was going to reboot your server"


    And in the "Datacenter" section of thousands of webhosts, you are going to see in the future: Plasma Generator Power, UPS backups, MGTSIAOSH,.



    I cant stop laughing.... hahahahahahahha

  9. #9
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    Dec 2004
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    Rainy Oregon!
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    I'll check to see if the MGTSIAOSH is in the 2005 budget

    (and the special masks that will have to be implemented to keep everyone's eyes from getting sucked out of their heads while working in there) who's gonna tell my telephony guy???


  10. #10
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    Jun 2004
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    heh amusing..thanks guys :p

  11. #11
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    Dec 2002
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    You want some sort of gas suppression system.

    If you do that though, you most likely need oxygen masks placed at regular intervals on the DC floor incase some of your employees get caught when the system goes off.

    Might be something to look at, anyways...

    But water and electricity == bad
    Dan Sheppard ~ Freelance whatever

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Hudson, Wisconsin
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    560
    Take a look as something that the company I work for just came out with. It is pretty cool stuff. We submerged a powered up laptop and cell phone in it and it kept working. Here are some links.

    3M Novec 1230 Fire Protection Fluid.

    http://cms.3m.com/cms/US/en/2-68/iclcrFR/view.jhtml

    http://wcco.com/siteSearch/local_story_350105453.html

  13. #13
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    Dec 2004
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    Rainy Oregon!
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    Thanks for the links & info. We literally just found out Wednesday that we had server rooms being designed w/ water sprinklers... and want to make sure we put an end to that - quickly


  14. #14
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    Sep 2004
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    Chicago, IL
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    Ben Lenard, MS, MBA
    TechMinds 4 Hire, Inc - (866) 214-1285 x 2001
    http://www.tm4h.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    California
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    2,005
    Where some of our servers are colocated in a Time Warner building, it uses FM-200.

    http://www.reliablefire.com/fm200/fm200.html
    http://www.e1.greatlakes.com/fm200/jsp/index.jsp

    It's not deadly to humans, but it certainly isn't good. Then again you probably shouldn't be in the datacenter when it's on fire.
    I wish all my traffic went through AS174.

  16. #16
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    Jun 2002
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    Sydney, Australia
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    Originally posted by blenard
    Did you look into Halon?
    I didn't think Halon was allowed to be used anymore? I'm not even sure if new suppressant is being manufactured, as Halon is a CFC.

    As for fire suppression, FM-200 seems to be a good option from what I've read about it, and it doesn't require people to go racing for oxygen masks if the system is discharged.

    It's probably a good idea to consider a pre-action sprinkler as a last resort if something like FM-200 doesn't work, especially if you can setup a system to cut power to all or part of a server room in case of a fire - especially if the server room is in an office building (building code would probably require sprinklers in this case anyway).

    -Shaun

  17. #17
    FM-200 is the way to go. If setup properly, FM-200 is the last resort, no need to take any actions after it goes off because it will displace all oxygen in the room. No oxygen, no fire. Keep servers as far away from water as possible...

    T

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    I know someone that still sells Halon sysztems. not sure..
    Ben Lenard, MS, MBA
    TechMinds 4 Hire, Inc - (866) 214-1285 x 2001
    http://www.tm4h.com

  19. #19
    Searching the net I can't find any reputable report of Inergen damaging the computer equipment or data. If you find it please let me know.

  20. #20
    search again,
    find the vendor,
    read the application notes.

    westhost, right?
    edgedirector.com
    managed dns global failover and load balance (gslb)
    exactstate.com
    uptime report for webhostingtalk.com

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    40
    plumsauce, we have no evidence that Inergen caused the damage here. In fact, Westhost have been obfuscating on the issue ever since the original problem occured several days ago.

    Any host that goes down for a whole week because the fire protection system was triggered needs to point a finger somewhere. For the moment WH is trying to imply that it's the Inergen that's the cause of all their servers getting damaged ...while at the same time not categorically saying that.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
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    Quote Originally Posted by tryaxiom View Post
    plumsauce, we have no evidence that Inergen caused the damage here. In fact, Westhost have been obfuscating on the issue ever since the original problem occured several days ago.

    Any host that goes down for a whole week because the fire protection system was triggered needs to point a finger somewhere. For the moment WH is trying to imply that it's the Inergen that's the cause of all their servers getting damaged ...while at the same time not categorically saying that.
    I can confirm 100% that it was the Inergen based fire protection system that caused all the issues we had in the Salt Lake City DC.

    http://status.vps.net/?p=136 <- read more there. (VPS.NET shares DC space with Westhost - both owned by UK2Group.com)


    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  23. #23
    I am not sure if you can actually confirm that Inergen discharge caused hardware failure, and just saying that you can is not a proof of confirming it.

    Report from Consonus http://status.vps.net/wp-content/upl...010/02/cip.pdf is of Inergen discharge, not that it caused such a widespread computer hardware failure.

    Do you have any proof ?

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    40
    Thanks for your reply.

    the Inergen based fire protection system that caused all the issues
    That's a significant departure from anything that's been said on the matter so far.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    London
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaOne View Post
    I am not sure if you can actually confirm that Inergen discharge caused hardware failure, and just saying that you can is not a proof of confirming it.

    Report from Consonus http://status.vps.net/wp-content/upl...010/02/cip.pdf is of Inergen discharge, not that it caused such a widespread computer hardware failure.

    Do you have any proof ?
    Proof? Well, all the proof I need.

    At 2PM all systems etc were fine
    At 2.21PM the Inergen suppression system was released (human error it seems)
    10 mins later or so, we lost ~300 hard drives

    And it was not only us, all the other COLO clients in the DC were running around replacing drives like mad men.

    Asking my brilliant IT manager I got this answer:

    (...)Essentially, due to an accidental release of Inergen during a routing
    fire inspection yesterday the sudden increase of air pressure on the
    data center floor resulted in mass disk failures, files corruption, and
    failed arrays. See below for a more detailed explanation:

    The (mostly) sealed enclosure protects the drive internals from dust,
    condensation, and other sources of contamination. The hard disk's
    read-write heads fly on an air bearing (a cushion of air) only
    nanometers above the disk surface. The disk surface and the drive's
    internal environment must therefore be kept immaculately clean, as
    fingerprints, hair, dust, and even smoke particles have mountain-sized
    dimensions when compared to the submicroscopic gap that the heads
    maintain.

    Some people believe a disk drive contains a vacuum - this is incorrect,
    as the system relies on air pressure inside the drive to support the
    heads at their proper flying height while the disk is in motion. Another
    common misconception is that a hard drive is totally sealed. A hard disk
    drive requires a certain range of air pressures in order to operate
    properly. If the air pressure is too low, the air will not exert enough
    force on the flying head, the head will not be at the proper height, and
    there is a risk of head crashes and data loss. (Specially manufactured
    sealed and pressurized drives are needed for reliable high-altitude
    operation, above about 10,000 feet.) Some modern drives include flying
    height sensors to detect if the pressure is too low, and temperature
    sensors to alert the system to overheating problems.

    Best regards,

    Matt McBride (CCNP, CCDP, CISSP)
    IT Manager

    D
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

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