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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    1,744
    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

  2. #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

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    213
    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

  4. #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.

  5. #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

  6. #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.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,396
    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

  8. #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 ?

  9. #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.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,396
    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

  11. #26
    I can't phantom an the idea that Inergen could produce damage to electronic equipment. Why would anyone put it into a data center if it does? There are companies and organizations whose loss of data and equipment would result in worldwide catastrophic impact in millions of people's lives.

    Wikipedia article is altered on Feb.20.2010
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?...ldid=345309674
    by someone from uk2, the owners of Westhost. That page was altered to say" In some cases the release of Inergen is known to cause damage to hard drives". It was altered from IP 83.170.70.50 - gateway.uk2.net

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEFQI1DFpYA
    Ansul Inergen Clean Agent System - described as a safe for sensitive computer equipment.
    ===========
    Equipment safe: Unlike many other agents that can become corrosive and permanently damage electronic components, InergenŽ does not form any corrosive by-products that can damage equipment in server rooms, data centres, medical facilities, laboratories or other sensitive electronic environments.

    http://www.wormald.com.au/fire-syste...gaseous-system
    ===================

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    40
    Good explanation eming, and I can see how pressure could have catastrophic effects on the hard disks.

    What I'm struggling with is how come you used Inergen (or were satisfied with the use of Inergen) when you had this knowledge about how hard disks react to huge pressure changes in the environment.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,396
    Yes, we added that - I feel we had the proof to do so, and it was only fair to warn others. Can you blame us?

    SO, it is a coincidence that every colo client in the DC lost drives at the same second?

    Don't get me wrong, I don't actually think it was the only gas itself that killed the drives, my theory is that the DC's ventilation valves were not adjusted probably to release the pressure after killing fire, but before killing drives.
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,396
    Quote Originally Posted by tryaxiom View Post
    Good explanation eming, and I can see how pressure could have catastrophic effects on the hard disks.

    What I'm struggling with is how come you used Inergen (or were satisfied with the use of Inergen) when you had this knowledge about how hard disks react to huge pressure changes in the environment.
    It is not our DC. And the DC itself is as good as it comes. As expensive as any and fully SAS70-II certified etc.
    Ditlev Bredahl. CEO,
    OnApp.com & SolusVM.com + Cloud.net & CDN.net

  15. #30
    1) "If the air pressure is too low" - pressure wasn't too low, if anything it could had been a bit higher of about 10%, but most likely not more, otherwise people in the facility would had been bleeding from their ears due to such a high pressure increases since Inergen is released as gas to dilute oxygen from 25% to 15%. Also we don't know how much Inergen was released, was all gas was released or only 1 out of 10.

    2) Hard disk drives are not airtight. They have a permeable filter (a breather filter) between the top cover and inside of the drive, to allow the pressure inside and outside the drive to equalize while keeping out dust and dirt. .... You can see these breather holes on all drives -- they usually have a warning sticker next to them, informing the user not to cover the holes.

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