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Data Protection: A Burning Issue
By: Michael Lowry
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    Table of Contents:
  • Data Protection: A Burning Issue
  • Basic Data Center Protection
  • The FIRELOCK Experience
  • Conclusion

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    Data Protection: A Burning Issue - Basic Data Center Protection

    (Page 2 of 4 )

    I think the most likely catastrophe to hit a data center is fire, whether caused by nature or man himself. If you're looking to prevent this from happening to you, here are some of the most common factors that start data center fires:

    • Paper and supplies scattered about the data center (materials, like generator fuel, not stored in the proper place).

    • A lack of procedural safety training for data center personnel.

    • Unused wire materials collecting underneath the floor.

    • Piping leaks.

    • Old and improperly set up infrastructure.

    Because electricity is most likely to ignite any stray wires or supplies, it is crucial to have an emergency power off for both the room's power and that of the air conditioning, not to mention reliable smoke detectors; the detectors should cover a range of 125 square feet each. As part of the whole fire suppression system, the detectors will send a signal to the control panel (the good ones can detect a fire before it starts), which in turn warns the data center personnel and activates the discharge system (most likely sprinklers). The sprinkler systems come in two types: wet-pipe, which keeps the pipes flooded with water at all times, and dry-pipe, where the pipes are filled with pressurized air and the water is held back by a deluge valve.

    One of the most obvious steps to take would be building the data center in the lowest-risk area and as close to a fire station as possible. The data center itself should be separated from every room in the building by fire-rated walls and ceilings. This will allow for the most economic fire suppression system as all of its components can be concentrated into one room. And before installing the suppression system, it is vital to determine the required amount of uptime. The uptime is the measurement of how long a computer system has been up and running; it can be used to determine how long a system can be left unattended without crashing or shutting down. Again, this will help minimize the cost of your system.

    By following these specific guidelines and checking your data center for the problems listed, you will be on your way to stronger, more reliable data storage. Keep reading to see what one company is doing to lead the way in data protection.

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