Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.
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Server room in basement

A Partner wants to relocate the server room to the basement. We're in SF,
so although it's almost always temperate, there is humidity in the basement
like in most buildings.

The power panel is down there, so a generator is considered easy. It's a
70-80 year old building, and with age and seismic activity there have been
cracks in the walls over the decades. In addition, we've had flooding down
there from water mains and rain.

I'm not in favor, but do any of you have opinions? Of course you do! 🙂

Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere I've
ever been?

Thanks!


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22 Replies
Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

On Fri, 2010-08-27 at 00:11 +0000, Craig wrote:
> A Partner wants to relocate the server room to the basement. We're in SF,
> so although it's almost always temperate, there is humidity in the basement
> like in most buildings.
>
> The power panel is down there, so a generator is considered easy. It's a
> 70-80 year old building, and with age and seismic activity there have been
> cracks in the walls over the decades. In addition, we've had flooding down
> there from water mains and rain.
>
> I'm not in favor, but do any of you have opinions? Of course you do! 🙂
>
> Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere I've
> ever been?


It's a mistake.. however, I HAVE seen them in basements. AMR (American
Airlines) likes to put servers into the WET basement.

Very frustrating.

My current data center is on the 8th floor.... which maybe is too "sky
high". Does make wheeling in the REALLY heavy stuff fun... I can only
imagine what the people on 7 (7 is a different company) are thinking.


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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

Can you expound on the mistake part? Thanks
"Chris Cox" <cjcox@no-mx.forums.novell.com> wrote in message
news:1282868556.21816.85.camel@geeko...
> On Fri, 2010-08-27 at 00:11 +0000, Craig wrote:
>> A Partner wants to relocate the server room to the basement. We're in
>> SF,
>> so although it's almost always temperate, there is humidity in the
>> basement
>> like in most buildings.
>>
>> The power panel is down there, so a generator is considered easy. It's a
>> 70-80 year old building, and with age and seismic activity there have
>> been
>> cracks in the walls over the decades. In addition, we've had flooding
>> down
>> there from water mains and rain.
>>
>> I'm not in favor, but do any of you have opinions? Of course you do! 🙂
>>
>> Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere I've
>> ever been?

>
> It's a mistake.. however, I HAVE seen them in basements. AMR (American
> Airlines) likes to put servers into the WET basement.
>
> Very frustrating.
>
> My current data center is on the 8th floor.... which maybe is too "sky
> high". Does make wheeling in the REALLY heavy stuff fun... I can only
> imagine what the people on 7 (7 is a different company) are thinking.
>
>



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adrockk Contributor.
Contributor.

Re: Server room in basement

On Fri, 27 Aug 2010 00:11:15 GMT, "Craig" <elrushbo@eib.net> wrote:
> Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere

I've
> ever been?


Because water runs down hill.

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

Craig wrote:

> Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere
> I've ever been?


http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/feature/5986.html
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

I've worked at several companies which had their servers/mainframes in the
basement, and, of course, many others which had their equipment on the first
floor or higher. Several of these basement data centers were in commercial
banks.

None of these companies ever experienced a problem. Most had big sump pumps
to prevent a problem, and a generator to keep the sump pump working.
Another had very good drains in the basement.

However, I've also worked in two buildings which had major basement flooding
(several feet of water). In the first, a very heavy rain backed up, and
even though they had dual sump pumps, each handling 2" pipe, they couldn't
keep up. They finally overheated and shut off, allowing the basement to
fill with several feet of water.

The second had water flowing up from the floor drains during a heavy rain,
and filled the basement with about 3-4 ft. of water.

It would certainly seem that, at a minimum, you must have redundant sump
pumps capable of removing many gallons of water per minute, autostart
generators capable of running these sump pumps, high water alarms with
autodialers, and equipment which is several feet off the floor. Because of
the natural moisture, dehumidifiers and/or air conditioning equipment is
also necessary.

-Bob Carroll


"Craig" <elrushbo@eib.net> wrote in message
news:DoDdo.59733$N74.32189@kovat.provo.novell.com...
>A Partner wants to relocate the server room to the basement. We're in SF,
>so although it's almost always temperate, there is humidity in the basement
>like in most buildings.
>
> The power panel is down there, so a generator is considered easy. It's a
> 70-80 year old building, and with age and seismic activity there have been
> cracks in the walls over the decades. In addition, we've had flooding
> down there from water mains and rain.
>
> I'm not in favor, but do any of you have opinions? Of course you do! 🙂
>
> Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere I've
> ever been?
>
> Thanks!
>



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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

On Fri, 2010-08-27 at 00:38 +0000, Craig wrote:
> Can you expound on the mistake part? Thanks


Water and computer equipment.... what else is there to say??


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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

Take the partner down to the bay and push him/her off a pier with an
appropriate amount of weight chained on.

When the flood comes (all basements flood at one time or another) your
servers will die. The UPSs will die also, however, they will die slower.
This will result in a dangerous condition for some hours in which anyone
entering the water to try to rescue any equipment will be at grave risk of
electrcution. Even if you get the power shut down the minute the water
reaches the equipment, the UPSs will continue to supply power and because
UPSs weigh a lot the never seem to be on the to rack making them easy to
shut down safely. Because the UPSs continue to supply power electrogalvanic
corrosion will commence as soon as the water arrives and continue until the
batteries exhaust themselves completely

A situation in which you might have been down for a day or two may well
stretch into a week or two. If you have access quickly to identical
replacement parts for everything. If you don't it may take a month to put
things back into working order.

Placing servers in a basement is dumber than a box of rocks. Do not even
allow them to consider it and stand your ground.


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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

That experience of Tim's is what I was thinking of as well Scott.

--
Lindsey
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement


> I've worked at several companies which had their servers/mainframes in the
> basement, and, of course, many others which had their equipment on the first
> floor or higher. Several of these basement data centers were in commercial
> banks.
>
> None of these companies ever experienced a problem. Most had big sump pumps
> to prevent a problem, and a generator to keep the sump pump working.
> Another had very good drains in the basement.
>
> However, I've also worked in two buildings which had major basement flooding
> (several feet of water). In the first, a very heavy rain backed up, and
> even though they had dual sump pumps, each handling 2" pipe, they couldn't
> keep up. They finally overheated and shut off, allowing the basement to
> fill with several feet of water.
>
> The second had water flowing up from the floor drains during a heavy rain,
> and filled the basement with about 3-4 ft. of water.
>
> It would certainly seem that, at a minimum, you must have redundant sump
> pumps capable of removing many gallons of water per minute, autostart
> generators capable of running these sump pumps, high water alarms with
> autodialers, and equipment which is several feet off the floor. Because of
> the natural moisture, dehumidifiers and/or air conditioning equipment is
> also necessary.
>

The only time I ever experienced workplace flooding, it was in an office
on the top floor of a four-story building. A 4" water main in the
ceiling (a fire main) broke. What a mess. Fortunately, the water
didn't reach the server room.

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

We're located in a basement, however the server room is in a raised floor
room (it has flooded before). We live in a tornado zone though, which
makes sense to have them down here. Otherwise, I don't think they'd have
put the server room down here. And if you've already had flooding, why
push it? Does your partner really want to wade through water to turn off a
power panel?

I've only seen server rooms in basements in areas prone to tornadoes,
otherwise they were all located within a reasonable distance from the IT
teams.

>>> Craig<elrushbo@eib.net> 8/26/2010 8:11 PM >>>

A Partner wants to relocate the server room to the basement. We're in SF,

so although it's almost always temperate, there is humidity in the basement

like in most buildings.

The power panel is down there, so a generator is considered easy. It's a
70‑80 year old building, and with age and seismic activity there have
been
cracks in the walls over the decades. In addition, we've had flooding down

there from water mains and rain.

I'm not in favor, but do any of you have opinions? Of course you do! 🙂

Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere I've
ever been?

Thanks!




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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

I think I heard Craig say something like:

> Why is it that I never see servers located in any basement anywhere
> I've ever been?


We have our servers in the basement. Granted we are a very dry state,
and the bldg's on a bit of a hill, so pretty much the only water we
need to worry about in the server room is from the a/c units in there.

--
Stevo
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grimlock1 Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

On 8/27/2010 1:25 AM, Chris Cox wrote:
> On Fri, 2010-08-27 at 00:38 +0000, Craig wrote:
>> Can you expound on the mistake part? Thanks

>
> Water and computer equipment.... what else is there to say??


Duct tape and plastic wrap.. Just seal the servers up so the water can't
get in 😉

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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

But you mean mostly based on my description? Or basements in general?
"Chris Cox" <cjcox@no-mx.forums.novell.com> wrote in message
news:1282890299.21816.96.camel@geeko...
> On Fri, 2010-08-27 at 00:38 +0000, Craig wrote:
>> Can you expound on the mistake part? Thanks

>
> Water and computer equipment.... what else is there to say??
>
>



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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Server room in basement

"Fortunately, the water didn't reach the server room." 'cause it was in the
basement 🙂


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