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Protecting servers from water sprinklers in a server room

Posted on 2013-05-23
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Last Modified: 2013-05-27
I was informed by the building management that they will be installing sprinkers in every room. I am worried that a trash bin fire or false alarm is going to cause the servers to get wet.    How do do we protect the server racks from water from the sprinkers?

Grrrr
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Question by:masterofall
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4 Comments
 
LVL 31

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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 334 total points
ID: 39191837
In our server room we have a Halon system instead of water.  Water is for the rest of the building.

It would probably be expensive, but you may want to see if your building management would want to go this route.  After all, even if you were able to cover your server with plastic the trapped air might cause them to overheat.

And that is assuming whatever method you choose to protect your servers actually works.  Even a little water will cause tons of damage.

Make sure you have a good backup routine and keep your backups offsite.  If it all hits the fan at least you will have your backups to rebuild everything.
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LVL 6

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insidetech earned 666 total points
ID: 39191867
You can ask for special exception for that space. If it is mandated that this particular room must have fire protection... your option, though very expensive would be to use something like inert gases and halocarbon compound fire suppression but this is something you will have to defer to fire protection professionals to be in accordance with local codes etc.
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:insidetech
insidetech earned 666 total points
ID: 39192692
Just FYI Halon as a fire suppressant has been outlawed in US and for that matter around the world since 1989! It is allowed only in grandfathered systems and frowned upon as ozone depleting substance.
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by:masterofall
ID: 39192984
The building managers says that each sprinkler operates independently and each will only activate if the temperature reaches 200 degrees.  Sprinklers are going on everyfloor including the floor above  the server room. The best right now is to put everything inside the racks and close all sides of the rack except the back mesh.   I will have to find some creative way to protect the racks from flood and dripping water and also look at waterproof racks. For example http://szeton.en.alibaba.com/product/474878009-212375807/27U_waterproof_outdoor_server_racks_cabinets.html
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