back to article 'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

The catastrophic service outage at Glasgow City Council's data centre, caused after its IT systems servers were taken down by a fire suppressant accidentally going off, is continuing to cause widespread havoc for staff and the public. The embarrassing blunder was caused by a faulty air conditioning unit setting off its fire …

  1. dervheid
    Trollface

    Must have been...

    The SNP.

    Get blamed for everything else

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Must have been...

      if the hat fits..... ;)

      1. Halfmad Silver badge

        Re: Must have been...

        Hat doesn't fit, bloody SNP can't even get one the right size.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Must have been...

      #SNPBad....even if it is a labour council

    3. Velv Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Must have been...

      In exactly the same vein as Godwin's law, Rubislaw is the Scottish equivalent where everything is reduced to the fault of the UK Government at Westminster.

      Clearly Rubislaw has kicked in pretty quickly on this one...

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. unwarranted triumphalism

      Re: Must have been...

      They found something else to sabotage then.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Must have been...

      I like how the picture on the article is a f****g kilt. Sod all to do with the story beyond the fact it's in Scotland, they couldn't even be arsed bringing out the Glaswegian stereotypes. Scotland = Shortbread Tin Highlander.

      Anyway, it turns out that Sheffield Council are having some problems with their IT systems. Here's a picture of what that might look like. A spokesman said "Lor luv a duck, I know I'm not even the right faacking stereotype, but it's all daaaarn saaarf, innit! Root-te-toot, apples and pears, etc."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Must have been...

        Pictures? ... fortunately the "banner" pics in all reg articles follow teh same URL pattern so its simple to use a custom AdBlock rule to hide them - been doing this since they arrived and can't say I've ever felt I'm missing anything. Also added another rule to hide those stupid "badges" and along with all the other stuff that gets blocked makes ElReg a much more pleasant read!

      2. Dieter Haussmann

        Re: Must have been...

        I see you're new here.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Must have been...

        "I like how the picture on the article is a f****g kilt. Sod all to do with the story beyond the fact it's in Scotland, they couldn't even be arsed bringing out the Glaswegian stereotypes"

        I agree completely...

        This picture is far more appropriate to Glasgow and its people

        1. Mpeler
          Pint

          Re: Must have been...

          Which explains the town's name:

          Na wheah de-ad da galass go?

          [grabs me dram and coat - weel I'm aff]

    6. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Must have been...

      "powerful blast of gas"

      Probably not unusual with a Scottish diet....Probably it was really caused by someone plugging a family size ActiFry into the UPS supply!

  2. Roger Kynaston
    Mushroom

    Business Continuity

    I wonder if they tried to invoke an underfunded and fundamentally unworkable business continuity plan.

    1. Halfmad Silver badge

      Re: Business Continuity

      I wonder if they even had one.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. thedroog

    They spent their budget on deep fried marsd bars...

    1. Turtle

      @thedroog

      "They spent their budget on deep fried mars bars..."

      You say that as though it's a bad thing.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      @thedroog

      "marsd"

      Is that some sort of Unix daemon?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Resiliency testing

    A little extreme but their testers can go home feeling warm inside now that they've found a single point of failure.

  5. thedroog

    Would that single point be their DR plan?

  6. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well bugger me, talk about loss of 'essential' services. How are councillors going to claim expenses now? Also, where will people continue to be able to, umm...

    What do councils do again apart from collect bins and claim expenses?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sometimes they like to fuck up their filing systems and then spend a decade pursuing whoever pointed out the mistake in order to extract large sums of money, at the same time as they're breaching the data protection act and tossing around threats of arrest and imprisonment.

      All because I pointed out that no, I'm not my dad, please correct your records...

    2. localzuk

      Maintain roads. Schools. Social care. Pre-school education. Children's/Family services. Youth centers. Youth justice (eg. secure accomodation), street lighting, Social housing. Dealing with homelessness. Museums and galleries. Recreation areas (parks, leisure centres, sports facilities, playgrounds etc...), tourism information and promotion, libraries, cemetaries/cremation, trading standards and community safety, environmental health (food safety, pest control, pollution control), licensing (alcohol licensing, taxis, events), garbage collection, planning control, regeneration, fire services, coroners, registration of births, deaths and marriages, and election admin...

      So yeah, what do they do for us hey?

      1. NeilPost Bronze badge

        That's why they have so many staff, capable managers and get fuck loads of taxpayers money.

      2. TitterYeNot

        "So yeah, what do they do for us hey?"

        Yeah, bloody Romans...

        ROMANES EUNT DOMUS! ROMANI ITE DOMUM!

      3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        "So yeah, what do they do for us hey?"

        dont need *any* of that stuff, except collect bins

    3. Matt Quinn

      Whaddaya mean "collect bins"?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Jeez, what kind of gas-based fire suppression system shakes buildings and seriously damages equipment?

    1. Mystereed

      Isn't that how Red Adair used to put out oil well fires - big explosion to snuff the flames?

    2. Diodelogic

      If a burrito-fueled irruption can do it, why can't a fire suppression system?

    3. Mr Dogshit
      Boffin

      If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly, you need to have the fire suppression people recalculate the amount of gas needed. Too little gas, and the fire isn't extinguished.

      Too much gas... and you can blow the walls out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

        Some clarification needed. Most IT kit is largely air by volume. And when the system goes off, presumably the air in the data centre has to be displaced to somewhere, otherwise the pressure must build up.

        What kind of rate of pressure rise are we looking at? How is it vented?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

          Okay, imagine a room three metres wide, three metres long, three metres high.

          That's nine cubic metres by my reckoning.

          The room contains three cubic metres of kit. The fire company has calculated the quantity of FM-200 or whatever it is to fill the remaining six cubic metres. If you add more kit and the gas goes off, it's got to go somewhere. So either the roof pops off or the walls shift.

          That's GCSE physics surely. That's my understanding as a humble data centre BOFH not a million miles from Glasgow, I'm not a gaseous fire suppression engineer.

          P.S. The SNP will most likely blame "Westminster" and/or David Cameron. Still, we've got road signs in Gaelic, and that's really important.

          1. theblackhand Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            All this talk about faulty fire suppression equipment, but no body seems to be mentioning how there was NO fire damage to any of the equipment.

            Impressive no?

            Where is the suppressed fire icon when you need it?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

              Not quite sure what happened. And what do they mean by a faulty AC unit? Was it faulty as in going to catch fire!? If there's a VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus) system then that would be set off by the AC if it was producing prefire vapours (that's the whole point of VESDA) it detects "fires" before they turn in to fires! But normally you wouldn't want this to set off your suppression system, initially you'd want it to display an alarm on the fire panel so it could be investigated, not trigger the house alarm and discharge your gas! Or was it faulty and something happened like it produced a load of dust or something else that could also have been detect by the VESDA? This is why its important to remember to disconnect your suppression system BEFORE you let anyone in the DC to service kit etc! But whatever it shouldn't have set the gas off and the release of gas shouldn't have caused the damage that it did!

            2. NeilPost Bronze badge

              Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

              The story mentions failed AC equipment, but no real info on the exact nature. If my experience, AC failure units pissing water down the walls of a server room, and it cooking at 70C until the servers auto-power down is the main symptoms you get.

          2. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            Okay, imagine a room three metres wide, three metres long, three metres high.

            That's nine cubic metres by my reckoning.

            Eh? 27 cu. m, Shirley?

            That's GCSE physics mathematics surely.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

              Yeah, that. Good point well made.

              See, I'd make a lousy fire suppression guy.

              1. Sir Alien

                Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

                Can't really calculate it purely by kit space. The air in the datacentre also needs displacing. The rooms should really have a one way pop vent to relieve excess pressure but not let air back in.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

                  yep normally you have some louvres or other form of vent to vent the air in the DC out to somewhere else. Our DC isn't massive so it vents in to the surrounding corridors

                2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

                  I dont see why you need to calculate area and kit volume etc. I would just

                  - position inert gas dispensers at one end of room

                  - put hole at other end

                  -in event of fire blast inert gas into room - allowing air to escape through hole

                  - when sensors reveal air gone and room full of inert gas, switch off.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

              That's GCSE primary school physics mathematics sums surely.

              FTFY :-)

              1. RedCardinal

                Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

                >>That's GCSE primary school physics mathematics sums surely.

                Lol not in today's British education system. You'll be lucky if it's even GSCE :P

                1. Matt Quinn

                  Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

                  Ummm... There is actually no such thing as a "British education system". - Never has been... No GCSE up here either; unless taken as a 'foreign' exam.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

              @ Commswonk

              More importantly, how did you know his name was Shirley? You must work for the NSA!

            4. channel extended

              Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

              Also if you have 24 cu m. of air and you double it with a gas, depending on what type, you get 2 atmo of pressure or 28.8 lb/sqr inch. while this might blow out a loose window pane it should not be enough to blow out walls. In a well designed data centre.

              Yes hurricaines and tornados do blow down building using less pressure, however they have wind shear and wind velocity to help.

          3. PNGuinn
            Joke

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            "Okay, imagine a room three metres wide, three metres long, three metres high."

            3x3=9x3=27.

            Bloody Gaelic arithmetic.

            Clearly the fault DC and Westminster.

          4. localzuk

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            Gases can compress pretty well, and if your walls blow out due to a small change in the contents of a room, then those walls were made of paper.

            The building shaking is likely as a consequence of the fixed equipment venting all that gas in a matter of a couple of seconds. There's gonna be an equal and opposite reaction to the gas being deployed somehow...

          5. S4qFBxkFFg

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            P.S. The SNP will most likely blame "Westminster" and/or David Cameron. Still, we've got road signs in Gaelic, and that's really important.

            No need, Glasgow City Council is Labour run (and has been for years).

            Also, the Gaelic tends to only get added when the signs are getting replaced anyway.

          6. Matt Quinn

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            "That's GCSE physics surely."

            - It it, aye? Given that the GCSE isn't generally taught or taken in Scotland... That sounds more like "Standard Grade" or worse still 'National 4/5' 'Marfs'...

            If you've ever had to stand in front of class full of new NQ or Even HN1 students in a Scottish FE college and try to teach them anything remotely technical you'll know what I mean. At least in t'old days nobody thought the subjects they failed at school 'qualified' them for anything!

            I found this musical interlude...

            https://youtu.be/GG_Vdh-WuGY

            ...Which seems highly appropriate when considering activities at 'Castle Greyskull' (Glasgow City Chambers). "A gaseous fire suppression engineer" - as opposed to solid or liquid - an actual ghost perhaps? - Could dance with the skeletons hidden in all those basement cupboards...

            Being Glesga though it'll probably just be a fat bloke with gall-bladder problems.

          7. Glenturret Single Malt

            Re: If the amount of kit in your data centre changes significantly

            Whoops!

            3x3x3 = 27 by my reckoning.

      2. Gordon 11

        Too much gas... and you can blow the walls out.
        You're only supposed to blow the bloody walls out.

        (Not take the systems down...)

        1. PNGuinn
          Mushroom

          @ Gordon 11

          You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off.

          FIFY

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        If the amount of kit in your data centre

        After that great rant above, I couldn't help but read this as "the amount of kilt".

        Related bagpipe joke is left as an exercise for the reader.

    4. Daggerchild Silver badge
      Flame

      "Thank you for buying this Blammo!(TM) fire suppressant system. You can now absolutely guarantee that fire will not be the cause of any future service outages!"

    5. Zarno

      The BOFH kind.

      I think that datacenter needs a new director or IT boss now, if you catch the drift.

    6. Matt Quinn

      Oh, I've heard of a few 'suppression systems' in Glesga that shake buildings and do serious 'damage'; not always just to buildings either!

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

    8. Andy Davies

      Jeez, what kind of gas-based fire suppression system shakes buildings and seriously damages equipment?

      Well, as I commented in a Contingency Planning report for xxxxxCo some years ago "I have been unable to confirm the Ops. dept. claim that soldered 15mm copper tubing can handle the release of unregulated CO2"

      [missing lightbulb icon]

      .... but when halon was banned for refrigeration, some cowboys started using butane (works very well unless you get a leak!).

      Surely no-one would replace fire suppression gas with butane....

      1. Five
        Megaphone

        I might be wrong, but I suspect the council are looking for a reasons why this caused systems to die and building vibrations are a logical quick answer.

        From experience...ahem... I might suggest it was the noise of the gas venting which created vibrations in the air which took out the disk arrays. Other people have had the same issue...

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/04/loud_data_centre_gas_release_sounds_harm_disks/

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDacjrSCeq4

    9. Dan Paul

      The kind that...

      feature in the BOFH series perhaps?

  9. Jim O'Reilly
    Pint

    They should use G-Cloud!

    Can't afford a backup system?

    Go to the cloud!

    Amazon would have saved them, if G-Cloud couldn't!

    1. Matt Quinn

      Re: They should use G-Cloud!

      G-Cloud??

      They used Glesga Cloud! - A smoke-filled daylightless area (formerly the Janitors store ) in the former Primary School next to the Red Road Flats; where Nero Mathieson's Denzians gathered to stoically collate floppies... Wonder if anyone thought to tell them they were blowing the place up? - As in actually demolishing it!

  10. Caledonian
    Trollface

    Why hasn't Nicola Sturgeon retrained as an IT Engineer overnight and personally fixed it? The SNP's blatent disregard for Scotland is apparent. First the Forth Bridge, now this.

    * This post is best read in the voice of Kezia Dugdale *

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why hasn't Nicola Sturgeon retrained as an IT Engineer overnight and personally fixed it?"

      It's Glasgow, so she's just waiting for Lucy Allen MP to turn up and accuse the staff of having an "alcohol problem".

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      They're importing the best.... Archibald Tuttle.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        They couldn't find him so they've issued an arrest warrant for Archibald Buttle instead.

    3. Vinyl-Junkie
      Coat

      @Caledonian

      There is nothing wrong with the Forth Bridge. The Forth Road Bridge, on the other hand, is experiencing some structual difficulties....

      Mine's the one with the railway timetable in the pocket....

    4. The First Dave Silver badge

      "First the Forth Bridge, now this."

      Nothing much wrong with the Forth Bridge at the moment, trains still running over it normally. That's the good thing about a bridge being built to look massively strong, rather than to look really light...

  11. mr_souter_Working

    DR plan?

    I was talking to one of the affected users on Tuesday evening, and nobody had told them anything - he just knew that they had no access to anything all day Tuesday.

    1. The First Dave Silver badge

      Re: DR plan?

      Not true - an email was sent out to all staff. Not mgmt fault that none of them could read it...

  12. Brock Knudsen

    BOFH inspiration

    Real life should inspire art, if this can be incorporated into a story it should be.

  13. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Two sources, two versions...

    Interesting... (to paraphrase the quotes) one basically says: "total disaster" and other says "not too bad, we're carrying on".

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Two sources, two versions...

      It's Glasgow, the two are not mutually exclusive...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No IT system probably boosted productivity

    Having worked in local council's for many years the loss of IT systems for a few days will have enabled most workers to actually get their jobs done without all the nonsense enabled by the computer systems.

    Of course once it's back up then the managers and bureaucrats will want all their monitoring and logging done which will add to the backlog of things to do in the new year but it will be paradise while the computers are out.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: No IT system probably boosted productivity

      But...but...think of all the TPS reports that will not be filled out on time!!

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: No IT system probably boosted productivity

      Even better, the truly essential services are maintained. Anyone for shrinking the government?

  15. Sureo
    Alert

    Practise....

    ... for the apocalypse, when all the computers and networks go down.

  16. Danny 2 Silver badge

    I happen to know GCC IT are a pile of poo, but I'll not quote specifics as I've alerted friends who actually worked there to this story and they can choose to chip in.

    I used to work for a similar nearby council whose Finance Director didn't trust mag tape back-ups not to degrade, so all council records had to be printed out and stored in a huge storeroom under the town hall. Yet nobody could ever have found any meaningful data in that huge pile of flammable paper, and when I checked all the older records ink had faded away anyway.

    The reason we have Scottish councillors and council officials is to keep them busy and away from more important careers like dog-walking.

  17. Steve---d

    Not sure I see what the big deal is here...

    Seeing as emergency services weren't affected, I'm not sure what all the hoopla is about.

    Just because a DR/BC plan is in place, doesn't mean its been designed for maximum uptime. It could have been designed around minimal cost, or somewhere in-between. They do mention they have backups. Seeing as gov't tends to burn money rather than make money, their planning around uptime is likely going to be considerably lower than a profit oriented corporation where downtime is actually reducing revenue, or reducing the twattering customers can do with their thumbs.

    Assuming that the mentioned services they can still perform manually comprise their list of 'critical services' then it sounds like they're doing ok.

    As for the boom/shaking; this should be expected if a halon system went off. A canister went boom when I dropped it on a concrete floor, and I went about 2ft up in the air, so I'd guess if they all went off in an enclosed environment, you might get some feedback.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not sure I see what the big deal is here...

      ermmm I'd bleedy hope it isn't Halon as its toxic and not really used any more apart from in really specialist cases. Halon is a fire extinguishant this is a suppressant so more likely fm200 or ig55

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "no backup provision at all for the majority of systems."

    Some wanky little decision maker, somewhere, and his approvers, need a spell in prison

  19. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Irony in action

    It's not only ironic that the disaster suppression system going off caused a disaster, but it caused more damage than it's supposed to prevent in the first place.

    If they'd really had a fire, there'd have have been a small amount of fire damage and the rest of the kit blown to bits instead of saved!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the network, Laddie?

    Oh, it's here, and there, and you'll also find some wee pieces of it over there...

  21. Enrico Vanni

    Accident waiting to happen...

    This is Glasgow City Council's Forth Road Bridge. The parallels are there - reduced maintenance, reduction in failsafe capacity and redundancy in a short-sighted effort to reduce costs following the transfer of responsibility of running the system from several expert external contractors to an arms-length quango. - https://www.access.uk.com/

  22. NeilPost Bronze badge

    Is the journo that wrote this a fucking retard ??

    "Powerful Blast".... of fire suppressant

    A bloke in a kilt, as it is Scotland.

    What a complete dick.

    Glasgow City Council, where is your DR plan, as a statuatory body, you should have a good, documented and fully tested one. Hopefully, it will interefere with your Soprano's style bus lane camera operation.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Who knew?

    The Sweaties have computers?

  24. Amorous Cowherder
    Facepalm

    So no real DR plan then!

    "Perhaps more problematic is the fact that there was no backup provision at all for the majority of systems."

    AND

    "All our data was backed up and the business continuity plans in place meant those services were manually delivered."

    So basically another half-arsed, "shit never goes wrong why spend money" security/DR plan then! So no live fed DR site for a critical city infrastructure. We'll just back up the data but we've no provision for a DR situation in which to restore the sodding critical data, not even a standby agreement with our kit provider to supply XYZ kit in an emergency. Cue frantic calls to IT staff and IT purchasing dept to try to arrange a site/some kit in a few hours, only to discover the only spare SAN array like the one we need is sitting in a customs somewhere in a Dutch cargo port.

    IT: "Can we have a proper DR plan put in, here's the details of what we need."

    Management: "HOW FOOKING MUCH?!!"

    IT: "OK, we have 'PLAN B', it's dead cheap and we can do a few backups for a couple of quid but it won't work very in an emer...."

    Management: "Yep, that's the one! Make it happen!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So no real DR plan then!

      Almost eactly the case. The SAN is replicated in the DR datacentre but DR for most services is to build ad-hoc onto the DR VM cluster from backups.

  25. ForthIsNotDead

    New pants please!

    I reckon you'd need a SERIOUS change of underwear if you happened to be working in there when that went off!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New pants please!

      The BOFHs kilt was lifted by the blast to reveal he was a true Scotsman!

    2. Matt Quinn

      Re: New pants please!

      "I reckon you'd need a SERIOUS change of underwear if you happened to be working in there"...

      So... GCC data centre employees normally wear comedy knickers then? Is this a cultural thing or something of 'Doggy Dawg' Mathieson's legacy I wonder...

  26. Sirius Lee

    business incontinuity

    "All our data was backed up and the business continuity plans in place meant those services were manually delivered."

    No, business continuity means business continuing not stopping and hoping the backups worked. Here's a design based around a single point of failure. A second room with a copy of the kit too much to afford? A backup system on AWS or Azure or Rackspace or anywhere that can be enabled on-demand? Let's hope the architect's other designs are being reviewed.

  27. Millsey

    Sprout related, is my guess.

  28. Dan Paul

    If they had the UPS batteries in the....

    same room as the equipment, they could have had a hydrogen explosion from the buildup of H2

  29. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    Meh

    No one could log in?

    So somehow all their domain controllers were taken out too?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gas fire suppression is bad for hard disks...

    Especially since the shift to PMR hard disk recording, the gas release can be very very bad for hard disk drives.

    Gas fire suppression tends to impact equipment in two ways, especially if over sized. First is it causes a very very quick cooling of the room (over 30C drop can happen). While equipment tends to do well with cold temps, it does NOT do well with a very quick drop in temp. The second is that the gas release is VERY loud (over 200 decibels is not uncommon), combined with the required VERY loud (over 60 decibels) alarms that must go off prior to the gas release.

    Please review your fire suppression plans, IMHO dry pipe water may actually be safer in the DC vs any of the gas options. In most systems sprinklers only go off over the "heat" and not the entire room.

    Anon, as I work in the storage industry.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Gas fire suppression is bad for hard disks...

      One alternative I've seen elsewhere is a set of individual fire-extinguisher "tubes".

      You put one inside every piece of kit the could start a fire.

      If it starts heating too much the tube melts at the hottest spot and poof! the fire is doused.

      There's a sensor at the end of each tube to detect a discharge.

      It probably damages the kit it's inside - but that was on fire anyway.

      Quiet, simple and relatively cheap.

      Couple with a zoned sprinkler system over the AC and I suspect you'd never lose more than the box that went on fire.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: Gas fire suppression is bad for hard disks...

        Classic system Richard 12. That's pretty much the optimum model.

        Unfortunately, that's not what the "favored contractor" spec'd.

    2. Andy Davies

      Re: Gas fire suppression is bad for hard disks...

      IMHO dry pipe water may actually be safer ...

      plus ca change!

      that was also the consensus (tho' rarely implemented) opinion 20 - 25 years ago.

      ... pull all the boards, detergent wash, distilled water wash, warm air blow dry (yup, hairdryers) - reportedly better than 90% recovery.

  31. ecofeco Silver badge

    HVAC is usually the LAST thing on the budget

    I know a really good old hand HVAC guy and you would not believe his horror stories.

    I am not surprised at this one.

    And BTW, how's that cloud/mainframe-terminal model working for ya?

  32. Matthew 17

    the SNP have an EPO?

    I've had many a faulty power supply in a server smoke and trigger the fire system, would never feel comfortable leaving a system with an emergency power off unattended.

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