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Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?


Around 1980 I was the site engineer for a large 24x7 data centre in the midlands which was full of IBM and Amdahl CPUs and rows and rows of IBM and StorageTek disk and tape running all the usual mission critical work. It was a new, purpose build data centre, wide corridors everywhere, double doors into the dc itself one of which was usually kept locked and the other side was opened with a card key for staff to enter.

Everything was running fine, all the kit was up and running, lots of sounds of spinning things, until some new kit was being delivered during one busy day and the other half of the double doors was opened to allow it in. Yup - the (very new, recently installed) shiny red EPO button was not quite far enough along the wall and the second door hit it...cue sound of lots of spinning things slowing down.

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