John Rath: Server Fires and Data Loss

There are just certain things in IT or the data center industry you don’t want to hear – and fire and ‘data loss’ are two of them. There were a couple of lessons learned from fire and data loss stories recently and I post them here for just that reason – to learn from them.

The University of North Carolina Greensboro had one heck of a Friday last week. In a little under two hours they experienced two fires in the McNutt data center. After the first fire they were unable to determine the cause and staff investigating a short while later witnessed a server burst into flames, starting the alerts and emergency procedures all over again.

The root cause of the events was traced to a single server that overheated and likely burned up a wiring harness first (which produced the first event) and then continued to run until it blew up its power supply (which produced the second event). This was a new server that was not under load, and we believe this was caused by a manufacturer’s defect.

See their site for complete details of the event.

More of the Data Center Links post from John Rath

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.