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Comment Re:That's way too high. Incoming != case (Score 1) 62

Basic ASHRAE standards have a recommended range of 18C to 27C, but a maximum allowable range of 15C to 32C. If you specify an A2 or A3 ASHRAE compliance when buying your hardware you can stretch that allowable range all the way up to 35C (A2) or even 40C (A3),

Most datacentres these days are looking closely at the ASHRAE limits and at monitoring to raise the average cold aisle temperature and make major savings. There are a lot of steps on this path if you're bringing an older datacentre up to the modern ways of thinking, including strict hot/cold aisle separation, re-alignment of hot aisles to match CRAC / CRAH units, implementation of live temperature, pressure and humidity monitoring, all the way up to a fluid dynamics analysis of airflow. You only have one chance to get it right and a huge number of ways to get it wrong so it's a very conservative approach. On the other hand being able to make a $500K annual saving by raising the overall temperature by 2C in the cold aisle and still deliver the same service is the sort of numbers that make a lot of sense.

In addition the point I was making is that it's only during daylight that the external air temp will mean you need additional cooling, at night the temperature drops - so you only need to run your cooling plant for a percentage of the day, and the temperature at night is absolutely fine.

Disclaimer: I'm a Certified DC Designer and a Certified DC Management Professional with 8 years experience running a blue-chip datacentre, so I live this stuff every day

Comment Re:100+F or 38+C typical annual high (Score 1) 62

There are 8760 hours in a year. If, as you say, you exceed 32C on 14 days per year you don't exceed 32C for the full 24 hour block, instead you may be over 32C for late-morning through to late-afternoon - call that 11AM to 5PM or 6 hours. That means a total of 84 hours where you have to run active cooling systems out of a year, which is approximately 1% of the year. If you can also specify that any hardware installed is certified at the upper limit of the ASHRAE standards then your thermal window increases and you can drop that 1% down even lower.

Free air cooling, it just makes sense provided your filtering and air handling systems are up to it. Keeping in the limits for humidity are a little harder to manage as you don't want to see condensation in your cold aisle in the summer, or to pick up static shocks when you touch anything in the winter.

Comment Cribbage (Score 1) 274

How can you not love cribbage, I've even got a folding pocket-sized board that I can take with me. I even used to play in a pub league when I was younger.

It promotes numeracy and has some of the same elements you see in bridge the need to read your opponents hand or work with your partner if you're playing 4-player.

Comment Datacentre World (Score 1) 131

I'm a datacentre guy, so the one I go to is Datacentre World - unless you have migrated every single system to the cloud the chances are you have a shedload of infrastructure to look after, and seeing what's out there to keep it safely powered and cooled is always useful.

The swag may not be as good as some of the vendor conferences, but the information can be really useful.

Comment Do you want them looking that closely (Score 1) 192

Disclaimer - I run a team managing datacentre installations / removals for a blue-chip IT company. I'm also a CDCD and a CDCMP

First of all - do you actually want management looking at what you do that closely. The best departments should be along the lines of 'you need to fund this many heads or else bad things happen'. If you want to put numbers in front of them you can talk about DCiE / PUE, and point out that the multi-million energy costs actually went down in relative terms due to adherence to best practices. You can also talk about ASHRAE, the EU code of conduct for datacentres, and every other 'badge' that you've signed up to as this makes management feel happy and they have something to compare with.

If you really want to make a point then talk about just how many other projects across the company relied on your team to deliver new infrastructure or services, how much new revenue was based on your hard work.

Of course, the longer you do the job the more you realise that all the awards and accolades end up with the guys there at the end of each of the project. And they all conveniently forget that it's your team that's installed 200+ servers, laid 50km of data cabling, and connected every single system correctly before the application guys could even start their job.

On the other hand, you have job security, you have one of the few jobs they can't outsource to India, China or Poland, and provided you keep your nose clean you'll still be there when they turn the lights out. So be happy being considered part of the furnture because in todays society the benefits of your job security far exceed any need for recognition.

Comment Apple - the phone for your parents (Score 4, Insightful) 587

Amazing how the circle has turned when it comes to phones. The iPhone has gone from being the hip new boy breaking the rules to a member of the establishment that everyone else is slowly leaving behind.

It used to be that the iPhone was an inspirational device, a device that caused geek envy wherever you used it.

And now, well it's the device for the technical luddites who have more money than sense, or for those that Apple have managed to lock in to their closed-wall infrastructure and are now too wary of trying something else. In other words - it's the phone you recommend to your parents so you don't have to do tech support for them.

Comment Just have your heart attack early (Score 1) 372

High stress job, desk based, and as it gets busy you work longer hours and you eat more crap because that's all the corporate vending machines sell at stupid o'clock of the day alongside toxic waste cunningly disguised as coffee.

So do what I did, smoke, drink, don't exercise and end up in hospital after 5 minor heart attacks and have 5 stents fitted.

I'm now an ex-smoker, I'm still overweight so that's the next challenge. 30 minutes a day walking and a packed lunch are the targets to fix that for this year.

Comment Of course they'd say that to avoid global panic (Score 5, Informative) 286

There's 2 options here:

1. Everything is fine, no gobal apocalypse

2. There's something on the way that's going to kill us all, but if we tell you about it the whole world will panic and riots will stop the government getting itself to safety along with a handpicked few 'key' people

Either way - they'll say it's safe

And on that note, I'm going to hang up my tin foil hat

Comment Nail velcro strips to the back of your desk (Score 2) 242

Disclaimer - I run installations in a datacentre so I do this for a living.

Nail velcro to the back of your desk, instant cable guides and tidy. Velcro excess in to loops. Use a lot of velcro. Plan and execute a labelling scheme - either paper that you sellotape over the top of, or a proper brady label for every cable. Use dymo labels for every plug and AC-adapter so you know what each of them hooks up to.

Yes it's a pain. Plan on taking half a day to do it properly. Document it as you go if you can. Remember all you need is to do it properly once.

If it's stuff that you plan on taking with you for travel / work - get a second adapter / set of cables. Keep those in the bag so you only need to move the device. The cost of your time messing around trying to untangle behind your desk is worth a spare usb lead or several.

Comment Re:System under glass (Score 1) 372

Single mode will be the total guarantee for bandwidth, but the cost of the optics will always be a lot more expensive than multimode. 50 micron OM3 would probably be sufficient for anything you'll ever need, but even then you have to remember that this is a household environment and unless you can guarantee that you'll keep the dust caps on whenever it's not in use the cable will fail.

Fibre has it's place in the datacentre where you can keep a relatively clean environment to handle it, for household bandwidth just run cat6a and co-ax. Who cares if it takes 5 minutes instead of 30 seconds to copy a file from your media server when it takes you 2 hours to actually watch it.

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