Shopping for a datacenter

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A nice check-list for things you want to have in your new datacenter was posted today on ServerFault. Some good things in there, and all in one list!

However, there is one thing that is not quite right.

"It should have Halon fire suppression, not sprinklers."
Actually, it should have both FM200 (or equivalent) AND sprinklers, at least according to most fire-codes.

Sprinklers in the datacenter? Yep. One of the last things I did at my old job (11/2003 to be exact) was help move into a newly built datacenter, and I had quite a shock when I saw sprinkler heads over the server racks. I asked my boss about that, she had been neck deep in the building of it, and she replied that yes, it was indeed fire-code and that was new since the last time she helped build a datacenter in the 80's.

Building and fire codes are nigh impossible to get at in their entirety online, it seems they're put behind pay-walls so I can't link directly to them. Considering which governmental agency was going to be putting machines in that room, I consider that fire-code ruling to be highly trustworthy. FM200 protects all that very expensive gear in the datacenter. The sprinklers protect the room and building.

Those sprinklers should be dry-pipe, pre-action sprinklers. No sense tempting fate more than required.

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Our newest datacenter built according to all the coolest standards (I'm told), has both fire suppresion and sprinklers. I'll ask them if they are dry-pipe or what but I had the same reaction when I saw it.