Protecting data centres from fire

By Garry Kwok, National Manager, Technical Services Group

Data centreIn the information age, access to data is a critical driver of business success. Data centres are considered the heart of operations for many businesses as they store computer systems, telecommunications, storage systems and enable access to email, websites and online social platforms.

As part of a business continuity plan, it is important to identify and mitigate potential risks that may damage or disrupt the flow of data through data centres. This includes the risk of fire.

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The impact of data centre innovation on fire protection systems

By Justin Morris, national engineering manager, Wormald

The growing need for data and information storage and the associated rise in power consumption has lead to innovative developments in the world of data centres.

Historically, data centres were cooled using perimeter-based air handling units that cooled the entire data centre space.  The mixing of cold supply air and hot return air meant data centres needed to be kept at a colder temperature than required, resulting in excessive power usage and cost.

Today many data centres use containment systems to minimise the power consumed by their air conditioning system. Containment systems essentially ‘funnel’ the cold supply air (cold aisle containment) or warm return air (hot aisle containment) through the data centre. This prevents mixing the two air streams and results in a more efficient cooling system and reduced energy consumption.

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