Aussie data centres brace for dust storm barrage

 

Clogged air filters need a good clean.

View larger image View larger image View larger image

See all pictures here »

Data centres in Sydney and Brisbane have shut off external ventilation systems, restricted loading dock access and attended false alarms after a major dust storm choked the cities today.

Macquarie Telecom, Equinix, ac3, manageNET and AAPT outlined a number of preventative measures taken in their respective data centres to prevent dust ingress.

At least two major firms - Optus and CBA - confirmed false alarms had been set off in Sydney facilities due to high winds and dust particles in the air.

But all reported they had come out largely unscathed from the storm, one of the worst on record.

Macquarie Telecom's managing director, Aidan Tudehope told iTnews the firm had "not experienced any adverse effects from the dust storm and [we] don't anticipate any".

But he confirmed the centre had undertaken a number of precautions. These included shutting off external mechanical ventilation systems to prevent dust entering the centre and placing staff on heightened alert.

Tudehope said Macquarie also separated the automatic deployment of fire-prevention gas from the fire alarm.

"The alarm system remains fully operational and should an event be detected, it will be responded to in the usual fashion and a decision made to release the gas based on confirmation of a positive alarm," he said.

Frank Crawford, ac3's manager of technology and infrastructure said it had "reduced the access to our data centre through our loading dock area, as opening the doors may allow dust to leak through".

Crawford also said the company would be forced to clean its air-conditioning condensers, which are used for heat exchange, "in the near future - probably within a week [because they] operate far less efficiently when coated with dust".

Data centre operators in Brisbane posted similar stories of air filters and heat exchangers in need of cleaning on the AusNOG list.

An AAPT spokeswoman said the telco would be "checking air conditioning [and] water filtration units" in the wake of the storm as part of routine preventative maintenance.

"We were on standby as a matter of course, given the storm warnings last night but didn't experience any issues," she said.

Across town, manageNET chief technology officer Con Dalamangas said his major concern "was the impact of dust storm on our VESDA [fire] system and the air conditioning.

"The filters on our dual computer room air conditioning units are internal within the building. We don't use water cooling, and the condensers on the roof are completely sealed (gas heat exchange only) which has minimised the effects of the dust on our air conditioning equipment for the data centre floor," he said.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia's executive general manager of enterprise services, Nick Holdsworth, reported "a couple of false alarms but otherwise no issues at our sites today from the dust storms".

Equinix Australia managing director Darren Mann said there had been no customer visits to the data centre as a result of the storm.

Mann said the facility had changed the sticking mats at entrances more frequently to catch any dust off pedestrian traffic moving in and out of the suites.

"We also limited the opening times of delivery shutters," Mann said.

Air conditioning vendors were also on-site to conduct visual checks of the air filters, he said.

Spokespeople for Telstra and Optus told iTnews the dust storm had no adverse impact on their respective telecommunications networks.

But Telstra saw a 41 percent increase in the volume of MMS picture messages sent between 5am and 1pm today compared to an "average Wednesday", indicating interest in sharing storm photos.

(Photo credit: Ryan Lahiff)


 
 
 
Top Stories
Frugality as a service: the Amazon story
Behind the scenes, Amazon Web Services is one lean machine.
 
Negotiating with the cloud email megavendors
[Blog post] Lessons from Woolworths’ mammoth migration.
 
Qld govt to move up to 149k staff onto Office 365
Australia's largest deployment, outside of the universities.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...

Latest VideosSee all videos »

The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
The great data centre opportunity on Australia's doorstep
Scott Noteboom, CEO of LitBit speaking at The Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit 2014 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. http://bit.ly/1qpxVfV Scott Noteboom is a data centre engineer who led builds for Apple and Yahoo in the earliest days of the cloud, and who now eyes Asia as the next big opportunity. Read more: http://www.itnews.com.au/News/372482,how-do-we-serve-three-billion-new-internet-users.aspx#ixzz2yNLmMG5C
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
Interview: Karl Maftoum, CIO, ACMA
To COTS or not to COTS? iTnews asks Karl Maftoum, CIO of the ACMA, at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
Susan Sly: What is the Role of the CIO?
AEMO chief information officer Susan Sly calls for more collaboration among Australia's technology leaders at the CIO Strategy Summit.
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Finance CIO of the Year
Credit Union Australia's David Gee awarded Finance CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards.
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Retail CIO of the Year
Damon Rees named Retail CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Woolworths.
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Robyn Elliott named the 2014 Utilities CIO of the Year
Acting Foxtel CIO David Marks accepts an iTnews Benchmark Award on behalf of Robyn Elliott.
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Industrial CIO of the Year
Sanjay Mehta named Industrial CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at ConocoPhillips.
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Healthcare CIO of the Year
Greg Wells named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at NSW Health.
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Education CIO of the Year
William Confalonieri named Healthcare CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at Deakin University.
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
Meet the 2014 Government CIO of the Year
David Johnson named Government CIO of the Year at the iTnews Benchmark Awards for his work at the Queensland Police Service.
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Q and A: Coalition Broadband Policy
Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott discuss the Coalition's broadband policy with the press.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
AFP scalps hacker 'leader' inside Australia's IT ranks.
The Australian Federal Police have arrested a Sydney-based IT security professional for hacking a government website.
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
NBN Petition Delivered To Turnbull's Office
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO: IT teams of the future
UTS CIO Chrissy Burns talks data.
New UTS Building: the IT within
New UTS Building: the IT within
The IT behind tomorrow's universities.
iTnews' NBN Panel
iTnews' NBN Panel
Is your enterprise NBN-ready?
Introducing iTnews Labs
Introducing iTnews Labs
See a timelapse of the iTnews labs being unboxed, set up and switched on! iTnews will produce independent testing of the latest enterprise software to hit the market after installing a purpose-built test lab in Sydney. Watch the installation of two DL380p servers, two HP StoreVirtual 4330 storage arrays and two HP ProCurve 2920 switches.
The True Cost of BYOD
The True Cost of BYOD
iTnews' Brett Winterford gives attendees of the first 'Touch Tomorrow' event in Brisbane a brief look at his research into enterprise mobility. What are the use cases and how can they be quantified? What price should you expect to pay for securing mobile access to corporate applications? What's coming around the corner?
Ghost clouds
Ghost clouds
ACMA chair Chris Chapman says there is uncertainty over whether certain classes of cloud service providers are caught by regulations.
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Was the Snowden leak inevitable?
Privacy experts David Vaile (UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre) and Craig Scroggie (CEO, NextDC) claim they were not surprised by the Snowden leaks about the NSA's PRISM program.
Latest Comments
Polls
Which bank is most likely to suffer an RBS-style meltdown?





   |   View results
ANZ
  21%
 
Bankwest
  9%
 
CommBank
  11%
 
National Australia Bank
  17%
 
Suncorp
  24%
 
Westpac
  19%
TOTAL VOTES: 1461

Vote