The protection of data centers

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Economic and environmental consideration of the alternative technologies available

Data centers are provided with fire suppression and detection measures to protect critical data and help minimize business interruption. At least part of the protection may be provided by a gas extinguishing or water sprinkler/water mist systems. The consideration of a particular type of system has historically been determined by specialist consultants, who in turn have been influenced by manufacturers and their own experience.

Regular builders and owners of data centers have often implemented their own measures, some of which have been imported from other countries, particularly the U.S. This article provides a brief summary of the alternative technologies and compares the relative merits, costs and environmental influences. Whilst this paper focuses primarily on the suppression systems, a suitable fire detection and alarm system within a data center is also very important and usually requires a comprehensive range of measures. Systems are usually interconnected to the main building system, where the data center is part of a larger building complex.

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