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Volume 27, Issue 3

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Data Center Meltdowns

Written by  HARRY SCHECHTER January 9, 2012

While playing with my 3-year-old son, he had a minor meltdown when it was bedtime. He wanted to stay up past his normal bedtime to watch Team Umizoomi on TV. With the show recorded on DVR, missing the time slot was not the problem, but he wasn’t having any of that. We compromised and watched five minutes with an agreement we’d watch the rest another time. Preparing information for this article reminded me that like 3-year-olds, data centers can also have meltdowns – though the impact is a bit more off-putting. Modern data centers owned by giants such as Google and Facebook are wonderful engineering marvels. They combine state-of-the-art electronics with time-proven thermodynamics to insure the server racks keep their cool. And when they don’t work according to plan, things can go bad very quickly as Amazon recently found

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