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Data Storage Hardware IT Technology

Florida Town Builds Data Center In Water Tank 104

Posted by Soulskill
from the zombie-proof-computing dept.
miller60 writes "The Florida town of Altamonte Springs has converted an old water storage tank into a new data center. The decommissioned tank previously held up to 770,000 gallons of water, but its 18-inch-thick walls provided a hurricane-proof home for the town's IT gear, which had to be relocated three times in 2004 to ride out major storms. The Altamonte Springs facility is the latest example of data centers in strange places, including chapels, shopping malls, cargo ships, old particle accelerators and caves."
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Florida Town Builds Data Center In Water Tank

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:03AM (#33866058)

    Why didn't they just use some colo company and save a bunch of money on maintenance and headcount?

  • The next one in... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:09AM (#33866082)
    Crystal Peak? I guess O'Connor would deserve a more modern equipment.
  • by c0lo (1497653) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:12AM (#33866102)

    Why didn't they just use some colo company and save a bunch of money on maintenance and headcount?

    (tongue-in-cheek) why not outsource outside USA? I heard some geos have much cheaper labor, that should be good for the town's budget.

  • by tempest69 (572798) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:12AM (#33866106) Journal
    I'm betting that the warm fuzzies of having undeniable 24/7 access had some appeal. Plus the sense of control. A point of failure (the colo) is removed, The uncertainty of how the contract renewal is removed. And the jobs stay in town, which matters to government.
  • Strange places? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wvmarle (1070040) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:19AM (#33866130)

    How are this strange places? A data centre doesn't need windows, doesn't need easy highway access, doesn't need to sit next to the subway station or even close to high populated areas (close as in walking distance) - it's a bit like a "build and forget" kind of structure that are best kept a bit out of the way.

    So you're naturally looking for cheap space, that is safe against the elements. Existing strong buildings come in play of course - like this water tank. Chapels are also often constructed well. Same for former bunkers and other underground locations like abandoned mines.

    Yes it's interesting, maybe not obvious, but thinking about it this are not strange places but actually quite logical places to build your data centre. The only one that sounds strange to me is the shopping mall one. Space in shopping malls tends to be pretty expensive.

  • by BaldingByMicrosoft (585534) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:33AM (#33866198)
    "Tapes are unreliable," DiGioia says. "Disaster recovery was nonexistent. It consisted of backup tapes in a box." ... "Backups are kept on disk for 30 days and then overwritten, and tape is no longer used. Documents are archived on optical disc and microfilm. "

    ...so, 30 days on a mirrored SAN. No monthlies, yearlies. Long term is on optical (what kind? Consumer media degrades... What's the retention target?) and microfilm (quaint).

    So, the quick recovery offered by the mirrored SAN is sexy, with an appropriate price tag. Writing off tape entirely seems very wrong.
  • by afidel (530433) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:43AM (#33866246)
    Agreed, another clueless soul bitten by AIT/DAT/DDS/QIC who will never understand real archival tape. If the data is worth anything (and government records are) then pony up a little bit of cash for a real tape solution. It might be as expensive as one or two of your servers but it's so worth it to actually have your data when you need it.
  • Strange places? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RichiH (749257) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @06:29AM (#33867534) Homepage

    DCs are not moving into strange places. It's just that people are starting to realize that _any_ large and reasonably well-built structure is suitable as a DC. Electric power is usually a given, AC can almost always be installed and then you are down to "is it cheaper to get (redundant) fiber to this old structure or to build a new DC".

    That's the beauty of a DC. The computers in there don't care where they are.

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