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Florida Town Builds Data Center In Water Tank 104

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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  • Totally off-topic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:12AM (#33866104) Homepage Journal

    I lived in Altamonte Springs for three years, working as a contractor in the area. Nice place, if a little on the warm side in August. :)

  • Re:Lightning (Score:3, Interesting)

    by afidel ( 530433 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:20AM (#33866132)
    RTFA, it's made of 8" reinforced concrete. My bigger problem with the article was the use of optical media for archiving, get a real archival solution and use good tape like LTO.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @12:53AM (#33866286)

    The article states 8" concrete walls, although 18" makes sense as it is about the practical minimum if you design for crack protection. A concrete building is a natural for disaster protection, nothing too outlandish there. The last firm I worked for built a concrete vault for their server room, complete with bank vault door.

    Although a working water storage tank would be way more fun, basically using the water system as a giant heat sink!

  • Re:Strange places? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AJWM ( 19027 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @01:15AM (#33866346) Homepage

    The only one that sounds strange to me is the shopping mall one. Space in shopping malls tends to be pretty expensive.

    The retail space, yeah. One of my first jobs was in a data center (mainframes, this was in the late 70s) in a shopping mall, in the basement. Maybe they got a break on the rent for helping heat the place ;-) (This was Ottawa, Canada -- they spend far more of the year heating living areas than cooling them.)

  • by Glendale2x ( 210533 ) < minus poet> on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @01:20AM (#33866362) Homepage

    From the picture caption in TFA: The city's water tank data center: Wings were added to each side, one for networking equipment, the other for administrative offices.

    And in the body of TFA: Compared with the old setup, the new infrastructure offers improved uptime and superior disaster recovery capabilities. and The emergency operation center was shut down also because there wasn't infrastructure in place to support Internet access during a storm

    So then exactly why is the networking equipment outside of the protected space?

  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @01:22AM (#33866370) Journal
    Print it out? You've got to be joking. So someone can scan it in 5 years from now? The advantage of digital is you can move it to any storage medium you like without losing any quality. If it was data you cared about, you should have moved it to more modern equipment. Archives have to be taken care of; this is true of both analog and digital archives. Even stone degrades.
  • by RoFLKOPTr ( 1294290 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @01:46AM (#33866456)

    Mineral oil is better because it's inorganic and therefore won't go rancid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @02:02AM (#33866544)

    Longterm archives are unreadable after 15 years? I disagree: True, they never found the tapes they were looking for, but that's due to poor archival processes in the past. They were able to get the data off every tape they found which is how they know they never found the tapes they (and we) wanted. Properly maintained archives will last a long, long time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @03:27AM (#33866848)

    you read it wrong. It's:

    TFA: 8-inch walls
    TFS: 18-ch walls

    same thing.

  • by L4t3r4lu5 ( 1216702 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @05:11AM (#33867240)
    I run a network of two servers for a primary school, and even I have remote site NAS backup and bi-monthly tape archives, rolling semi-annually. It's not just the kids work (which is for all intents and purposes of sentimental value only); Financial records, HR, medical, disciplinary, software and hardware configuration time... Jeebus, I'd feel naked without a decent backup system!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @06:51AM (#33867612)

    A CNC drill machine can work with an accuracy of less then a milimeter error. That means you could take a sheet or stainless steel and use one to drill or not-drill one million holes on a 10cm square. 125KB. Eight of those would store a novel - and it would still be readable in a hundred years, with nothing more than a magnifying glass. Make the plates out of gold and put them in a good box and safe place, and they'll be readable in a million years. How is that for long-term reliability?

  • by Gilmoure ( 18428 ) on Tuesday October 12, 2010 @10:28AM (#33869530) Journal

    I worked at Eckerd College, in St. Pete, back in late '90's/early 00's. Now, this school is right on the inter-coastal waterway (has it's own private beach) and about 2' above sea level. Man, ever try unracking every farking server in a small school and man handling them up through an uncooled attic opening, there to be wrapped in multiple layers of plastic? In the summer?!!!

    They finally got funds to build a real data center (instead of using old admin offices on ground level) and now the machines are at least 25' above sea level. Won't do much for a direct hit, as entire spit of land school's on will likely be washed away but luckily, Tampa Bay area seems to mostly lucky, when it comes to hurricanes.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's