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Hardware IT

Managing Servers In the Frigid Cold 122

1sockchuck writes "Some data centers are kept as chilly as meat lockers. But IT operations in colder regions face challenges in managing conditions — hence Facebook's to use environmentally controlled trucks to make deliveries to its new data center in Sweden, which is located on the edge of the Arctic Circle. The problem is the temperature change in transporting gear. 'A rapid rate of change (in temperature) can create condensation on the electronics, and that's no good,' said Facebook's Frank Frankovsky."
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Managing Servers In the Frigid Cold

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  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:47PM (#40898325)

    This isn't anything new, anytime you take something from the extreme cold and bring it inside you risk condensation. This is usually dealt with by simply letting something sit at room temperature for several hours before powering it on.

    In the middle of January if you take a freezing cold delivery and power it on right away and fry your new (XXXXXX) you deserve to void your warranty. There is no excuse for stupidity. Why is this on slashdot as news?

  • by Isbjorn ( 755227 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:53PM (#40898387)
    This is nothing--years ago I deployed PCs at Alaskan oilfield installations. Extreme cold makes everything brittle, kept having problems with things like cracked motherboards, just from setting the PC on a desk.
  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Monday August 06, 2012 @03:54PM (#40898411) Homepage

    There is no excuse for stupidity. Why is this on slashdot as news?

    Because most slashdotters aren't from extremely cold areas. What seems like obvious to you isn't even considered by most, just because most aren't subject to the same conditions as you are.

    Let me ask you another question in return. I think I deserve an answer, since I answered yours: Why do you think everybody should know what you think is obvious?

  • by petermgreen ( 876956 ) <.plugwash. .at.> on Monday August 06, 2012 @04:33PM (#40898819) Homepage

    Even if you do have the ability to artificially raise or lower the humidity that doesn't mean it makes sense to keep it at the same level all year round.

    Most electronics is specified for quite a wide range of relative humidity. Usually 5% to 95% or so.

    In winter you want low relative humidity to reduce the risk of condensation on stuff brought in from outside (yeah you try to seal stuff and let it warm up before unwrapping but mistakes and emergencies happen). It's also cheap to achieve low relative humidity due to the low outside air temperature (for a given absoloute humidity relative humidity goes down as temperature goes up).

    In summer humidity doesn't matter so much since stuff brought in from outside will be warm. It's also likely to be more expensive to achieve low relative humidity since it involves active dehumidification (which is achieved by cooling the air to the point where the water condenses out)

  • by onyxruby ( 118189 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <yburxyno>> on Monday August 06, 2012 @05:01PM (#40899137)

    I can certainly understand that people from warmer climates won't understand how to drive during an ice storm or how to recover from a skid. These are things that come from experience with exposure to a certain climate.

    I will answer your question as I wasn't trolling. I think everyone should know consider this obvious because condensation is elementary physics. When you consider that I am on a technology site with a notable science influence it's the kind of thing I just expect that people would know.

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