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Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

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  • Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

    Slashdot: http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?...15247&from=rss

    Evidently, there was some sort of short circuit that sparked an explosion powerful enough to knock down walls. This happened at ThePlanet in Houston, but I think all of the servers that TG has hosted at ThePlanet are in Dallas. Wouldn't surprise me if Dallas took a performance hit if ThePlanet shifts some high-profile clients to Dallas, though...
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  • #2
    Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

    Was it exactly nine thousand... or was it OVER NINE THOUSAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND!?

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    • #3
      Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

      The latter, I believe!
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      • #4
        Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

        What? Nine Thousand??!!?!??!??!

        damn magna...how you get yours in caps...no fair..


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        • #5
          Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

          Originally posted by kevlarorc View Post
          What? Nine Thousand??!!?!??!??!
          There's no way that can be right!!!

          -Zephyr
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          • #6
            Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

            Is that kind of like there's no way Google could be building an 30-acre, petabyte-level (that's 10^15) data storage facility? 9,000 servers is becoming (and now is) a small operation.

            From WIRED, The Information Factories, Oct. 06:
            The facility in The Dalles is only the latest and most advanced of about two dozen Google data centers, which stretch from Silicon Valley to Dublin. All told, it's a staggering collection of hardware, whose constituent servers number 450,000, according to the lowest estimate.

            The extended Googleplex comprises an estimated 200 petabytes of hard disk storage – enough to copy the Net's entire sprawling cornucopia dozens of times – and four petabytes of RAM. When it's finished, the project will spread tens of thousands of servers across a few giant structures. To handle the current load of 100 million queries a day, its collective input-output bandwidth must be in the neighborhood of 3 petabits per second.


            The article was a bit sensationalist, but it gives a good idea of the unesen war for data supremacy and what companies are having to do now to meet the future needs of the internet community. Just read the opening paragraphs and see if you want to stop...:icon_eek:
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            • #7
              Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

              When they say servers they mean one of those blade things as big as a tray, slotted into a 6 foot rack you could pack alot of those into a decent sized building

              The game servers are based in Virginia I think

              4 petabytes of ram sounds good, maybe enough even to stop bf2 lagging :row__690:


              If you find yourself in a fair fight, then you have obviously failed to plan properly.

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              • #8
                Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_server

                densities of up to 84 discrete servers per rack are achievable with the current generation of blade systems.
                So a bit over 100 racks would give you 9k servers. That's 10 rows of 10 racks. Depths of rack appear to be inconsistent, but one could assume a 2'x2' footprint, meaning a total of 400 square feet. (Double that to add corridors between the racks.)

                Mind you, I've not been in a data center, so I don't know what reasonable spacings would be. This is just to give an idea of what density is possible.
                Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

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                • #9
                  Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

                  ThePlanet uses primarily Dell PowerEdge 1U and 2U servers. We have most of our servers in one of their Dallas datacenters, but they actually have 3 down there. We were not affected, so it might have been in a different datacenter.
                  Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

                    Wow... That must have been one heck of a blast.

                    I've heard of similar, yet less massive electrical explosions. Back in my freshmen year of high school they where remodeling the entire building. A contractor was working on a breaker box when he dropped a screw into the panel. The screw basically ionized and sent a large fireball right into the face of the guy.

                    This was about two weeks before school started, so there were no students in the building but a teacher of mine told me that he went to investigate why the power suddenly went out. By the time my teacher had walked from one side of the building to the other, mind you he was also in the school auditorium at the time of power loss so he had been fumbling around in the dark for a bit as well. Anyways, the contractor had been taken out to the loading dock waiting for the ambulance to arrive. By the time my teacher had walked up there the contractor's clothes were still smoking from the explosion...

                    To be honest I don't know what happed to the contractor for 100% sure. I'm quite sure that he survived, but as to the full extend of his injuries, well I know he had second and third degree burns to the face, hands and chest, but I don't know much past that.

                    Long story short, thankfully no one was hurt and that yes electrical explosions can be very intense.

                    ~ Draken

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                    • #11
                      Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

                      They make mention of and 'electrical gear failure', but the way it is described, it sounds like the main switchgear for that section did it's job and tripped open due to another event. Likely the back up system kicked in at the first event and the switchgear was reset improperly resulting in a significant explosive failure.

                      High-capacity switchgears can not be simply reset without the risk catastrophic failure, they actually should be be rebuilt before they can be safely reset and brought back into service.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

                        Did a spark hit a backup generator's fuel tanks or something?

                        Can't imagine many things that could go "boom" in a datacenter.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Explosion disrupts 9,000 servers at company that hosts some TG servers!

                          Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
                          Did a spark hit a backup generator's fuel tanks or something?

                          Can't imagine many things that could go "boom" in a datacenter.
                          I read their forums and listened to the CEO messages when it was happening and from bits of clues they gave regarding the location of the boom and the symptoms of other problems it is very likely that the main power switchgear closed while under a load..

                          Think of a circuit breaker in your home but it's the size of an average house and is passing the service of 2000 average homes. :icon_eek:

                          Often, the main switchgear is located in a fire rated electrical vault which may also house the main first-line power back up (megawatt capacitors and batteries), High voltage transformers, and the bypass to the generator(s).

                          They are usually in a vault to protect against a capacitor failure (by arcing) because that is so much more likely than a mains failure (by arcing). A capacitor arc is explosive enough on it's own to blow apart the bank that it is in, stun anyone in the room, deafen anyone in the room, and likely kill anyone in near contact with it.

                          A mains explosion would be like a lightning strike in a confined space. A plasma discharge strong enough to blow apart everything in the room, and in the case of a large datacenter - blow out walls.

                          They describe melted outdoor (OSP) cabling to the utilities transformer, and server power supply problems in the center which is what leads me to believe the problem started at the main switchgear possibly (much further speculation) occurring while back-up power was active.

                          Maybe someone has heard more about this since and can tell me how wrong or right my guesses are. :D
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