[Nottingham] Office server rooms

Andy Smith andy at bitfolk.com
Thu Jul 26 00:27:30 UTC 2018


You would only be able to argue for some sort of compensation if
your lease has an SLA for aircon failures. Virtually no office space
leases do, even for tech offices, even if they include a
pre-partitioned "machine room" space.

Such a thing is generally a separate partitioned space, that is not
physically secure (e.g. you could lift a floor or ceiling tile and
get in, or just kick the partition down), and simply has an air con
unit in it that is set to a lower temperature than the other ones in
the office.

If wanting to try to approximate a data centre in office space, you
would generally at least need to be in control of the air con and
be able to install your own UPSes as there most likely won't be any
SLA on power uptime or time to repair either.

Going beyond "reasonable effort" can be hard even when you own the
building, let alone when you are just renting a generic office. If
in the position of renting office space and wanting to run servers
in it for any reason, accept that you will have very little control
over the infrastructure and may have to put up with multi-day
outages of network, power and aircon.

Even in purpose-built datacentres, at the low end you may find there
are no SLAs for temperature. I once went to Telehouse London and
found the rack I needed to work in was completely encased in
chipboard, leaving it with no access to the cold aisle. Telehouse
had done this with no warning. They needed to do some
building work in the suite which was going to put out a lot of dust.
Instead of clearing everyone out of the suite, doing the work and
then re-populating it, they opted to protect people's hardware by
boxing it up while it was still running. Granted, this no doubt
avoided some hardware failures from dust entering the fan intakes,
and relocating every rack would have been very expensive, but did
mean a lot of machines were at dangerously high temperatures for
over a week.


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