Case Study


Data Centres: InterxionLondon, UK 

Interxion (IXN) is the interconnection hub for the world’s leading businesses providing core data centre services from 50 data centres in 13 cities, to over 2000 customers, and are key players in driving the cloud revolution. 

For nearly 2 years TechniFire Solutions (TFS) have been providing fire alarm detection and protection services across two of their London based data centre campuses.  

At TFS we understand the importance of the day to day running of the data centre infrastructure and maintain the running of the fire alarm, fire detection and fire suppression systems to the highest levels of operation ensuring maximum protection against fire whilst maintaining continuous data services. This is our utmost priority whilst remaining pragmatic in our advice and recommendations. Thus, our approach is to present future proof solutions (as far as is reasonably possible)where necessary. 

Failure of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) 

The disruption and consequent failure of hard disk drives by extinguishant system noise is a growing concern for data centres across the industryThis phenomenon is well documented in white papers and various studies that identify several potential causes including pressure, temperature, noise and vibration/structure-born sound. The conclusion drawn is that vibration heavily linked to sound is what is causing the hard disk drives to fail. This poses a very real threat to the non-interruption of the Data Centre services at IXN data centres. 

To insure against disruption of services IXN consulted with TFS in addressing this issue for the two London Data Centres. TFS drew on its experienced team of engineers and designers who presented findings making sound recommendations. It was realised that alternative technologies like Solid State Drives (SSDs) would eliminate the threat entirely, in time. This however would not solve the immediate issue. It was therefore recommended that a ‘noise reducing nozzle’ would remove the threat as the Db level at discharge is considerably reduced to a level that has no effect on HDDs whatsoever. IXN welcomed the solution from TFS and promptly placed an order for the replacement of existing gas extinguishant nozzle heads to the new recommended ‘noise reducing nozzle’ heads.