North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Building a NOC

  • From: Howard C. Berkowitz
  • Date: Mon Mar 23 01:11:34 1998

>Floor drains are good.  But once again, you need to have a chat with
>your designer & inspector about what, why, when.  Anti-backflow valves,
>and floor sink traps are mandatory.  Automatic trap primers seem to lead
>to flooding.  For example, St. Louis County recently opened a new jail.
>However it was delayed three months because the week before opening when
>they discovered if all the toilets were flushed at the same time on the
>eighth floor, as prisoners are known to do, the sinks exploded on the
>bottom floor.  The plumbing designer had followed normal industry practice
>for commercial buildings, but forgot jails house a user population that
>is different from a normal commercial building.

Hmmmm...reminiscent of a NANOG meeting?

>Like most disasters, you may not be able to prevent flooding, but you
>can mitigate some of its affects.  Hit the E.P.O. and unfurl the plastic
>tarps you have stored & handy for just this emergency.

Good point.  After one flood from upper-story firefighting, the US Senate
Computer Center did something along these lines I haven't seen elsewhere
but wasn't a bad idea.  They got some large rolls of plastic, and mounted
the rolls on bars suspended from the ceiling -- sort of like giant toilet
paper rolls.  The leading edges of the rolls were folded over a strip of
wood, and a rope tied to that.  In the event of a fire/flood alarm, the
operators could grab a handle at the end of the rope, and pull the plastic
sheet over the top of equipment in under a minute.  Far faster than
unfolding tarps.

>>Putting equipment on high, rather than low, floors can protect it.
>Pick your disaster scenario, low-flying airplanes or high-flowing water.

How about a lost Forest Service water bomber?

No statistics available, but I would suspect water flowing down is far more
common than airplanes flowing down.

>>I wonder if any of the TEMPEST manuals have been declassified?  THey never
>>were at a terribly high level, and had some very nice general engineering
>>in them.
>Not yet.  Although I've been trying to figure out how to buy the old
>MCAUTO (McDonnell-Douglas Automation) Data Center and turn it in to the
>Mid-West high-tech co-location space.  In addition to a three-story,
>multi-football field long data center, and a backup power plant a small
>city would envy, it is rumored to have so-called black-project rooms with
>TEMPEST/EMP/EMF/RFI/TLA... shielding.  InterNIC and PSI could co-locate
>in the same building, and not run into each other even in the parking

Is there a place that would be good for Fleming?

>I've only seen one cafeterria in the building, so that could be
>a problem :-).

This may be the same data center that Bob Courtney, the retired security
chief for IBM, talked about when he told the story of the Rustproof 360/195
in A Large Unnamed Aerospace Company in St. Louis.

Apparently, they had a 195, a supercomputer for the time, in a magnificent
computer room.  Fire protection up the wazoo.  Every kind of power and
grounding anyone could think of.

What no one did think of was that there were two paint shops in the same
building, and the paint tanks were in one of them, with piping to the
other.  Guess what the overhead pipes ran over.

Late one night, a pipe blew and dumped several hundred gallons of zinc
chromate primer into the CPU cabinet.  The resulting hardened mass gave new
meaning to the term, "solid state."

Moral:  check for hazardous materials elsewhere in the building, and
materials that might not be hazardous to people but will do the nasty to