North American Network Operators Group

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Is there an electrician in the house?

  • From: Phil Reese
  • Date: Thu Sep 21 20:53:14 2000

My company is finishing up the build out of a number of ccTLD DNS and
web server data centers in collocation space.  We've run into the
following issue that I'd be interested in this group's opinion.

Our data centers will have a number of Linux servers running on 110v
power, no problem there, just plug into the power strips provided.  Then
we'll have a couple IBM S80 servers and two trays of disks that both
require 208v 30amp and an L6 plug.  Now the max rated power of all the
devices is well within the two 208/30 circuits we've ordered.

The difficulty is that the collocation company provides a single L6
receptacle per circuit deployed.  We'd planned on putting one S80 server
and one tray of disks on each of the two circuits.  HOWEVER, each box
has its own cord and plug, i.e., two plugs.  APC, and I'm sure others,
make essentially a 208/30amp outlet strip
( , cost between
$185-$200) that we'd planned to use.

As we finish up the build out, the collocation company has informed us
that the device, such as the APC, are not allowed.  Their only suggested
solution is to purchase as many circuits as we have plugs to connect. 
Of course each additional 30 amp circuit will cost us just over
$1k/month!  All totaled, we'd need an additional 5 circuits between our
east and west coast locations, or just over $5k/mo, $60k/yr, versus
$1000 one time fee to APC!

By definition, collocation companies need to be paranoid about
everything.  However, when I asked them what is the issue with the APC
device they just invoked 'this could cause an overload and potential
fire hazard' as their technical position on why this passive, UL listed,
device isn't allowed.

Can anyone explain their side of the story, citing a bit more
technologically based explanation?

Phil Reese