Question 1. Assume that your organization is planning to have an automated server room that functions without human assistance. Such a room is often called a lights-out server room. Describe the fire control system(s) you would install in that room.

An automatic fire detection system would certainly be the best choice for a lights-out server room in the data center, where no human beings are physically present. As for the type of fire detection system, I would probably opt for a very sophisticated system like the air-aspirating detector system, since the server room is certainly a high-sensitive area where critical devices are stored. This system works by taking in air, filtering it, and moving it through a chamber containing a laser beam. If the laser beam is diverted or refracted by smoke particles, the system is activated. Another key element I would consider is the type of fire suppressor to adopt. In this kind of decision, very important is to consider the type of fire that has to be combated. Class includes fires with energized electrical equipment or appliances, that is, fires that are extinguished with agents that must be no conducting. Since this is the type of fire that would interest a server room, the attention must be focused on a gaseous emission system, and in particular on a system that uses a clean chemical agent (like it was Halon before it got prohibited in commercial and residential locations). Clean agents are those that don't leave any residue when dry, and don't interfere with the operation of electrical or electronic equipment. Alternative clean agents (even if they are reported to be less effective than Halon) are FM-200, Inergen, Carbon Dioxide, and FE-13 (one of the newest and safest clean agent variations of the most commonly used clean agents).


Question 2. Assume you have converted an area of general office space into a server room. Describe the factors you would consider for each of the following components:

a. Walls and doors

b. Access control

c. Fire detection

d. Fire suppression

e. Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning

a. Walls and doors: Due to the construction of the walls and doors of the facility, the security of information assets can sometimes be compromised. In high security areas such as a server room, the firewalls and doors with either mechanical or electromechanical locks should be used.

b. Access control: For physical security, a secure facility is an ideal location that has been engineered with a number of controls designed to minimize the risk of attacks from physical threats. An organization should consider using as many security controls as possible in order to secure a server room.

c. Fire detection: Either manual or automatic fire detection systems need to be installed. Manual fire detection systems include human responses, such as calling the fire department, as well as manually activated alarms, such as sprinklers and gaseous systems. Automatic detection systems include thermal detections systems, smoke detection systems, and flame detector. An organization should consider placing one of these fire detections systems depending on its budget.

d. Fire suppression: There are a variety of fire suppression systems commonly used in many organizations including portable, manual, and automatic apparatus. One or more fire suppression systems should be prepared in case of emergency.

e. Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning: Since the operation of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have dramatic impact on information systems operations and protection, four areas (temperature, filtration, humidity, and static electricity) within HVAC system should properly managed.


Question 3. Assume you have been asked to review the power needs of a stand-alone computer system that processes important but noncritical data. Although the system does not have to be online at all times, it stores valuable data that could be corrupted if the power system were suddenly interrupted. Which UPS features are most important to such a system? Which type of UPS do you recommend for it?

The four basic configurations of UPS are standby, standby Ferro resonant, line-interactive, and true online. Important considerations for UPS systems include switch time, the amount of electricity the UPS supplies, and costs. Switch time refers to the amount of time it takes for the UPS to activate a transfer switch. The wattage needed to keep the equipment running for a certain period of time should be precisely calculated, which helps in the selection of a proper UPS that meets the organizationís power supply needs. Also, the more sophisticated the UPS becomes, the more costly it is. The best way to select a UPS is to identify the smallest one necessary to provide the needed support. In this scenario, a standby Ferro resonant UPS would be the best selection.


Question 4. Define the required wattage for a UPS to be used with the following systems:

a.    Monitor: 2 amps; CPU: 3 amps; printer: 3 amps

b.    Monitor: 3 amps; CPU: 4 amps; printer: 3 amps

c.     Monitor: 3 amps; CPU: 4 amps; printer: 4 amps

Assuming that the systems are operating in the United States at a standard voltage of 120 volts at 60 Hz:

a.    (2 * 120) + (3 * 120) + (3 * 120) = 960 watts

b.    (3 * 120) + (4 * 120) + (3 * 120) = 1,200 watts

c.     (3 * 120) + (4 * 120) + (4 * 120) = 1,320 watts


Question 5. Search the Web for a UPS that provides the wattage necessary to run the systems described in Exercise 5 for at least 15 minutes during a power outage.

The products that students may find can be evaluated by the common practice of vendors rating the unit in VA hours. A unit rated at 200 VA hours will support 800watts for 15 minutes (a quarter-hour). Using this process, the minimum VA hour rating for UPS units that meet the requirement are:

a.    240 VA hours

b.    300 VA hours

c.     330 VA hours