March 18th, 2014 3:47 am

Thanks again for building our server room

Joe –

It was 10:30am Wednesday, February 12th.  I was followed into the parking lot at work by a full-size hook & ladder, siren howling.  Our main electrical closet had started spewing smoke into the basement, and the staff had called 911.

After emptying and inspecting the building, the fire chief shut off our building power at the mains and told us to call an electrician.

Temperatures were expected to plummet, and we were expecting a crippling snowstorm that night.  I hastily contacted our London, Amsterdam and Hong Kong offices to warn of possible email disruption if the power outage continued past the running time of our generator.

Our electrician showed up after 2 – 3 hours, inspected our systems, and said he couldn’t find any problems.  We needed to call Pepco, the local electric utility company.

Pepco promised to have someone on-site by 7pm.  They arrived right on time, but they couldn’t find any problems in our building, either!  They traced the problem to a piece of their own equipment outside our building that had gone bad.  The smoke from the bad equipment had come through the conduits into our basement.

It was close to 9pm when our power was restored.

Through it all, the server room that Bailey Systems built for us kept chugging along. HVAC, phones, and email all continued working perfectly, without interruption, during the 10 hour outage – exactly as planned.  The less critical servers that weren’t connected to the generator shutdown cleanly and came right back up when power was restored.

What could have been an extended outage had become, instead, an opportunity to verify the running of our server room, including, for the first time, a chance to verify that our generator would last at least 24 hours on a single tank of fuel.

Thanks for the peace of mind.


Michael J McCarn

Director of IT & Web Services

American Institute for Cancer Research