Why You Shouldn't Shout in the Data Center

Data centers are noisy places. Sometimes you have to raise your voice to be heard. But you shouldn’t shout right next to a rack of equipment, as illustrated by Brendan Gregg of Sun Microsystems. Brendan used analytics software developed by Sun’s Fishworks team to demonstrate that shouting next to working racks can cause significant disk latency. In this example, Brendan screams into a rack housing JBODs (Just A Bunch of Disks), producing an immediate pop in input/output latency. The increase is caused by disk vibration resulting from the nearby noise. While the example is extreme, it’s worth considering the next time you’re trying to make yourself heard in the data center. This video is 2 minutes in length.

Brendan shares more data on his blog. For more news from Sun Microsystems, check out our Sun Channel. For additional video, check out our DCK video archive and the Data Center Videos channel on YouTube.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Aggy

    Um... april 1st isn't for another 3 months.

  2. John Engates

    It couldn't be that he touched them while he was shouting at them could it? Seems to me that just putting your hands on the front of the disks would cause more vibration than shouting "uuuuuuuhhhhh" at the disks.

  3. That's how we do stress testing before we ship servers. We actually take it a step further by hiring 8 angry people for the 8 drive systems and say things to piss them off even further. We are having trouble testing the 48 bay systems. Seems that 48 people near 1 server has a calming affect on them :) Interesting test.

  4. Mr.e

    Uh...oh yeah..you get a free bottle of glowing mountain dew with each fishworks purchase. Sheesh....