One Rack’s 18-Story Plunge to the Pavement

If one of your fully-loaded racks plunged 18 stories and shattered on the pavement, would your data survive? Symantec was willing to sacrifice a rack of gear to find out. To illustrate the features of its Veritas Replicator software, Symantec built two identical racks running an Oracle database and applications, and set up Veritas Replicator to do data replication between the two racks. Then it dropped one of the racks off the roof of a building in downtown San Jose, Calif. Yes, there’s important software replication and business continuity stuff happening automagically. But you probably see that every day. What you DON’T see every day is a rack of expensive IT equipment falling 18 stories and smashing on the pavement. So here it comes!

How did the Symantec PR team know that I’m a sucker for offbeat features in which data center equipment flies through the air? One clue may have been the DCK Gallery of Flying and Crashing Servers. That feature was an expansion of our Gallery of Exploding Servers, in which researchers from HP actually blow up a pile of server equipment to demonstrate the failover capabilities of their software.

OK, so Symantec loses points on originality, but gets high marks for execution. Their reward? They got me to write the words “Veritas Replicator” in an article. And, because we enjoy a good PR stunt, we now share Symantec’s 10-minute companion video, “Data Center Down: Behind the Scenes,” which tells the full tale of the rack’s 18-story journey to its fateful end, and will likely fill your head with data points about Symantec’s high availability and disaster recovery technology:

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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. Alan

    Smashing stuff up just for the sake of it -very RocknRoll!

  2. Scott

    "the second system came right back up online in.. ohh.. 3 or 4 minutes" The sounds like a very slow failover to me...

  3. Dave

    Wouldn't really call that a "rack full of gear" more like <10U of obsolete sun gear that was probably headed to the recycler anyway.