floating a server room... how do you deal with ethernet connections?

Brian Candler B.Candler at pobox.com
Mon Mar 13 13:36:44 UTC 2006

On Mon, Mar 13, 2006 at 02:57:35AM -0600, Nikolas Britton wrote:
> I'm currently planning renovations for the power mains supplying are
> server room. One of the ideas I have is to float the entire room using
> a isolation transformer. The only problem to this solution, that I can
> think of, is that all of the equipment that's attached to the other
> end of the Ethernet cabling won't be isolated, the NIC cards do have
> 1:1 transformer coupling for the wire pairs but... In the event of
> power surges, spikes, brownouts, and/or nearby lighting strikes I feel
> that It's conceivable for there to be a large voltage differential on
> the wires that could damage the equipment on ether end of the wire.
> Are there any easy (cheap) work arounds to this problem

You could use fibre. Might not immediately qualify as "easy or cheap", but
then again, if you've got local distribution switches in each floating rack,
then all you need is fibre uplinks to the central switching infrastructure.

But apart from that, I can't say how good an idea floating the room is.
AFAIK, most mains inlet filters have some inductive and capacitive
components to earth, so it may not float that far.



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