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June 30, 2011

LANL Update: Supers Taken Offline

Nicole Hemsoth

Earlier this week we reported on the fire that is sweeping close to Los Alamos National Laboratory where the Roadrunner and Cielo supercomputers are housed. At that time evacuations of the area were underway as the fire inched closer to the perimeter of lab.

There have been no reports of fire on the grounds of the center but officials announced today that they would be taking their supercomputers offline until the fire is contained and hazardous smoke has cleared. This smoke has been deemed “potentially unhealthy” by the National Weather Service and represents a danger to the data centers and IT equipment on site.

As ComputerWorld reported today, smoke “can trigger a shutdown of air handling systems and IT equipment. Particulates from smoke can damage components.”

Smoke can infiltrate hard drives and the particulates can find their way into nearly every crack inside delicate systems, including between processors, RAM and motherboards.

Los Alamos National Lab has been posting photos of the area, showing the dense smoke and activities to contain the fire here.

Full story at ComputerWorld