Synology Rep RAGE or Ignorance?

USMCGrunt

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So....I don't know much...but I know a thing or two. I'm trying to get a small business setup with new servers and with that, a NAS for network shares and backup duties. The plan, was to get one of Synology's 2-bay NAS devices and have one HDD act as the Network share drive and the other act as the backup target for the servers and it would also contain a backup of the Network shares stored on the other drive and the backup drive would be swapped out daily.

I contacted Synology, outlining my intented use to ensure there was support for this and this is the response I get

Thank you for your interest in Synology Products.

Unfortunately the scenario you plan on using one of our systems for will not work as you would like it to. I would highly recommend utilizing an external hard drive rather than hot-swapping a drive from the system. I would also advise that you utilize 4 hard drives so that each drive can have a mirror.

First, he doesn't explain to me WHY it wouldn't work and then his suggestion, assumptively, is to buy a NAS.... So I shoot an email back with one word, "Why?" His response:

If you were to use the system in the way you outlined the volume would crash every time you removed Disk 2 as what you outlined is JBOD. SATA connectors are also only rated for a total of 300 unseats/reseats unlike USB connectors which are rated for several thousand.

Ok well, I am not wanting to run the disks in RAID or have them spanned....just independently of eachother and, while I appreciate mentioning of the SATA/USB connector spec, that doesn't mean what I want to do won't work or cause the system to crash. So, I ask if their products are not non-raid capable and his response:

Our system do support non-RAID configurations, however we do not support removing healthy drives from our systems.

Hmm.....maybe this is where my knowledge gap opens up but....isn't being able to remove a drive while a system is powered on the main highlight of hot-swap?? Additionally, unless there is some caching going on, what's the difference between a healthy drive being removed and a drive failing, they could both disappear from the NAS OS in the same manner. So at this point, I ask why the NAS would crash when utilizing the hot-swap feature...and his response:

If the drives are set up in JBOD, and you are to remove one of the drives, then yes, the volume that is stored on the disk you remove will crash.

Hmm.....Ok, there's a communication failure here, I thought to myself. I then clarify that I don't intend to have them setup in JBOD, I would have them configured completely independent and they would have zero data sharing, completely separate volumes. His response?

I understand what you are attempting to do, however the type of configuration you would like to set up will not work properly with our systems due to the reasons already provided

....Is it me....or is it not apparent that the explanations being given are not sufficient and he's basically telling me "Just cause" as an explanation? Can someone break it down 'Barney style' for me please cause this guy sucks a fat one.

I have a network with roughly 200 users and need about 1.4TB of space for server backups and they are not using folder redirection currently but I plan to turn it on so I wanted a backup drive capacity of 4TB. Anybody have any NAS recommendations that can meet these requirements? If it wasn't clear above, I would like a NAS with at least 2 drive bays, one for network shares/folder redirection and the other as the target for server backups/backup of network shares/folder redirection.
 

Nate7311

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The short version is, while in JBOD mode that MAY work (don't know never tried a live dismount outside of a RAID environment), their products a simply NOT designed for the type of operation you describe. His comment about the expected longevity of the physical SATA connectors is just added ammunition. Just at a glance, your idea of using the second bay for removable backup is not optimal, nor does it sound like a separation between Server and Shares via a NAS in a SMB environment is optimal.

Why not add storage for shares into the Server itself and then use a proper removable disk system like an RDX solution. Going too cheap will bite you in the ass every time.

To answer the question in the title, I think it's more along the lines of bad assumptions.
 

/usr/home

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IMO the guy is right. Their NASes aren't really designed for what you want. Just get a USB HDD and backup to that and swap that nightly.

They are more meant for only swapping drives for upgrades or replacements and not daily like you want.

The only time I've even encountered what you want is something like RDX drives. Anything else is asking for issues.
 

Red Squirrel

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Buy a esata drive dock.

http://products.ncix.com/detail/aluratek-2-5-3-5in-sata-hard-drive-a0-44054-1630.htm

First time I hear about the connectors having a rating of how many times it can be unplugged though. I wonder if that applies to these docks too...

They even have some that can fit 4 drives.

Also for active data you should NEVER run a non-raid solution. Does not matter how many backups you have, if a drive fails, you're dead in the water till you recopy everything to a new drive, which is a huge pain in the ass if you are in the middle of something when it happens.
 

TCM2

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Don't you love "the customer is always right"? I pity the support guy.
 

Metraon

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Are you sure its a 200 users scenario ? I dont think that 2 drives NAS are meant for 200 users and its not a good idea to rely on 1-2 drives for the backups and live data.

For live data, you should buy a proper NAS and see what raid configurations suit your needs. You could always buy a ixSystem NAS, its a little more expensive, but the performance is great and ZFS is an awesome file system. ZFS provide a fair data protection in case of data corruption and its quite simple to resilver(reconstruct) dead drives.

For the backups you have multiple choices, but you should consider an offsite backup plan.

With that setup, you will have a fair level of redundancy, if one of the NAS hard drive fails, you will only have to change the drive and let the reconstruction, but be aware that it could be long depending on the drive size. If the NAS fail, you should have some spares or a temporary solution planned for that.

If there is a fire or an earthquake and the NAS and/or the office is destroyed, there is a good chance that the onsite backups are destroyed too, unless you have good vaults and a good backup and recovery strategy. Thats why the offsite backup comes handy and assure you most cases are covered.
 

USMCGrunt

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Just going off what Dell provides on their quotes, their RDX drives don't go beyond 1TB, which isn't sufficient. Additionally, being a drive that would get a high volume of traffic in the morning and evening, I assumed an eSATA/USB drive would become a bottleneck and slow things down. Folder redirect also isn't a requirement to be stored on a NAS. The servers will have a seperate mirrored volume they could be stored on at the server, I was just quoting for a highest load anticipation. Their current servers actually use an rdx drive and it works great, just doesn't have the capacity needs.


Don't you love "the customer is always right"? I pity the support guy.

Seriously?? First, your response is not even a constructive criticism, just a one off remark to be an asshole. Second, I prefaced my post indicating that I don't know everything and ended it questioning whether the issue was my knowledge shortcomings or this guy being lazy/a dick. It's apparent to multiple people that I'm lacking knowledge and they've made their constructive opinions, not this information whoring, elitiest type comment that does nothing to further anybody's knowledge, pretty selfish.
 

MysticRyuujin

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I assumed an eSATA/USB drive would become a bottleneck and slow things down

Actually if you use a NAS the 1Gbps ethernet would be a bigger bottleneck than USB 3.0, however both of them can basically handle 100% of a normal HDD performance. So either way your bottleneck will probably be the single HDD.
 

TCM2

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I prefaced my post indicating that I don't know everything and ended it questioning whether the issue was my knowledge shortcomings or this guy being lazy/a dick.

You got your constructive criticism from the guy. Instead of acknowledging that he might know better than you do, you question him multiple times, then come here and try to further miscredit the guy who was doing his job well. Edit: quoting the title "RAGE or Ignorance?" You don't leave many options there and _nothing_ the support guy wrote is even remotely close to that.

I said that I pity the guy - as a snide remark and a hint that some humbleness would be in order, though that obviously didn't go so well.

My bad, I guess.
 
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gangolfus

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What the rep was trying to say, possibly not so succinctly is:
1) Synology NAS's don't support hot swapping. So the comment about the connector is that their devices are not designed for frequent connect/disconnect cycles.
2) Synology NAS's don't support independent disk volumes. JBOD takes all of the provided disks and stripes data across them as it sees fit. This is why removing one of the disks would crash the volume.

Hope this helps.
 

USMCGrunt

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Are you sure its a 200 users scenario ? I dont think that 2 drives NAS are meant for 200 users and its not a good idea to rely on 1-2 drives for the backups and live data.

For live data, you should buy a proper NAS and see what raid configurations suit your needs. You could always buy a ixSystem NAS, its a little more expensive, but the performance is great and ZFS is an awesome file system. ZFS provide a fair data protection in case of data corruption and its quite simple to resilver(reconstruct) dead drives.

For the backups you have multiple choices, but you should consider an offsite backup plan.

With that setup, you will have a fair level of redundancy, if one of the NAS hard drive fails, you will only have to change the drive and let the reconstruction, but be aware that it could be long depending on the drive size. If the NAS fail, you should have some spares or a temporary solution planned for that.

If there is a fire or an earthquake and the NAS and/or the office is destroyed, there is a good chance that the onsite backups are destroyed too, unless you have good vaults and a good backup and recovery strategy. Thats why the offsite backup comes handy and assure you most cases are covered.

Unfortunately, this is a non-profit organization so the lack of funding that most IT departments get pales in comparison to what a non-profit gives it's IT department, lol. Backups are swapped out and kept in a pretty hefty fire-proof safe, its a system developed before I came onto the network and I honestly don't know how effective it would be as im not sure the safe wouldn't turn into an oven and melt the drives if it was engulfed in fire.

You got your constructive criticism from the guy. Instead of acknowledging that he might know better than you do, you question him multiple times, then come here and try to further miscredit the guy who was doing his job well. Edit: quoting the title "RAGE or Ignorance?" You don't leave many options there and _nothing_ the support guy wrote is even remotely close to that.

I said that I pity the guy - as a snide remark and a hint that some humbleness would be in order, though that obviously didn't go so well.

My bad, I guess.

I question him multiple times because he doesn't answer my question as to WHY it wouldn't work OR if he did explain it and I didn't get it, then as the presales department, part of their job is to educate potential customers. Multiple times I've acknowledged that I am lacking and somehow that's come across as I'M the superior one that needs humbling?? OOoook

What the rep was trying to say, possibly not so succinctly is:
1) Synology NAS's don't support hot swapping. So the comment about the connector is that their devices are not designed for frequent connect/disconnect cycles.
2) Synology NAS's don't support independent disk volumes. JBOD takes all of the provided disks and stripes data across them as it sees fit. This is why removing one of the disks would crash the volume.

Hope this helps.

1) Many of the products on their page list hot swap as being supported with a big green checkmark Example Example Example Example

2) This is all that he needed to say and I would have understood, thank you. Is this the way that all NAS's operate or just a limitation of Synology?
 

/usr/home

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What the rep was trying to say, possibly not so succinctly is:
1) Synology NAS's don't support hot swapping. So the comment about the connector is that their devices are not designed for frequent connect/disconnect cycles.
2) Synology NAS's don't support independent disk volumes. JBOD takes all of the provided disks and stripes data across them as it sees fit. This is why removing one of the disks would crash the volume.

Hope this helps.

Not quite true. They do support hot swap. Replacing a drive can be done while the system is on.

Single disks can be assigned to volumes. JBOD isn't mandatory.
 

NetJunkie

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I'll tell you why it doesn't work.

When you put a drive or drives in a Synology, like most NAS systems, you have to create a volume (format it...basically) and then export out the folders you want to share. Pull that drive and that volume crashes. You then have to remove it and build a new one if you put another drive in. This isn't what they were built for. That's what he was trying to tell you.

Yes, Synology can hot swap but that's meant for replacing a failed drive with a new one. Not for doing this.

It's not Rep Rage or Ignorance. You just didn't listen to the answer. :)
 

gangolfus

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I stand corrected:
1) Synology devices do support hot swapping, its just that the intended usage is for swapping an occasional failed drive, not for daily drive swaps
2) I suppose this could be possible, I've never actually tried it.

Moral of the story is: a Synology device is not designed to fit your needs. Does it really matter why?
 

goodcooper

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Yes, Synology can hot swap but that's meant for replacing a failed drive with a new one. Not for doing this.

It's not Rep Rage or Ignorance. You just didn't listen to the answer. :)

ding ding ding ding..... this is the answer

Moral of the story is: a Synology device is not designed to fit your needs. Does it really matter why?

this

or do what the guy says and get an external, the reason he showed you that esata/usb feature is because that's EXACTLY WHAT IT'S FOR...

a crappy sales rep would have told you "yea everything'll work great, just buy this model and you'll be all set" then when you get it and try to set it up your weird illogical way, it won't work and you'll just be mad... but you're already on the hook because you already bought it...
 

Metraon

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Unfortunately, this is a non-profit organization so the lack of funding that most IT departments get pales in comparison to what a non-profit gives it's IT department, lol. Backups are swapped out and kept in a pretty hefty fire-proof safe, its a system developed before I came onto the network and I honestly don't know how effective it would be as im not sure the safe wouldn't turn into an oven and melt the drives if it was engulfed in fire.

I am a member of the board for a non-profit, and since I discovered that I could make a charity receipt for any hardware donations, I dont have anymore problems for hardware;)
 

goodcooper

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Unfortunately, this is a non-profit organization so the lack of funding that most IT departments get pales in comparison to what a non-profit gives it's IT department, lol. Backups are swapped out and kept in a pretty hefty fire-proof safe, its a system developed before I came onto the network and I honestly don't know how effective it would be as im not sure the safe wouldn't turn into an oven and melt the drives if it was engulfed in fire.

i'm the IT manager for a nonprofit (and also vice-chair on the board of another nonprofit).... it's your job as IT personnel to set them up properly for failsafes and DR... if they can't afford it, they can't afford to do business, at the very minimum you need to sit down with those who write the budgets and discuss whether this is really how they want things handled...

don't use the nonprofit excuse... real nonprofits don't play that way... budgets are budgets, regardless of the type of business
 

NetJunkie

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i'm the IT manager for a nonprofit (and also vice-chair on the board of another nonprofit).... it's your job as IT personnel to set them up properly for failsafes and DR... if they can't afford it, they can't afford to do business, at the very minimum you need to sit down with those who write the budgets and discuss whether this is really how they want things handled...

don't use the nonprofit excuse... real nonprofits don't play that way... budgets are budgets, regardless of the type of business

Thank you.
 

mwarps

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Sorry. Synology guys knows his product well, and you kinda don't.

Reading the manual would get you about 95% of where you need to be to understand why you're "doing it wrong", but ain't no one got time for that.
 

Red Squirrel

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I'm still stumped about the 300 physical plug/unplug limit for sata connectors though, is that really true?
 

/usr/home

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I'm still stumped about the 300 physical plug/unplug limit for sata connectors though, is that really true?

Never heard it before but everything has a wear limit. You would never hit that under normal usage on their NASes.
 

Crystal Gaol

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Hey, know this wasn't really your question, but I wanted to bring up a few more points
Backups are swapped out and kept in a pretty hefty fire-proof safe, its a system developed before I came onto the network and I honestly don't know how effective it would be as im not sure the safe wouldn't turn into an oven and melt the drives if it was engulfed in fire.

Another question is whether or not it is water-tight. :) Firefighters and/or sprinklers are going to be pouring hundreds of gallons of water during a fire.

I have a customer who uses a similar setup, and if I remember correctly, fire safes have two ratings: 1) Max outside temp = max inside temp (sometimes graphed as a range) and 2) maximum time at a stated outside temp before failure of inside temp rating.

A 60 minute safe isn't terribly expensive, but your failure rating should be based on your fire department's ISO PPC rating. You should talk to your insurance agent about that figure, as it is not given out to members of the general public.

You will need to find out what the maximum tolerated temperature is for your media and make sure that conforms with the fire safe. If your safe is paper-rated then there is a higher that the data will be lost due to demagnetization, as paper burns at a much higher temperature than your media can survive and thus the temperatures allowed inside the safe will be greater.

Good Luck!
 

Nate7311

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Never heard it before but everything has a wear limit. You would never hit that under normal usage on their NASes.

Agreed. Over the usable life span of a NAS, I'd be shocked if someone performed any more than maybe 10 swaps. And I'm sure that's somewhat of a CYA spec as well.
 

Nate7311

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Hey, know this wasn't really your question, but I wanted to bring up a few more points


Another question is whether or not it is water-tight. :) Firefighters and/or sprinklers are going to be pouring hundreds of gallons of water during a fire.

I have a customer who uses a similar setup, and if I remember correctly, fire safes have two ratings: 1) Max outside temp = max inside temp (sometimes graphed as a range) and 2) maximum time at a stated outside temp before failure of inside temp rating.

A 60 minute safe isn't terribly expensive, but your failure rating should be based on your fire department's ISO PPC rating. You should talk to your insurance agent about that figure, as it is not given out to members of the general public.

You will need to find out what the maximum tolerated temperature is for your media and make sure that conforms with the fire safe. If your safe is paper-rated then there is a higher that the data will be lost due to demagnetization, as paper burns at a much higher temperature than your media can survive and thus the temperatures allowed inside the safe will be greater.

Good Luck!

Good point.
 

Dogs

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Another question is whether or not it is water-tight. :) Firefighters and/or sprinklers are going to be pouring hundreds of gallons of water during a fire.

If they are using water as a fire suppression system, this is a very real concern, but if they value their data they should really be using something like fm200 gas, not water, around their valuable technology.
 

gimp

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ITT, folks who never question "why," or for clarification, when provided an answer; regardless of whether or not that it clearly answered the question asked.
 

Crystal Gaol

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Sure for a company that has at least 1-2 racks of computers - but in small business where it is hard enough to get customers to buy replacement batteries and LTO tapes for failing ones, let alone invest in 1) deactivating (removing) the existing sprinkler heads, 2) installing and then maintaining a FM-200 system and 3) Install your own closed-loop HVAC, as building code requires you to prevent the FM-200 gas from being recirculated by the office's general HVAC during discharge, all to protect a couple of computers for statistically rare event.

A fire safe is probably a solid risk mitigator for many small businesses.

But of course these are generalizations. This is why consulting can't be done without specific knowledge of the client and their needs and their budgets. Who knows, maybe your client is producing the next killer smartphone app and the loss of their single physical server could cause the collapse of the company within days... but if that were the case, I'd look to something other than a FM-200 system to mitigate that risk.
 

Crystal Gaol

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If they are using water as a fire suppression system, this is a very real concern, but if they value their data they should really be using something like fm200 gas, not water, around their valuable technology.

Sure for a company that has at least 1-2 racks of computers - but in small business where it is hard enough to get customers to buy replacement batteries and LTO tapes for failing ones, let alone invest in 1) deactivating (removing) the existing sprinkler heads, 2) installing and then maintaining a FM-200 system and 3) Install your own closed-loop HVAC, as building code requires you to prevent the FM-200 gas from being recirculated by the office's general HVAC during discharge, all to protect a couple of computers for statistically rare event.

A fire safe is probably a solid risk mitigator for many small businesses.

But of course these are generalizations. This is why consulting can't be done without specific knowledge of the client and their needs and their budgets. Who knows, maybe your client is producing the next killer smartphone app and the loss of their single physical server could cause the collapse of the company within days... but if that were the case, I'd look to something other than a FM-200 system to mitigate that risk.
 

USMCGrunt

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I'll tell you why it doesn't work.

When you put a drive or drives in a Synology, like most NAS systems, you have to create a volume (format it...basically) and then export out the folders you want to share. Pull that drive and that volume crashes. You then have to remove it and build a new one if you put another drive in. This isn't what they were built for. That's what he was trying to tell you.

Yes, Synology can hot swap but that's meant for replacing a failed drive with a new one. Not for doing this.

It's not Rep Rage or Ignorance. You just didn't listen to the answer. :)

THANK YOU, this is exactly what I was asking for, though I'm not sure how I didn't listen, he didn't say that.

I stand corrected:
1) Synology devices do support hot swapping, its just that the intended usage is for swapping an occasional failed drive, not for daily drive swaps
2) I suppose this could be possible, I've never actually tried it.

Moral of the story is: a Synology device is not designed to fit your needs. Does it really matter why?

Being in IT shouldn't you ALWAYS want to know the why? If not, then that's just how I am, I like to know why I'm wrong or right so that I'm educated, wrong or not.

I am a member of the board for a non-profit, and since I discovered that I could make a charity receipt for any hardware donations, I dont have anymore problems for hardware;)

PM Incoming...

i'm the IT manager for a nonprofit (and also vice-chair on the board of another nonprofit).... it's your job as IT personnel to set them up properly for failsafes and DR... if they can't afford it, they can't afford to do business, at the very minimum you need to sit down with those who write the budgets and discuss whether this is really how they want things handled...

don't use the nonprofit excuse... real nonprofits don't play that way... budgets are budgets, regardless of the type of business

You mean like sitting down in November and highlighting the XP issue and how their network is running 75% XP machines and here we are two weeks away and dozens of emails later and we are still running XP machines?

Or how they've been given buy orders for new HDDs for their file server that has been running in a degraded state since I started here, eight months ago, but they haven't been bought?

I think it's safe to say that, just like every network is not the same, every non-profit is not the same either. I've talked to the person in charge of the budget and it's an extremely fluid thing based on the state approving grants and the State of Illinois isn't exactly flush with cash.


Hey, know this wasn't really your question, but I wanted to bring up a few more points


Another question is whether or not it is water-tight. :) Firefighters and/or sprinklers are going to be pouring hundreds of gallons of water during a fire.

I have a customer who uses a similar setup, and if I remember correctly, fire safes have two ratings: 1) Max outside temp = max inside temp (sometimes graphed as a range) and 2) maximum time at a stated outside temp before failure of inside temp rating.

A 60 minute safe isn't terribly expensive, but your failure rating should be based on your fire department's ISO PPC rating. You should talk to your insurance agent about that figure, as it is not given out to members of the general public.

You will need to find out what the maximum tolerated temperature is for your media and make sure that conforms with the fire safe. If your safe is paper-rated then there is a higher that the data will be lost due to demagnetization, as paper burns at a much higher temperature than your media can survive and thus the temperatures allowed inside the safe will be greater.

Good Luck!

Excellent information, thank you. I'm gonna have a look at the safe and see what kind of information I can pull off of it. Just looking at the mechanics of it, the safe doesn't appear to be water-tight. There is the combination lock and handle but no seal around the lip of the door, just metal on metal contact.

ITT, folks who never question "why," or for clarification, when provided an answer; regardless of whether or not that it clearly answered the question asked.

huh? Are you saying it's bad not to question why or are you calling me an ITT Folk with the following words you say as an explanation as to what an ITT Folk is?
 

USMCGrunt

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Additionally, since the thread went this direction, there is no fire suppression system to speak of, at least not in the IT office where the servers, core switches, and demarc is located.
 

gimp

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huh? Are you saying it's bad not to question why or are you calling me an ITT Folk with the following words you say as an explanation as to what an ITT Folk is?

ITT = In This Thread
It's aimed toward a majority of the responses, not you.
 
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