What do you need to know about protecting a data processing center? (Report on the presentation at the Around Data Center Forum)

Forum Around Data Center CIS Events Group

The ZANDZ.com project took part in the large-scale international industrial forum Business and IT. Around Data Center. Around Data. Around IP, that took place on November 12 in Sochi . It is not the firstevent arranged by the Information and Marketing Agency CIS Events Group intended to discus current issues in operating data processing centers and servers. Each forum brings together top experts from the industry: designers, engineers, and top and mid-level managers. The ZANDZ.com project shared a report with its participants on the topic of providing grounding and lightning protection for data processing centers. The speaker was Igor Panov - an expert in the field of telecommunications and information technology.

Igor Panov, IMAG
Igor Panov, IMAG (photo CIS Events Group)


Summary of the report

During his report, Igor Panov told the audience about the most well-known accidents related to lightning. For example, an incident that took place in 2015, when lightning struck the Google data processing center four times and as a result user information was lost. The second accident also involved lightning striking a data center, but this time it hit equipment belonging to Amazon, which resulted in an explosion, fire, and the total shutdown of the data center.

The protection of data processing centers from the destructive consequences of lightning has been attracting more interest with every passing year from representatives of medium and large businesses that use cloud storage for data management and storage.

"According to research, as global warming is causing a growth in the number of thunderstorms, such incidents involving lightning take place more and more often, and their danger is not to be underestimated. That is why it is vital to provide important facilities and systems with reliable protection" (Igor Panov, IMAG).


  1. Grounding systems

After giving examples of accidents suffered by internet market leaders, the speaker explained the solutions for protecting data processing centers and servers from lightning that are provided by ZANDZ.com. Comprehensive protection consists of the following equipment and measures:

In order to ensure the stable operation of highly-sensitive equipment in data centers, the standard value for grounding device resistance is 5 ohms. It is hard to achieve such a result taking into account the complications that designers and installation personnel face (high soil resistivity, lack of available area for installing grounding, etc.). Those issues can be resolved with the help of a ZANDZ modular grounding system that does not require large-scale earthworks. The possibility to sink grounding electrodes to a depth of up to 30 meters makes it possible to achieve the required resistance for grounding.

For facilities located in areas with high-resistance soils, the "ultimate weapon" is ZANDZ electrolytic grounding, which is much more efficient than standard methods of grounding.

When used together with GALMAR corrosion-resistant copper-plated conductors for connecting ground electrodes, the earthing loop becomes a durable and safe system.

Grounding for data processing centers and server rooms
Grounding for data processing centers and server rooms


  1. External lightning protection system

ZANDZ.com external lightning protection is made up of such traditional components as lightning rods, down conductors and clamps for fixing down conductors to different types of surface. All the components are made of high quality materials and provide stable and long-lasting performance.

The ZANDZ Technical Center also provides support in calculating and designing external lightning protection systems that are implemented in strict correspondence with the latest standards and regulations in the industry. Efficiency of designed system is being tested by means of unique software designed by the Krzhizhanovsky Power Energy Institute .


  1. Equipotential bonding system

made of a copper insulated conductor with a cross-section of 25 mm2, is laid to cover the entire floor area of the data center's machine room. All of the data center equipment, grounding conductors, conducting engineering equipment and other metal structures in the data processing center are connected to this mesh. As a result the mesh creates an equipotential basis and reduces high-frequency parasite sygnals (reduces interference). ZANDZ.com supplies all the necessary equipment in order to solve this problem.


  1. Surge protection of equipment

Surge protection devices are to be installed first of all on the power lines supplying the data center's equipment, as they represent the most probable way that an overvoltage would reach protected devices.

Surge protection devices are installed in the power circuit in a so-called the protective cascade:

  • at the entrance to the data processing center building (at the MDB). Here, first-class surge protection devices are used. They are the most durable, capable of withstanding and safely discharging overvoltages even in the event of a direct lightning strike at the facility. However, they only limit the overvoltage in the circuit to 4 kV, which is not sufficient for protecting equipment in a data processing center. They require the installation of additional surge protection devices for more "subtle" protection;
  • second-class surge protection devices are installed at local boards inside the data processing center building; they are not able to withstand a lightning strike, which is why they are always installed behind first-class surge protection devices, but they lower the surge voltage to 2-1.5 kV, which is already sufficient for the protection of electric devices (except for particularly sensitive equipment);
  • in order to protect such electronic equipment, third-class surge protection devices are used; they are installed directly next to the device that is being protected and limit the voltage surge to 1 kV, which is a safe level even for the most sensitive systems, considering that the duration of the impulse is only 20 microseconds.

By installing such a cascade, you can be sure the possibilities for a destructive impulse to reach data processing center equipment through power lines are completely eliminated. All the necessary equipment for such protection is provided by the LEUTRON (Germany) surge protection device product range in the ZANDZ.com catalogue.

Igor Panov, IMAG
Igor Panov, IMAG (photo CIS Events Group)


Stable operation and good security against every possible consequence of a lightning strike and power line breakage is ensured by installing the aforementioned systems at a data processing center.

"It is very convenient that the ZANDZ.com Technical Center provides support in calculating, designing and selecting certain necessary devices and complete protection systems. Explain the problem and technical specialists will carry out all the necessary calculations in strict compliance with regulatory documentation" (Igor Panov, IMAG).