An Architect Home Companion

The Summer of the great freeze

Our town data center didn’t have a raised floor. My father was the data center manager and used to say “we don’t need a city folk data center, we are country folk.” When people would ask about the trend towards the raised floor in data centers which made the data center a magical jungle of wires and hanging objects. As a child I used to love going into that data center and listen to the hum of machines and the whur of printers and pretend this was the island where wild things lived.

We also had the largest data center cooling system in the entire world. Alabaster built it the summer after the great winter debacle. My father always said he made it far too big and far too complex of a project. But he also said old Alabaster was a town hero and the town owed him something. So he built the giant cooling system for the town data center. It was the largest ever built and some town folks said when it was running you could see it from space. I couldn’t see it from my bedroom window so I kind of doubted that.

Old Alabaster would drive in from his house every morning and check on his creation. He would make clucking noises as he walked around the cooler and occasional lean in and say something to the machine. He did that every day of the week, regardless of weather.

Lake Architectless was proud of our cooling system. After all it was the largest in the world, which meant that it was bigger than the cooling system for the Sears Tower and the Mall of America. We had a datacenter festival every summer just to celebrate the wonder of the edifice old Alabaster had built.