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The People's Cloud

Hot Swap Until I Die


Hot-Swap until I Die considers the lifespan of an average storage device within The Cloud network. As the Cloud evolves, so too does the need for capacity. On average a Hard disk drive (HDD) within a given data centre in full use has a total lifespan of around five years before they need to be hot-swapped (replaced by a newer, younger, more attractive model). Hot-Swap until I Die represents an average day inside the data centre, beginning with a focus on the core generator of energy expulsion and noise within the system, the HVAC, Cooling system. Cooling fans from air conditioning units draw air in and expel hot air out of the system to keep it cool and under optimum conditions. The slightest fluctuations in temperature can have fairly major consequences towards the costs of fuelling the system and maintaining an efficient data stream.

The sound of the fans is diffused across six individual ‘racks’ within the system, each with a unique sonic identity inspired by the notion of loudspeakers as individuals, expressed by David Tudor. As the day passes, a fault occurs within one of the racks, announced by a simple beep and flashing light. The data centre is a harsh environment to exist. The rack continues to beep in isolation and no engineers come to take a look at it. Why is it beeping? Other racks begin to show sympathy to the incumbent rack and soon they are all playing a rhythmic dance of beeps until it becomes too much for the regulation system and an inert gas fire suppression system is introduced to prevent the server from becoming engulfed by its self-initiated ecstasy.

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