Los Alamos shuts down supercomputers as fire advances


According to the National Climate Data Center, there were 6,625 fires which burned approximately 1.1 million acres in May -- the most acres burned during the month of May on record. The amount of acreage burned so far this year is 3.45 million acres, "the largest in the 12-year period of record," the climate center said.

The problem with smoke is that it "is so fine that it can get into things like your hard drive, it can get between your processors and your motherboards, it can get in between your ram and motherboards," said Jason Burnett, the director of infrastructure at NeoSpire, a managed hosting provider in Dallas.

Texas has experienced some big wildfires, and it also had a lot of heat, which is why NeoSpire uses internally air-conditioned air for cooling and not external air, in what's called a closed-loop system. "For our specific purposes I wouldn't be affected [by wildfires] at all because I don't take any air from the outside in," Burnett said.

He said his air cooling approach is a common one in the southwest because of hot temperatures.

In more northern and cooler climates, data centers are increasingly using outside air, or air-side economizers. These designs typically include sufficient filtration to address external issues, said Tad Davies, executive vice president of the Bick Group, a company whose work includes design.