Today, over $6,000 in networking equipment was destroyed. Remarkably, the main circuit SPD, power strips and APCs are fine. Ethernet seems to be the method of surge transmission, as everything connected to the physical network up until the fiber links was fried. What makes this event unique (for me) is the flash, bolt of lightning, ball fire and loud bang that was observed.
I’m surprised by this damage. First, because the room is protected by grounded perimeter (and centerline) copper wire with frequent aerials. Second, we have a good ground network. And third, the bolt observed was at least 1 meter away from the plastic conduit that carried the network cables.
We’re in an area with extreme lightning activity and up until now, I thought we had done a good job of protecting the network.
So, what more can be done? Should our Ethernet cables be put into large grounded metal conduit? Or, a grounded cage above the plastic conduit?
The ceiling space the Ethernet conduit is run in has metal studs and a roof above. Should we go so far as installing direct grounding from the stud network? Or, would that simply make things worse by “drawing” future strikes into the studs increasing EMF damage risk?