A Data Center Game based (pretty loosely) on the Ned Beach novel of the same name. In the playing of Run Silent, Run Deep -- contestants take on the role of submarines in the data center. This one requires a bit more set-up than most of the Data Center Games and will only work under a raised floor with a fair amount of spare room.

The point of this event is for the athletes to navigate the space under the raised floor undetected. Normally, the contest is set up to coincide with server maintenance, data center tour, or other population-heavy event. When possible, it is best to have a referee to help set up the event by placing tokens of some kind at the target locations to be collected during the competition.

The contestants must enter the plenum from the same location and at the same time. The competitor’s goal in Run Silent, Run Deep is to collect a token from each of the target locations and re-emerge at the point of entry, undetected, before all opponents.

The obstacles under a raised floor are numerous. Some of them are dangerous (hot water pipes, sharp corners, high voltage lines), some of them are delicate (fiber-optic data connections), and some of them are just a really tight squeeze. Because of the nature of this event, though it seems like a speed event, the crawling speed of the participant is actually fairly trivial compared to knowledge of the plenum, lack of claustrophobia, body size, and the ability to remain still and silent when necessary. Oh yeah, and balls the size of New York helps too.

Many people who don’t mind the philosophy of irresponsibility that is needed to compete in the data center games, are still unnerved by Run Silent, Run Deep because it specifically flirts with death (or at least unemployment). Crawling along under a tour given by your Vice President isn’t actually all that dangerous because the chance of being caught is pretty low. But if (s)he did just pop down with a surprise floor puller and lifted the floor tile right over you, you’d definitely be screwed! Because of this danger, practicing for this event is often more fun than the actual competition.

GTKY: Last year on Father's Day I brought my son into the data center at the company where I was employed. I showed him the plenum and took him for a fairly tame fifty-foot crawl with a flashlight, pointing out and explaining the various equipment, utilities, connections, etc. He had a blast. He may be among the next generation of submarines, so watch out!