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Hardware Thread, Server Racks in Technical; Hi all, We are moving from standard servers to rack mount due to space conciderations. Unfortunately I have never used ...
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    Server Racks

    Hi all,

    We are moving from standard servers to rack mount due to space conciderations.
    Unfortunately I have never used them and know nothing about them.

    Is there anything I need to bear in mind - anything specific to watch out for - any specific suppliers to avoid... Is it best to go for some built in power distribution. We will of course be using our UPS which is huge depth wise - so Ill be needing a deep cab..

    Dell's racks look horribly expensive and I'm not even sure that I nderstand all the options on the page.

    We will probably be getting Dell rack mounted servers and by the end of the update process we will end up with perhaps 12 servers. Comms gear will be mounted elsewhere...

    Any help - greatly appreciated

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    Just because its physically big enough and they are ment to be pretty much standard, doesnt mean the servers are going to fit in (easily). We got a rack which was ment to be able to take Dell kit, it didnt, well no thats a lie it did after lots of persuasion with a large hammer.

    Our dell rack is brilliant. All our Dell and HP servers just slide right in first time.

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    So go Dell then??

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    Buy an APC rack. I tried to save money and buy a slightly cheaper Mayflex one and it's just rubbish. Poorly made, doesn't fit together well, had a right game installing servers etc. With the APC racks I used in a previous life they were so much better and so much easier to find accessories for.

    Rich

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    The Dell racks are really great, especially if you've got Dell servers. If you buy the Rapid Rails then you can fit a server in a couple of minutes very easily. They're not cheap (a lot more than they were a few years ago too) but they are well made. I've also recently bought an APC rack that was considerably cheaper. It seems good quality but I won't actually be installing servers into it until summer so I can't confirm how easy it is to use.

    The PowerEdge 4220 is your basic cabinet really: Dell Enclosures

    Remember to put all your UPS in first at the very bottom of the rack, get a few PDUs to string up the sides, my advice would be not to use CMAs (Cable Management Arms) unless you're going to be pulling out servers a lot, instead just plan your cabling well and do it neatly.

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    If you're buying 12 Dell servers, you should be able to negotiate a decent discount on a Dell rack to house them. (If you can't pick another reseller).

    Also:

    1) Cage nuts will eat your fingers during extraction.
    2) Don't use the cable management arms - they'll impede airflow, heat up the servers and look untidy*.
    3) Ensure you've sufficient space either side of the rack for power/network and (if you use it) KVM. The ideal is kind of:

    | Post | Space and mounting to affix veritical pdu / cabling | Space to fit servers | Space and mounting to fix vertical pdu / cabling | Post |

    That way, your cabling isn't interfering with airflow.

    *this may be a mini holy war. But Dell management arms are rubbish.

    Oh, and their PDU cable management is a bit pricey (look at the last line).

    http://premierconfigure.euro.dell.co...=UK&l=en&s=PAD
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by pete; 24th June 2010 at 11:13 AM. Reason: hilarity

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    Thanks all - plenty to get me thinking here...

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    We just bought HP to separate Servers and Switches, at the moment everything is one 42 U Rack. We will do in the Summer. Make sure buy the flat pack or your Server room door is big enough to get in, if you are buying 42 U rack.

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    I have a dell 42u cab that I got for free from another member a few years back and it's the best cab we have.

    Ben

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    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete View Post
    If you're buying 12 Dell servers, you should be able to negotiate a decent discount on a Dell rack to house them.
    Managed to get one for 1p once on top of a £100k+ order, never even had a chance at a deal like that since then, those were the days...

    +1 on all your other points too, I forgot to mention the KVM and 1U sliding TFT+KB+Mouse.

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    The Compaq/HP rack I aquired has taken dell kit without any modifications, is it the width or depth of the rails that cause the trouble?

    The best thing to do is plan how your going to lay everything out before going ahead and installing things, the general rule of thumb is to have the heaviest equipment towards the bottom(often the UPS') and then work up from there, the last thing you want to be doing is lifting 30kg+ equipment into the higher portions of the rack. Also plan the cabling layout in advance, ours is already starting to look like spagheti junction despite only being setup last summer

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    We got our two racks from here Dell - 4210 also mount a patch panel at the top of the rack to connect back to the network as this will work better than long patch leads.
    Last edited by nicholab; 24th June 2010 at 12:22 PM.

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    We've got 2 HP 10k G2 racks. Cost us around £600 each. The HP racks are great, and the HP PDUs are good and soooo much cheaper then APC .

    We did look at the Dell racks, but they were much more expensive then HP

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    You can get 52u rack if space is a problem.

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    A proper tool can help when fitting the nuts. The tool shown in the middle of this RS picture for example. Or, if you don't value your fingers, a sallish screwdriver and some practice...

    RS | Mechanical Components | Fasteners and Fixings | Fastener Kits | 19" Rack, Caged Nuts and Panel Fixing Kits



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