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The joy of racks

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19th Jan 2006 | 15:34

On Tuesday we spent a good chunk of the afternoon emptying the last remaining two racks of the old Hermes system, including the rack that held the two NetApp F740s and 0.5TB of disk. (pictures) The NetApps have now gone where much old CS hardware eventually ends up: under a desk in Unix Support's office.

For the last 18 months the NetApps have been off, reserving space for the future expansion of Hermes. We now have a job for the space, and two shiny new racks to occupy it. This afternoon we attempted to move our backup server (on the right) to its new home, where it will be joined by a fibrechannel switch and another 12TB of disk.

However after removing the tape robot from its old rack and wheeling it across the machine room, we discovered that the vertical rails on the new rack had been set too close together. We rapidly gave up and put the box back where it came from. This machine has to have THE MOST IRRITATING rack mount kit ever, with lots of fiddly screws and small bits of metal that like to fall through holes in the floor. A complete pain in the neck, especially in comparison with the utter joy of toolless rackmount kits.

We will have to do the move next week, after the racks have been adjusted.

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Comments {4}

Nicolai The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate

from: _nicolai_
date: 19th Jan 2006 18:16 (UTC)

But do you know toolless rack rails that will install into a space between machines which is just big enough for the rails (eg, 1U rails in a 1U space between two machines) ?

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from: Dave Holland [org.uk]
date: 20th Jan 2006 14:58 (UTC)

HP's 1U toolless rack kits (e.g. for DL360 and similar) are installable in a 1U space without too much grief. Small hands make life easier.

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Tony Finch

from: fanf
date: 1st Feb 2006 11:00 (UTC)

I believe that the Intel kits that we have would do fine. See the 1U version of our newest Intel servers which also have tool-less rack mount kits - probably the same model.

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Keith Lard

from: keithlard
date: 20th Jan 2006 08:12 (UTC)

Totally agreed - during my long prison sentence at Telehouse I must have installed over 100 servers, often at four or five in the morning when you can't think very well or deal with small fiddly bits, and I can confirm that toolless rack kits rock. Unfortunately, Sun haven't caught up with the idea yet.

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