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Cabinet/Rack for servers?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jellyman_4eva, May 27, 2006.

  1. Jellyman_4eva

    Jellyman_4eva Byte Poster

    Hi all,

    Looking for server admin people here now..

    After amassing what seems to be a fairly large collection of hardware (CISCO gear, switches, hubs, PC's) the missus is beginning to throw a fit about the whole mess of the house...

    Anyways I was thinking about neatening the collection up a little and buying one of those server cabinets from ebay and basically throwing it all in there, converting my 3 PC's into rack mountable cases as time/money allows. This also seems like a good idea as at the mo we are about to build some media centre PC's and have one central storage server, which I could build using a rackmounted case and throw that in there as well!

    While I understand the U measurement for the height of the case or switch etc (I am looking at a 22-24U cabinet so I have room for expansion) I do not know if there is a standard depth measurement... obviously for the CISCO gear depth is not really a problem, but are rackmount cases different depths??
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP-EDST/EDA/EA/SA/ MCSA 2K3/2K8, MCSE+M 2K3/2K8, ISA/TMG, VCP3/4, CCNA, Exchange, SQL, Citrix, A+, N+, L+, Sec+, Ser+, JNCIA-SSL, JNCIS-SSL
    WIP: Lots
  2. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

    Yes they are different depths. Rack mounted equipment can be really shallow or bloody huge (the last couple of server and the ups we fitted at work were).

    I have never had to order a case to house these things, but certainly when ordering servers or cases to go into a rack mounted unit, it's pretty easy to find out it's depth.

    Just do your homework when ordering really. Get the deepest one that will fit into your garage / room etc.. then you should be covered no matter what you put in there.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  3. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    22 - 24U should be more than enough for your needs.
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  4. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster


    A Cisco 2600 series router is of "1U" height. The XU convention is basically X multiples of the unit height of 1U.

    As far as converting your PCs to rackmountable, it may or may not be a problem. You might need to go like 3U or more to convert a desktop tower computer to rackmount. That's because of the expansion cards that may be in the AGP and PCI slots that are 90 degrees from the motherboard will require the extra depth that a 3U rackmount case gives than a 1U rackmount case. You'd need to get a rackmountable motherboard with rackmount slimline expansion cards, that is, basically mounts sideways or parallel to the motherboard instead of perpendicular. You may also find the cost of "upgrading" your PC from desktop to rackmount may be better used towards getting a bigger rack and sticking the desktop tower at the bottom of the rack instead.

    Another thing you may need to think about is a KVM switch with extra long cables from KVM switch to the rack. That way, you can type, mouse, and view on your desk instead of sitting at the rack and keeping the door open which would defeat the purpose of the rack cabinet's cooling fans.

    As far as "building a Media Center" computer to "throw into" a rackmount case, may be more hazardous than a proper design assuming the rackmount case. That's because relatively speaking, the power supplies in a 1U rackmount case are relatively low wattage compared to a 3U rackmount case. A 3U rackmount case can hold a full desktop power supply. This is important because you need to "add up" the power requirements of the CPU, RAM, HDs, CD drives, etc. What I'm concerned is that you may be able to fit everything into a 1U rackmount case to be cheap, but then the computer starts malfunctioning due to insufficient power. So once again, I'd design it properly first before expending time and money into something that may not work properly.

    I hope this helps.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+

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