Server rack suggestions?

Handruin

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Has anyone purchased a new or used server rack to hold all their gear in their home labs? I'm looking into something in the 22U to 24U size to put in my basement. I'd like it to have side panels and possibly room for a power strip or two. I've seen people in forums recommend for local craigslist sales (which I'll search for) but I'm curious if there are any recommended brands from past experience or places to buy them? Any things to watch out for?
 

ddrueding

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Really happy with the APC racks, but they are some of the most expensive. I have a cheap 42U 4-poster in the living room at home, no brand or anything. I will be getting rid of it in the next few months, but shipping to you would cost more than a local rack.
 

Handruin

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I like the APC racks we have in our lab but like you said they tend to be expensive from the limited searching I've done on them. I also can't easily fit a full 42U in my basement...well, maybe I could but I really don't need that much space. Another rack company that I've seem recommended is Rack Solutions. They are also a bit on the expensive side once I spec out a 24U rack with the options. Once configured, it's around $960.
 

blakerwry

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I'd watch out for older racks (stuff 10+ years old) if you plan to install servers. Many new servers are too deep for them, and a lot of the old racks don't provide room for cable management. Newer stuff from APC, Tripp-lite, Dell should be well built and include these features. I personally prefer racks with square holes that let you install your own screws and nuts (typically clip in); I would stay away from racks with threaded or round holes. I also prefer racks with clear designations at each U.
 

CougTek

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I bought this Tripp-Lite rack during the holidays, for hosting our company's servers and networking hardware. Cost about a thousand U$.

I've received it las week, but haven't had the time to transfer the servers into it (will have to plan a 2-day shutdown during a week-end). It's still all wrapped up, so I don't have any comment about it yet.
 

CougTek

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I bought this Tripp-Lite rack during the holidays, for hosting our company's servers and networking hardware. Cost about a thousand U$.

I've received it las week, but haven't had the time to transfer the servers into it (will have to plan a 2-day shutdown during a week-end). It's still all wrapped up, so I don't have any comment about it yet.
Well, I moved the servers and networking gears to the new rack this week-end and it's too short for the HPE StoreEasy 1650 Expanded. It's very tight with the 3PAR rails too. The rear lateral PSU management also are useless since the rack is so short that the server rails overlap the rear 0U management. You can't fit a PSU in their.

However, I've still figured out how to fit everything. I put velcro on the side and holds the PSUs with it. The StoreEasy sit at the bottom on a shelf. Overall, it's still an improvement. I didn't have enough space for a deeper rack anyway.

I've worked 22 hours this week-end. I carried both the old and the new rack in and out of the server room, on my shoulders. All the servers too, although I had help to install them back on the rails. That was quite a workout.
 

LunarMist

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Why do they make you work so much on the weekends? Do you get comp time or some other benefit?
 

Handruin

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Looks good but it says it's 22U and I need at least 24 preferably a little more. Their next size up is 37U which is a little too big unfortunately.
 

Handruin

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I'm impressed so far that this rack shipped as quick as it did. I ordered through Newegg but it's one of their market place sellers called Mega Retail Store. They said 5-7 business days but it'll be here tomorrow. The rails should arrive Friday and they were old and shipped from the manufacturer NavePoint. Hopefully Saturday I'll have time to put it together to give feedback on it.
 

CougTek

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I've ordered a few cable managers from the Fiberstore. They are a fraction (about ¼) of the price of Startech and Panduit models. I should receive them late next week or the one after. I hope they won't be too cheaply made, but my expectations are low, given the price.

The few transceivers I've ordered from them are all ok so far. I wouldn't sell that to a customer yet, but for the internal needs of the dev architecture and temporary configurations, why not. They'll get some of my money until I'm burn.
 

Handruin

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I got the rack setup which took me about an hour and a half to bolt it all together. There weren't any real issues but the instructions could have used some clarity when describing the orientation of some of the pieces. Everything feels very solid given that the rack is assembled and adjustable unlike most enterprise racks which come welded and assembled.

The rails needed a little more space likely due to the way this setup is I can't stack each system right on top of each other so I gave each system 1U of space between. I did not have enough cage nuts so the top-most server is just sitting there with the rails not screwed in. I have those on the way from Amazon.

Overall I'm replacing a cheap shelving unit from Lowes with this more-secure steel rack. The fact it's on wheels also helps because it's a pain to get behind the rack to do some work.


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Stereodude

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Looks nice. Very tempting to get the same thing for my collection of goodies in the basement. Is the top really 50" off the floor when assembled?
 

Handruin

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I didn't actually measure it but I'd believe that it is a bit over 50" with the casters on it (which I have on mine). You can leave them off if you want to save a couple inches. It also comes with leveling bolts that work with or without the casters attached. I did some measuring prior to assembly because the depth of the rack is adjustable but you need to set it before installing everything including the rails. I left a bit of extra space in the back to manage the cables. There are cable management clips that attach off the sides but I don't find them that helpful for my needs. I just used a spool of velcro to wrap up cables and fasten them to the rails. I did not add any power bricks to the rack because everything direct-connects to the UPS at the bottom.

The rack came with all the tools needed to assemble it which was a nice bonus. Make sure to count the number of cage nuts you might need as I ran out. It came with M6 nuts and bolts but the NavePoint rails only came with bolts and no nuts. My rack had some very minor damage which is likely more the result of poor packaging and shipping than anything else. One of the two bottom end-plates was bent up slightly on the edge. I hammered it back down flat with a rubber mallet and it was fine.
 

Stereodude

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Thanks for the reply. I'll need to measure how much height I can accommodate where I'm thinking to put it (or something like it).
 

Handruin

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Thanks for the reply. I'll need to measure how much height I can accommodate where I'm thinking to put it (or something like it).
I can measure the full height to confirm when I get home if that helps with your planning.
 

Stereodude

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I can measure the full height to confirm when I get home if that helps with your planning.
It looks like I have 59.5" from the concrete to the bottom of the quasi rack I have hanging from the floor joists. I would guess that even with the casters it's not quite that tall, but I wouldn't anticipate a lot of room between them.
 
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