Rack mount cases

Brad Hards bhards at bigpond.net.au
Wed Sep 11 07:35:14 EST 2002

Hash: SHA1

On Wed, 11 Sep 2002 01:43, Matthew Hawkins wrote:
> Antti.Roppola at brs.gov.au (Antti.Roppola at brs.gov.au) wrote:
> > But in the end, I decided to reduce the size and number of boxes.
> > Hence I now have a couple of Sparcs using a 486 laptop as a terminal.
> I was thinking something similar in regards to the original post, like
> using Sun Cobalts.  I personally would not purchase a PC rackmount case,
> the asking prices are far too high and IMO you're paying money for
> nothing.  I'd rather put that extra money into part of the guts of a
> Cobalt :)
Err, which Cobalt do you mean? The old cube (Qube3) ? Sun is now using the 
name for a stack of different products, with wild variation in price and 
performance. A high end LX50 would certainly meet my needs :) But A$5000 is a 
bit too heavy just after an overseas trip :(

> But if you want to do this all on a budget, I think others have hit
> their heads on the nail.  Get a rack secondhand (they're *much* cheaper)
> and use trays to mount your existing gear in them.  Most trays suck
> cooling-wise (being a flat metal tray for strength) but since I doubt
> you've got a false floor with airconditioning in your home (though we
> can all dream ;) and its being using to hold up a solid case anyway,
> that is pretty irrelevent *except* for the fact you've got machines in
> close quarters in the one spot - so make sure your front-to-back airflow
> is as free as possible, since that's what PC's are expecting (though
> racks are designed for bottom-up).  Arrange your fans so they're blowing
> in the right direction - one of the first things I did with my PC was
> void the warranty by opening the power supply and inverting the fan
> since it was blowing in the wrong direction.  Hot air straight onto the
> dual cpu's - I'd like to meet the bright guy who thought of that PS
> design ;)  According to lm-sensors and the BIOS, the internal system
> temperature dropped 10 degrees once I had proper front-to-back airflow
> happening.
My minds eye still sees some nice racking and neatly arranged servers (with a 
few blinking lights to make a nice glow at night :)
However I take the point about maybe using smallish boxes and hiding it behind 
a rack door. I guess an standard ATX box (desktop, not tower) will fit into a 
19" rack?

> Finally... do you *really* need that many computers?  Perhaps another
> solution is to consolidate your computing power and retire unnecessary
> equipment.  At the very least you save power (economic and environmental
> benefits) and noise and fire hazards in your home ;)
I don't really have that many at the moment (after forcing myself to retire 
some of the old stuff):
1. ADSL router/firewall/web+mail server
2. Laptop (email reading, surfing, gentle development activities).
3. Development box for kernel testing, burning CDs, general high risk stuff. 
It is in a little flex-ATX case, so it can fit on the desk.
4. iMac for testing of really risky stuff (eg debian installs or running OS X)

I am happy with the first two machines (except that the firewall is in a 
old-style maxitower case, and smaller would be better.

However work on zeroconf needs a real network (ie UML might not show some of 
the issues, although I do plan to try it) and a variety of machines (eg BSD, 
Linux, OS X). Also, multi-home machines are really messy with zeroconf, so 
the test network needs to have at least two subnets. I really don't want to 
be playing with link-local addresses or multicast DNS anywhere near machines 
that I care about. Especially not with my coding ability...

So the concept is something like:
1. Replace case on ADSL gateway, put in rack
2. Add small router to rack to keep packets on test network from escaping. I'm 
thinking one of the LEAF distros at the moment, but I like suggestions.
3. Add at least one test box (probably FreeBSD based) to rack.
4. Switch iMac and normal development box to test network.

The rack will also get the UPS for the gateway, and maybe a couple of hubs.

All the suggestions (from everyone) are much appreciated. The design is 
starting to form.
- -- 
http://conf.linux.org.au. 22-25Jan2003. Perth, Australia. Birds in Black.
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