Rack Attack!#

Well, I finally broke down and started to rework my racks. I've literally avoided pulling them for more than a year, just patching things together whichever way I could. Take a look at the mess they were in before I started:

Several highlights of this mess I call my racks... notice the two bars poking out the front, those are the rails that the entire rack slide out on. Notice that between the two racks there's a new server (named “Tweak”) that has been sitting like that for six months. And notice the freakshow of a wiring mess as I've added VOIP boxes, a new router, new wireless access point (sitting on top of Tweak), and so on. Hey, its been more than a year!

The racks themselves are 30U Middle Atlantic AXS racks. The left hand one is for networking, it has a cable channel mounted on the left side for all the wiring. On the right is the server rack, which I had modified to be 30 inches deep instead of the standard 20 inches that Middle Atlantic makes for these racks. They're intended for stereo equipment, I use them for the computer gear because this way the server closet is much smaller - you don't need room to walk around it.

This is the rack pulled out onto the rails and ready for some service work. You can see the cable channel clearly now.

From the other side you can see the mess of wiring strung between the two racks... and the mess of wire in the back. Its not as bad as it looks (which is good, it looks pretty bad). Notice also the “wall-shaker“ style air conditioner that keeps the whole closet cool.

Besides the tangled mess of wiring, I also needed to add more power plugs, re-arrange some components, add new gigabit switches and additional wiring between the two racks.

A couple of hours later, the mess of wires is gone from the rack. This shot also shows the new double-sided power bar I added at the back to give myself more outlets, and the Oregon Scientific wireless temperature sensor (reading 71.6F) that lets me know the temperature inside the closet. Normally its about 68F in there. There are alarms if it climbs above 75F. Also, this gives you a pretty good look at the folding arms that hold the rack from sliding off the end of the rails, and provide a channel to route the wires on and off the rack.

Here's the beauty shot of the network rack reconfigured and back in the closet. Here's an inventory (from top-to-bottom):

  • Gear shelf contains
  • Xincom 603 Dual WAN NAT router
  • Linksys SR2024 24 port Gigabit switch
  • 2U cable tray
  • 2U 48 port Ethernet patch panel
  • 2U cable tray
  • Linksys SR224G 24 port 10/100 switch (with Gigabit uplink)
  • 1U Keyboard/Mouse/Monitor console
  • Cisco 3620 (mounted backwards)
  • 3U 48 port keystone patch panel (telephone and cable patches)
  • The old Nexland dual WAN NAT router
  • 5U gap (more UPSes will go in here in the future)
  • 1U power bar
  • 3U Hewlett-Packard rack-mount oscilloscope (long story)
  • 2U Minuteman 1000VA UPS (cut off in the photo)

That one bright green Ethernet cable you see in the shot is the patch cable for Tweak, the server still sitting on its side between the racks. I ran a new patch for it through the rack properly.

Next up, the server rack! And believe me, the network rack was the easy part of this whole process.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 7:41:09 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) #    Comments [7]  |  Tracked by:
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