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treichhart

join:2006-12-12

[Parts Check] Mounting regular computers into Racks?

Hey Guys
I got 12 computers that I need to mount and I would like to mount it into rack and I like to know how to do it and what size rack setup I would need to do this?


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10
Reviews:
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If they're just bare computer parts, then you need 12 of these:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···11219029

and a rack (probably two):

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···42111206

If they're pre-assembled computers, you still need the racks, but rack shelves like these instead of the cases:

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···W0195739

»www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···16323004



treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to treichhart

Thanks sk1939 these are computers that already got cases. Would something like this: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···16215218

fit all them computes inside or would I need to get one or 2 of these?


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to treichhart

What are the dimensions of the computers? Particularly how tall are they? If they are 19" tall or shorter you can lay them on their sides and bolt angle brackets to them and hard mount them individually. Similarly if they are short enough to do that but you don't want to hard mount them you can put a shelf in and lay the computer on it's side on the shelf.

Finally if they are taller than 19" the shelf is the only solution I know of but you will have to leave them standing upright. The advantage there is you can likely get two computers side by side on the shelf but 12 computers, 2 per shelf you need 6 shelves. My 42U rack would only support about 3 shelves or 6 computers at 20" vertical space per shelf. Maybe 4 shelves tops if you compacted everything as tight as possible but I suspect that would be difficult to do. And if you had a case taller than 20" you need even more room. I had room to spare with 3 shelves in my tape measure estimation. Either way you would need more than one rack to house them all in that case.

Fortunately my desktop, standard mid tower case, is about 16.5" floor to the top. It would easily fit laying on it's side on a shelf (make sure the shelf is 4-post for better structural integrity. Here's another issue. My case is 7" wide, so factoring in an extra inch for the shelf and wiggle room that means you have an overall necessary height per computer of 8". Rough tape measure estimation I would only be able to fit 8 computers in my 42U rack and that would be completely full top to bottom. How any racks do you have or were you planning?

You're going to need two racks regardless it looks like, either a 6/6 split or 8/4 split at best. I'd do a 6/6 split either with them on their side or upright. This would give you extra room for networking gear and a UPS to be rackmounted as well. Of course if you have a separate dedicated area for those items then that's a moot point (but might be a good consideration for someone else reading this and considering the same thing).



treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to treichhart

Well these what I got:
3 HP DC5000MT that is 14.5" x 7" x 16"
Client Pro 17" x 6.5" x 18.5"
Dell Dimensions x 5 16.5" x 7.5" 17
Gateway 17.5" x 7.5" x 17.5"
Dell Dimension 4600 14.5" x 7.5" x 16"
Other Case 16" x 8" x 18.5"
Gateway Case 19" x 7.5" 16"


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5

Inside dimensions on my rack are 17 7/8" between the edges of the rack attachment uprights. Inside dimensions on the other end of the angle are 19.5" with hole center to hole center at 18 7/16". Mine has pre-threaded holes so ones that use square cage nuts may be different on their dimensions. I've also got another rack at my church that is wider and capable of 23" models. Due to this it's inside dimensions on the far end of the angle are larger.

Basically what all that is for is to show that some of your computers, laying on their side, may not slide in and out past the rails. They can, instead, be put it at an angle and laid in flat once you get it in there. This is of course going to cause problems getting things in and out so those larger ones would be better at the top. I don't know which measurement is length and which is height but I only see three that would potentially fall into this "issue". The Gateway case, "other" case and "Client Pro" case. The others, no matter which dimension is which would slide in and out without too much trouble (if any).

Can I ask, what your goal is? I'm wondering how hard it might be to migrate some of those desktops to rackmount enclosures? Depending on the contents of the computer you could convert them to 3U cases and get all 12 in one rack with 6U to spare. You'd only get 10 4U cases in one rack. If you could go down to 2U cases you could get a total of 21 cases in the rack.

If you're buying a rack new (especially if you're spending $1000 or more on an enclosed rack like you linked) it might be cheaper to get enough cases to remount some of these computers and only get one rack. Of course if these belong to other people and you're simply hosting them then you've gotta work with what you have.



treichhart

join:2006-12-12

1 edit
reply to treichhart

My main goal is use these old computers as servers for my wisp.

I plan on buying 3 new racks and I guess I can convert them all over to 3u cases to fit into one rack.


sk1939
Premium
join:2010-10-23
Mclean, VA
kudos:10

If your going to be doing this commercially, you'd be better off buying an HP DL165 G7 or DL360 G7 and integrating all those boxes into one.



treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to treichhart

I dont want go VM and I dont know how to do VM so that is out of the option sorry.


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to treichhart

I'm all for using what you've got but I think you may find some of these to be a bit underpowered. The Dell 4600 for example and Gateway hasn't been around in years, I'd suspect it being about like the Dell. Of course I'm sure they can get used as lower end things like RADIUS or something.

Regardless, it's going to depend on the specific system whether it can easily be converted to a 2U/3U case. You may have to swap HSF assemblies as I know Dell in particular likes sky scraper heatsink assemblies with a shroud right next to the rear exhaust fan. Those would be too tall for a 2U/3U case and might not even fit easily in a 4U case. But a different active HSF would solve that problem.

Here's my suggestion. Get 4U cases. They're cheaper, they fit standard ATX power supplies without issue (3U can as well) and will always have full height PCI bracket slots. You won't be able to fit them all in one rack but I think you're going to need two anyway. The 3U cases would leave you with just 6U of free space, not much expansion room. If you add a UPS and networking gear even that space may already be taken up. 2U would be better in terms of space utilization but they often require special PSUs and have half height PCI slots, or require use of a riser card.

You can get 10 4U servers in a 42U rack with 2U left over. Split them 6/6, you'll only take up 24U per rack leaving plenty of room for expansion AND inclusion of networking/UPS gear right off the bat without filling the rack immediately. Going forward I would definitely recommend getting rack mount servers. Unless they are going to be in an area you don't care about sound, don't get 1U servers, they are noisy as hell due to the tiny fans in them. 2U servers can still fit 80mm fans and while they can be loud if need be they won't be nearly as loud as a 1U. Plus as you expand, try and get beefier hardware and decommission some of the older ones. If you can virtualize things, you can do more on one box and save on power costs alone versus running those 12 space heaters LOL.


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to treichhart

said by treichhart:

I dont want go VM and I dont know how to do VM so that is out of the option sorry.

Using a VM is not for everyone and there are situations where it won't work but choosing not to use it because you don't know how to is short-sighted at best. Sure there's the "all your eggs in one basket" issue but that's only an issue you if you go the cheap way and don't plan for redundancy and DR.

I realize you might not be able to do this now and multiple systems is likely your best bet but don't just throw the option away. If you want there's plenty of people on this site, myself included that can help you setup Hyper-V, ESX or other virtualization products.


treichhart

join:2006-12-12

1 edit
reply to treichhart

Right now I just dont see a option for vm since my setup haves to be on separate machines for security reasons. But if I decide go down that road I will ask for that help. So where can I get some 4U cases for cheap at?


JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5

Fair enough, I won't push the issue because I don't know specific regulations about WISPs and your local area but I can tell you other WISPs do use VMs so it can be done. Just food for thought.

As for cases, Newegg has them: »www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi···&name=4U. The only thing I don't like is their shipping price structure. The listed shipping price is what you will pay times the number of items you're buying. So 10 items with a shipping cost of $20 would run you $200 shipping. They could bundle them and make 1-2 larger shipments and get that price down considerably but they don't. Of course since you're getting 3-day for that price I guess it's not that bad of a deal.

Could also try ebay and see if you can find someone local and just go pick it up. You would likely have to pay taxes on it but it's cheaper than the shipping. Using the lowest price case in the list, 62.99 or 629.90 for 10, at my counties 7% tax that would only be $44.10. I'll spend a little gas to go pick them up and save $150+ in shipping charges. Of course this is assuming you can get them on ebay for the same price and the seller has the quantity you need.



treichhart

join:2006-12-12
reply to treichhart

Thanks for your guys all help.