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THurst

@noisetor.net

Moving Servers in Data Center

Hopefully you guys could help me out with a bit of an issue, we're getting some new servers at work and were going to have to do a big server move (along with some light regular moves after that) and I'm looking for something to help move everything. Our racks are up to 52U

Anyone have any experience with a lift to help rack servers?

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
Fork lift? High School football team?

If you are thinking about moving a fully loaded 52U rack. Don't. A fully loaded rack can weigh over 1ton. Rolling that across a raised floor will damage the floor. (also, very few of my racks have wheels. they were removed to evenly spread the load onto the floor.)


kontos
xyzzy

join:2001-10-04
West Henrietta, NY
reply to THurst
This is pretty much how we decided to do it after the first time:

»www.yellowpages.com/rochester-ny ··· erectors

(insert appropriate city-state name in URL)

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
reply to THurst
Is this at your location or a co-lo?

If you are in a rented space in a datacentre, they will most likely have a server scisor lift.

HELLFIRE
Premium
join:2009-11-25
kudos:20
reply to THurst
2nd cramer See Profile fully. Had to move a full-height server rack full of networking gear -- even before the move
I had a 24U unit with about 9 devices total. No way in HELL could I move that with 4 people by hand... even
if I tried.

Plan on several people over a weekend (if possible), pack tools, screwdrivers, extra screws, labelling equipment,
boxes, soft packing material (for HDDs and other fragile items), pizza and pop.

My 00000010bits.

Regards

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1
reply to THurst
Moving an empty 52U rack is enough of a struggle, let alone with it full. Label everything and unload/reload one piece at a time, that's about all you can do.

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
reply to HELLFIRE
My "Tiger Shark" rack was moved with 33 Sun v20z's in it. That's about 1500lbs. That's not hard to get rolling, but one does need to pay attention where it's being rolled... our old lab had cement packed tiles, the current (much older) lab does not. (we've broken a few vented tiles rolling things over them.)

The other racks were emptied into moving boxes, or the original shipping boxes for those we still had.

The Great Lakes racks we have now were brought up the stairs. To the 4th floor. All 6 of them. (minus doors and side panels)


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cramer
said by cramer:

Fork lift? High School football team?

If you are thinking about moving a fully loaded 52U rack. Don't. A fully loaded rack can weigh over 1ton. Rolling that across a raised floor will damage the floor. (also, very few of my racks have wheels. they were removed to evenly spread the load onto the floor.)

What?

A properly designed raised floor will have no issue with a 2,000lb dynamic load, or in fact, even a static load.

Talk to me when you've installed, managed, relocated a Sun E10k/E15k, HP Superdome, Hitachi 9980 array or similar enterprise gear.

I've done all of those and each one has a cabinet that weighs more than your rack will.

The Sun E15k was the heaviest cabinet of the bunch. Having to push those up a long ramp into the data center was an experience, but completely do-able. Rolling it across the data center floor was easy compared to getting it up the ramp and over the door threshold (who the F installs a metal threshold leading into the data center?! That Sonofabitch made for a serious speed bump!!)


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to THurst
I routinely work with UPS cabinets that can weigh over 3000# and battery strings that weigh 5-7t.

It's all about the right tools and techniques...

How far are you moving it?

If you're transporting it to another building, you're probably best to dis-assemble as much as you can. If you're relocating it on the same floor, or within the building, dollys, rack-jacks, etc, are your friend...

With the right tools, it's a fairly straight forward two-man job.

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
reply to dennismurphy
Wheels people! The wheels on most common, generic racks are only designed for the weight of the rack itself. They make very small contact points on the floor. I can almost assure you the tiles in your datacenter are not rated for 2000lbs/sq.in., in the center of the tile. (in fact few office builds are rated that high. I've had that conversation with dozens of building engineers; they want to know the loading my racks are going to create.)

An E10k frame is designed to hold the weigh of the entire system without creating extreme load points on the floor. Look at the size of the wheels on the bottom of one. Also note the size and number of leveling feet. (you aren't supposed to leave it on the wheels) The last Big Kit from Sun I dealt with was a drive array (T3?); it arrives as a bunch of boxes... the rack is empty, the drive shelves are empty.

UPS battery frames... NO manufacturer endorses moving them with the batteries in them. The biggest problem being inertia... it takes a good bit of effort to get 3t+ moving; it takes the same amount of work to get it to stop.

Have any of you read any of the documentation that comes with the gear? APC Netshelter rack... very clearly says not to attempt to move it while loaded. Server manufacturers (supermicro, sun, dell, hp, ...) have the same warning: don't transport the server mounted in a rack.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
said by cramer:

Wheels people! The wheels on most common, generic racks are only designed for the weight of the rack itself. They make very small contact points on the floor. I can almost assure you the tiles in your datacenter are not rated for 2000lbs/sq.in., in the center of the tile. (in fact few office builds are rated that high. I've had that conversation with dozens of building engineers; they want to know the loading my racks are going to create.)

I can tell you that you're wrong for the weight rating... Properly installed tiles are rated for a minimum rolling load of 1500# on a 3" x 1.75" set of casters...

As for moving larger weights - we lay wood or steel plates down to spread the load.

Static and dynamic load ratings are different things.

I never said I moved loaded battery racks - the input section of a Mits 750kva UPS alone is 3400# - for the input and isolation transformers...

Anyways - it's possible to move large weights through a data centre environment, safely and sanely - but you have to know what you're doing, and have the right tools... It happens every day. It's far easier and safer to disassmble, no argument - but there may be other options...

cramer
Premium
join:2007-04-10
Raleigh, NC
kudos:9
said by LazMan:

you have to know what you're doing

If you know what you're doing, you don't need to come to DSLR to ask how to do it. (nor would I trust "the internet" on this. *grin*)


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
said by cramer:

said by LazMan:

you have to know what you're doing

If you know what you're doing, you don't need to come to DSLR to ask how to do it. (nor would I trust "the internet" on this. *grin*)

I do not disagree... But it makes for some interesting "after" photos sometimes... It's funny, as long as no one gets hurt (badly)


dennismurphy
Put me on hold? I'll put YOU on hold
Premium
join:2002-11-19
Parsippany, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cramer
said by cramer:

An E10k frame is designed to hold the weigh of the entire system without creating extreme load points on the floor. Look at the size of the wheels on the bottom of one. Also note the size and number of leveling feet. (you aren't supposed to leave it on the wheels)

Have you ever actually setup an E10k?

4 leveling feet, approximately 1" in diameter, located adjacent to each of the 4 casters. Creating exactly 4 load points on the floor for its heft.

Same setup as a standard 19" rack, even though it's larger and weighs a bunch more. I've pushed enough 10k's around back in the day to know it's perfectly normal and expected to do so if you are cognizant of what you're doing.


freebird317
Premium
join:2004-02-23
Vancouver, WA
reply to cramer
said by cramer:

said by LazMan:

you have to know what you're doing

*grin*)

--
Lead, Follow I do not care just get out of my way.