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Server placement in Racks

By phantomriley ·
My management crew has requested that I find out information on where and why servers should be placed in racks. Recently I moved the larger servers to the bottom of an enclosed rack. I went from largest to smallest as I considered this to be market standard.

Can anyone PLEASE explain in a way why servers should be racked a certain way ? And PLEASE share your knowledge on the best way to rack servers ?

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by bounser01 In reply to Server placement in Racks

You ask why put servers in a rack. If you didnt you would have piles of computers in a room. The reason for mounting servers in a rack is for organization, accessability and cooling. Now the order in which you organize them would affect the weight distribution and cooling mostly. If using a 4 post enclosed rack weight distribution isnt as big of a concern. Still want to put largest(heaviest) at the bottom. Organizing them also can change the air flow which is critical for durability of the equipment.

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by phantomriley In reply to

I really wasnt asking why servers should be in racks... I guess I may have written in an unclear way. If possible I need someone or yourself to expand on why. You said weight distribution and airflow. I need an example of organizing them for air flow and all other reasons. Basically I am looking for an easy to understand but well founded reason for the bigger servers to be on the bottom. I am using a 4 post enclosed rack.

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by CG IT In reply to Server placement in Racks

equipment room design is not based upon any "standard" rather as the first answer said, based upon certain parameters. These parameters include but are not limited to: recommended air flow and operating temperature ranges, the size of the room where servers will be placed, the # of servers, the availability of cooling [A/C] the rate in which the cooling keeps the room at an ambient temperature, the cfm of fans in servers [draw], the # of fans in servers [total draw], the heat production of CPUs, power supplies, hard drives, etc.

A very large equipment room housing servers with industrial central air conditioning is far different than a small open area in a small office.

Then there is convection e.g. cold air sinks, warm air rises and thermalcline. There will be an area within a room a certain height from the floor, and a certain depth, in which cold air and warm air meet and the temperature gradient is sharp. Therefore having servers low helps keep them cool.

to recap, There is no standard rather an set of parameters in which to design to.

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by rob.mcewan In reply to Server placement in Racks

Keeping the heavy, bulky equipment in the bottom of the racks is a good idea simply for ease of installation and removal. I always insist on two persons lifting anything more that a 1U server. I'd prefer they were not lifting a 10U device up to the top of a rack, then trying to fit it onto sliding rails etc.

Also if the site is in an earthquake prone area, you should make sure the racks are sysmicly braced correctly. Keeping the weight down low may help the rack survive an earthquake.

Finally try keeping same models grouped together. This will help with the rail kit, PDU and network cabling, cable management bar installation.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Server placement in Racks

imho, it's for space and airflow and heat dissipation.
personally, i place them in the rack so i can easily reach the one i need to reach the most and so they look pretty
and i can tell you this: like said here: a rack isn't a rack until you have all the rails you want all the shelves you want all the fan racks you want all the power protection/ups you want. and on the rack too or you spoiled big part of advantage of having one imho. cable management is a must.
sounds to me like you could use a chat with a rack salesperson. depending on what i were trying to accomplish and impression trying to make, i might even 'bring in' a salesperson to check out my setup. hopefully they will wear busniess attire and be ernestly pointign out considerations in my specific setup when boss comes by. if sales person asks you to lunch be sure to ask boss if she wants to come along.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to

btw, i have bunches of equip. rack mounted and none of it computers.
my rack mount server is sitting on a shelf. it works fine. a little hard to see the display is all. we got it because it was a deal at dell refurb. when i have to work on it, it is somwhat pita dragging it out onto the floor. it is easy to put cards in as regular tower. if i had it in a rack on rails i could just slide it out to work on much better for my back...
trust your instincts. if you have to ask what is a rack good for you probably don't need one. but if you want one anyway and trying to make case, i agree with you. just cleaner and easier. more professional. strive to be 'best' instead of 'ok'
2 more cents: you gonna need way more rack space then you think. rack mountable equipment comes in sizes how many rack positions 'deep' and how long. rack sales person can design you dream rack and you can buy bit at a time...
buy rails at time of purchase with the equipment when possible...

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by phantomriley In reply to

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by Kryptos In reply to Server placement in Racks

Why keep heavy server on bottom of rack?..
One more reason for that is when u pulls out heavy server for maintenance; Chance of rack imbalance is high if you position your heavy servers at top and light servers below of the rack.

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