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Small network setup in the field.

By Some _IT_Guy ·
I want to know if any one else out in IT land has to setup and maintain computers, networks, servers, etc. in the field.
By "in the field" I mean trailers, temporary buildings, vehicles, that kind of thing. It maybe on a jobsite, expedition, military, goverment, research sites, etc.

What do you use to ship or move your equipment, do you use new stuff straight out of the box so you don't have to pack it or rack mounted shipping crates?

What kind of problems have you had to over come in maintaining your networks and equipment out in the field?

I am trying to find a good rackmount shipping case that isn't to expensive does any one have one they like?

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Some experiences and recommendations

by NickNielsen In reply to Small network setup in th ...

The biggest problem to overcome working in the field is usually the lack of a controlled environment. Heat, cold, humidity, and dust can all have an effect on equipment.

Packing & shipping is also an issue. If you do this on a recurring basis, I suggest rack-mounting the network equipment. Not only is it secured during transit, packing is a simple matter of unplugging external cables and installing the covers.

Some manufacturers have "design-your-own" cases, with pre-cut foam inserts.
Any rack-mount transit case is going to cost in excess of $1000 new and probably closer to $1500. ("Isn't too expensive" is a relative term!) You could try any of the following manufacturers:

Allcases - http://www.allcases.com/apppage.asp?id=331&parentid=330

Zero - http://www.zerocases.com/catalog.html

Or any of the others on this list: http://tinyurl.com/3m9yvu (Note: not all of them provide rack-mount cases.)

Edit: organization

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I do this a lot for my customers

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Small network setup in th ...

I always work with New Equipment as it goes out but the Packing is the least of the worries honestly.

All of the units that I work with that go out are to Construction Sites either building or Roads so they have a very hard life and a short life most of the time as well. The main problems are the lack of any form of Temp Control and Dust Prevention. I've seen really good hardware die in under 6 months without a problem and even though I consider the Computer Equipment Expensive for how long it lasts this is a very relative term as the Plant being used is worth Millions of $ and Down Time is Measured in 10's or 100's of Thousands of $ per Hour which is far in excess of the value of the Computer hardware being fitted to these places.

So far the best solution that I've found is to custom build the computer hardware into Zalman Fanless Cases as these don't suck in any dust which is the main reason that the hardware dies.

As for packaging don't bother as the Site will just trash it and after it is dispatched that will be the last that you see of it because it got used to fix a far more expensive problem fast. No matter how expensive you consider something to be what it gets used to do is always far more expensive and harder to fix if it wasn't there in the first place.

With the places that I support it's defiantly all new and thrown away when it's supposed to have failed this is factored into the costs of whatever is being done and I'm not even sure that the hardware breaks some of the people there may take a liking to it and report it failed so that they get new stuff delivered ASAP and no one actually looks at what us supposedly broken as it's not economical to send a Tech out to these sites. All I can say for certain is that at the end of the job the equipment is reported Failed and it doesn't get returned to Base for anything as it's far too expensive to do this as well as the Business can not afford to have it fixed only to fail a few Hours/Days after the next job starts. Even if you fit a 20 K Server which is unlikely the Cost in Lost Production is far more than the cost of the Hardware involved.

One place that I support which is the closest involved a 2 hour drive to get there then a Wait for the Ferry to get to the Island and this only runs every 2 hours so if you miss one you have to wait another 2 hours then a 45 minute trip on the ferry and then another 25 minutes under ideal conditions to get to the site a Massive Sand Mine on one of the Islands close to here. All up under perfect conditions that's a 4 hour wait to get a Tech to the Site and that represents a 2 Million Dollars Loss to the company in lost production. Not many servers that would be fitted in these conditions that comes even close to that value. OH they need the Server as they have Laser Leveling Sighting all around the Mine so if the server fails the Laser Sighting Equipment stops working. About the only thing that is worth saying is that it saves the company a few $ in Fuel not being burnt but even the cost of Labor is far in excess of the money saved like that.

Besides Earthmover's are likely to take a swing at you as fast as ask you for something so if you keep them happy you tend to remain walking.

Col

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Thanks

by Some _IT_Guy In reply to Small network setup in th ...

Your replies are very helpfull.

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