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Relay rack on a lazy susan/casters?


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#1 pgray007

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

I keep going back and forth on how I want to install equipment in our new house, after alternating between "enterprise grade" racks and servers, and now leaning more towards custom, low-noise/heat gear. In the past I used an acoustically insulated server rack, but equipment access and cabling left much to be desired.

We have a utility closet under the stairs in our new house that's about 3' 11" wide with a downward sloping roof due to the stairs above. I'm going to have our LV contractor terminate all the CAT5 at the "short wall", and am planning on installing a ~4' relay rack for equipment.

I've abandoned most of our "enterprise stuff" save for a rackmount 2U APC UPS, and a couple of switches, and I've consolidated all our servers to a custom vSphere server that sits in an mATC case, so I really don't have anything deep enough to warrant a 4 post rack. What I'd like to do is rack the switches and UPS, and install a few shelves on the rack to accommodate the server, two QNAP NAS units, and a few sonos units wired to in-wall speakers.

Any suggestions for a short 2 post rack that could hold this gear? Also has anyone put a rack on a lazy susan or casters/drawer pulls so they could make access to the rear of the rack easier? I realize I'm working in a tight space, but the lazy susan seems like it might work better than a hinged rack where it would need more clearance to swing outward.

If anyone has good pictures of installations in an under-stairs closet, that would be helpful as well. I'm in a "no basement zone" so this is essentially the best I have to work with.

#2 wuench

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 02:07 PM

A relay rack won't be as stable sliding/rolling in and out as a 4 post. Relays are made to be anchored the floor and usually for lightweight things like patch panels or mid mounted equipment. I think middle atlantic makes some sliding 4 post racks, or you could go with a small slim line 4 post and easily add casters to it.

Edited by wuench, 22 May 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#3 project_x

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:32 PM

I bought a used 4 post rack, cut it down in height, welded hinges on it and mounted it on the wall underneath stairs. It allows you to rotate it out to make connections. I have got as far as mounting it and putting my satellite gear in....it works well, but is currently stalled due to lack of time.

#4 Work2Play

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 02:12 AM

I know someone who has their 2-post rack on casters - they made a solid base for it, threw some wheels on the bottom, and put the heaviest stuff on the bottom; been in place for years and works fine. I don't know that you'll find a short one automatically, but they're cheap enough and just bolt together - you could easily cut it to your exact size.

Are you sure that's the best place for it though? I mounted a 12U up in my closet and ran the Cat5 there - and put the switch there; next to that is my 50" structured media cabinet where the cable and security run - works very well.

#5 pgray007

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:59 AM

I'm not sure this is the "best" place, but this is what I've been allocated by my CEO (aka my wife).

I do have ventilation to this closet, and I'll also have a 48" structured media cabinet where I'll be mounting an HAI panel and future goodies, but I have about 35 CAT5 drops and would prefer to rack them so I can use a "proper" switch. There is a "normal" section of the closet unaffected by the slope of the stairs, but I'd like to keep things neat and out of the way if possible and still make it relatively easy to access the equipment.

It sounds like the 2 post on a platform is a winner. If anyone has pic of a similar install that would be great, otherwise I'll attempt to post my own efforts once they get underway in August.

#6 Work2Play

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 06:23 PM

I can relate to the use of a normal switch; that's why I ended up with the 12U rack in the closet next to the structured panel; if houses the switch, router, patch panel, and a shelf that holds the Windows Home Server (HP MediaSmart compact unit).




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