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mets0903
Jul 19, 2004, 11:44 AM
Hi,

This may seem like an elementary question to most of you, but I have been trying to find a conclusive answer to it for some time, and I can't seem to get a conclusive one (I, myself, am not usually a Mac user)...

An organization that I work with recently purchased an Xserve, and we are looking to install it (along with a couple new computers, etc.). We only bought one Xserve, and it will be the only server we use. Is it still necessary to rackmount the Xserve if we are only using one xserve (and have space to put it on a tabletop with nothing nearby in front or back and nothing on top of it?

Thanks for your help in advance!!

Mets0903

qubex
Jul 19, 2004, 12:19 PM
You don't have to put the Xserve in a rack, inasmuch it runs on its own power and the rack is only there for containment. However, in practical terms, I do recommend a rack because the thing is damned noisy - like having a vacuum cleaner in the room with you - and the rack's door etc. will improve the situation.

mets0903
Jul 19, 2004, 12:26 PM
Well, its going to be in a room 2 floors up from where we are working, so noise isn't really much of an issue. I just wanted to make sure that a rack wasn't required for use (heat-wise, etc.).

theranch
Jul 19, 2004, 01:17 PM
You don't have to put the Xserve in a rack, inasmuch it runs on its own power and the rack is only there for containment. However, in practical terms, I do recommend a rack because the thing is damned noisy - like having a vacuum cleaner in the room with you - and the rack's door etc. will improve the situation.
That is if you have a rack with a door. Not all racks come with doors...

Grimace
Jul 19, 2004, 01:43 PM
Racks can reduce the amount of dust flowing around electronics too. In any case, make sure you have plenty of airflow above AND below the Xserve. Prop it up with 4 boxes of paperclips if needbe.

vga4life
Jul 19, 2004, 02:59 PM
Racks can reduce the amount of dust flowing around electronics too. In any case, make sure you have plenty of airflow above AND below the Xserve. Prop it up with 4 boxes of paperclips if needbe.

Not necessary! Rack-mount equipment is designed specifically not to require air circulation on the top and bottom - airflow is front-to-back only and there are no vents on the top or bottom. (I didn't have to go to Harvard to learn this, either - it should be obvious given that rackmount equipment is designed to stack and Apple constantly shows off xserves racked one atop the other.)

Anyhow, Marathon has a vertical stand for the xserve that might meet your needs:
http://www.marathoncomputer.com/vertx.html

-vga4life

Grimace
Jul 19, 2004, 03:09 PM
Not necessary! Rack-mount equipment is designed specifically not to require air circulation on the top and bottom - airflow is front-to-back only and there are no vents on the top or bottom. (I didn't have to go to Harvard to learn this, either - it should be obvious given that rackmount equipment is designed to stack and Apple constantly shows off xserves racked one atop the other.)

Anyhow, Marathon has a vertical stand for the xserve that might meet your needs:
http://www.marathoncomputer.com/vertx.html

-vga4life
Thanks for attacking an academic institution - real mature.

Unfortunately, you're wrong. Some rack-mount equipment heats up an incredible amount. Certain products offer convection cooling - others noisy fans; it depends on the piece of equipment.

I never said that there were vents on the top or bottom. I was suggesting that rack mounted equipment heats up - it does. You can stack other equipment above and below all you want - but I'm sure there are tons of people like me who have worked in recording studios that recommend separating equipment just for added protection.

I don't know how hot Xserves get - it was just a general precaution.

Lighten up.

tomf87
Jul 20, 2004, 08:53 AM
carletonmusic is right here. Just because it is rack mount, doesn't necessarily mean you can just stack them in there any way you choose. Depending on circulation in the cabinet, the room temperature, and air flow into the cabinet, you may need space above and/or below the server.

We have a rack full of HP DL380 G3's (2U x86 servers) in our data center which maintains around 65 degrees and they heated up fast, even though they were packed with fans. The top server was always warmer. We ended up purchasing new rear doors with 9 fans and that took care of the problem.

vga4life
Jul 20, 2004, 10:14 AM
Unfortunately, you're wrong. Some rack-mount equipment heats up an incredible amount. Certain products offer convection cooling - others noisy fans; it depends on the piece of equipment.

Quite right. I was referring to rack-mount computer equipment, though that wasn't clear. The Xserve is designed for high-density installation; it does not require convective cooling, and there's no published requirement or recommendation from Apple for vertical separation in the rack.

Just because it is rack mount, doesn't necessarily mean you can just stack them in there any way you choose. Depending on circulation in the cabinet, the room temperature, and air flow into the cabinet, you may need space above and/or below the server.

We have a rack full of HP DL380 G3's (2U x86 servers) in our data center which maintains around 65 degrees and they heated up fast, even though they were packed with fans. The top server was always warmer. We ended up purchasing new rear doors with 9 fans and that took care of the problem.

Cabinets with doors often present ventilation problems. I avoid them where possible. All this is immaterial to a discussion of a lone Xserve sitting on a table with nothing on top of it.

Thanks for attacking an academic institution - real mature.

It was a joke.

-vga4life

maradong
Jul 21, 2004, 01:50 AM
Thanks for attacking an academic institution - real mature.
heh, not really ;-) but vga4life is right with this statement:
Not necessary! Rack-mount equipment is designed specifically not to require air circulation on the top and bottom - airflow is front-to-back only and there are no vents on the top or bottom.

tomf87
Jul 21, 2004, 09:53 AM
Cabinets with doors often present ventilation problems. I avoid them where possible. All this is immaterial to a discussion of a lone Xserve sitting on a table with nothing on top of it.

I had troubles with the doors on my racks and they had a big plexiglass center with slots cut around it for airflow. I had them swapped with doors with a center metal mesh so air can flow in through the entire door. That helped a ton. Also, since most racks have fans at the rear or top, it does help to keep the sides enclosed so the air does flow through the computers.

I agree about the lone device. It's amazing how many times a thread goes astray... :)

Grimace
Jul 21, 2004, 10:25 AM
but vga4life is right with this statement:
Sheesh...that's how we got off-topic. Rack-mount equipment is designed to only spew heat out of the front and/or back, but there are hundreds of rack-mount products that heat up on both the top and bottom anyway - so much that the surface is very hot to the touch.

Powerbooks were designed to run cool - but lots of people have reported that they are almost burned by the surface. (he he, dangerous for a laptop! :D )

I went off into the world of audio rack-mount gear, which I have more experience than with servers. Design or not, you see blank and vent 1U panels for this purpose. Hot surface=bad for electronics of any kind. I went on a little tangent that wasn't as applicable to the server in the open question - my fault. My only point was that a little air underneath can help cool the unit even more - just like Powerbooks have the little cradles - ergonimics or for heat build up, the do cool down the machine even more.

In any case, we all agree that an Xserve in the open will do just fine if kept away from drinks, pets, and small children. :p