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Old 07-18-2017, 09:15 PM   #21
ratdude747
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Something else I'm not buying yet (but probably will) is a patch panel. Depending where its final home is, there probably won't be any Cat5e/Cat6 run, so I'll have to run that myself. Since I would probably be using cheap wall cable (solid), I would want to patch panel that to avoid cable breakage down the road.

However, for testing and the like I don't need it, so it will wait. Too much money spent this week on the project.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:26 PM   #22
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Did some layout and building this evening. Here's the current plan:

(from Bottom to top):
  • U1-U11: IBM Netfinity 7000, as ballast (could be come UPSs down the road???)
  • U12-U15: 10" 100lb shelf
  • U12 (interlaced with above): Power strip unit
  • U16-U17: IBM X3650 (modified section of rack)
  • U18-19: 2U shelf
  • U20: Dell R200
  • U21-U22: Patch Panel and/or Open area for LAN cables
  • U23: Gigabit Switch
  • U24+: Unused

Who wants build pics? You do? I know you do too, so here we go:



That's what I have so far. (yeah the Apartment is a mess right now, sorry)





Power distribution and shelf mixed. This is partially to use the strong Power distribution case as reinforcement for the shelf (less likely to bow inward)



24 Ports of 3Com Gigabit awsomeness.

Looking Good?
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

I went ahead and jumped... on a patch panel. Found a 32 point keystone panel for $16 shipped. I'm going with keystones because I don't want a bad jack to kill a whole panel. Plus I can choose Cat5(e) or Cat6.

As for the hookups, I'm thinking floor plates (keystone) would be the way to go. The house I'm lookign at (and put an offer on) has a crawspace on one level (trilevel house) and a basement garage on the other. Easier than walls and attics?

Also, Should I do Cat5e or Cat6?
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:59 PM   #24
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

^ Stupid question. Cat6, Cat 6 for buildings (solid) at least at Lowe's was about the same price... $75 vs $68 for 500'. I won't buy it there, but for the price, I might as well future proof. No, I am not touching copper cladded crap.

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Old 08-01-2017, 10:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Rack reconfiguration coming:

http://www.badcaps.net/forum/showthr...558#post761558

Good thing I didn't drill or cut anything yet. Dell 1U won't be in this either, as I should be able to make it's HDDs run in this (SATA on board ,not RAID card) until I get real drives in it.
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:03 PM   #26
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

[Admittedly belated reply...]

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Question: I'm going to be (hopfully) moving into a house sometime in the next handful of months, and I'd like to have a rack for my blade server(s) that will be doing NAS and the like along with a 24 port gig switch (they're like $25-$40 shipped used on ebay right now )

However, the only used ones I've seen are 3 hours away at Purdue Surplus, and they're massive full height ones (for $50-$150 a pop usually), all OEM.

New ones at Fry's and online seem a bit cheaply made for the asking price. $175 for two metal poles and an anchoring plate? No thanks.
Look at local universities, school systems, etc. in your "neighborhood". Most have surplus equipment auctions pretty regularly. E.g., a full size, enclosed (front and back doors, etc.) rack, here, will run you $10. And, they will be thrilled that you took it off their hands!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
I don't need (or want) that big of a rack... 12U would work but 20+ would probably be safer, especially if I ever add anything else. Having a shelf on top would be nice as that would allow me to set my AP and (if I stay with cable) modem on top, not buried inside the rack.
Short racks are scarcer. I had three (custom) ~15U racks (with weight-bearing tops!) that housed my Cipher 990's years ago. Foolishly discarded the racks with the transports. If I'd kept them, adding a fourth would have made an excellent "pedestal" base for my bed (with lots of accessible storage beneath!)

Consider the location of your AP(s) carefully. You want to ensure adequate coverage around your site. I located a pair of them on the ceilings of two closets at opposite sides of the (single floor) house. They are PoE powered so no hassles with wall-warts, AC mains, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
It also would need to be deep (or have an open back); I have a long 2U IBM X3650 server to put in. She's a tad heavy though (40lbs?) so it would also need to be sturdy

I have heard of people using generic shelving for rackmount gear; I'd like to avoid that as I'm afraid of a cable getting snagged and things flying off the shelf.
I kept my 2U servers under my worktables, centered with my chair. This allowed them to act as convenient foot-rests while seated. I've discarded all but one 1U server which sits under an LJ4M+ (as it is strong enough to support the weight of that printer). It will be exiting the building in the next week as I've moved to smaller boxes with "friendlier" form factors.

[Though I still have a behemoth blade server (14 x dual, 3GHz quad-core Xeons, 2 x 72GB drives per blade) that I need to decommission]

Also, consider buying a 1U console and N-port KVM for (each) rack -- if you intend to "locally" administer the systems housed therein. I used a pair of these until recently:
<http://www.disctech.com/Dell-KMM-PF033-Rack-Mounted-Console-15-LCD-15FP-1U>

I now remotely administer everything (TELNET/SSH) -- while keeping a small, SEVEN inch LCD as a "portable console" for the worst case of machines that refuse ping(1)s.

Or, come to your senses and realize that smaller can be better!

E.g., my "file server" is now implemented as a set of six 1.6GHz Atom USFF machines with external (USB) drives, managed by some custom software and a centralized database (so I can query the contents of the "file store" without having any of those disks actually spinning -- so I can see what I have, where it is located, and how it can be accessed). The USFF's draw about 10W -- and only when running. Considerably less than the JBOD shelf's of 15K SCA drives I used to run!

(of course, I use a file server as an archive, not as a high performance service!)
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Old 08-12-2017, 07:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Quote:
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I went ahead and jumped... on a patch panel. Found a 32 point keystone panel for $16 shipped. I'm going with keystones because I don't want a bad jack to kill a whole panel. Plus I can choose Cat5(e) or Cat6.

As for the hookups, I'm thinking floor plates (keystone) would be the way to go. The house I'm lookign at (and put an offer on) has a crawspace on one level (trilevel house) and a basement garage on the other. Easier than walls and attics?

Also, Should I do Cat5e or Cat6?
CAT6 is a bit harder to handle, and a bit fussier about how it is handled. Consider, carefully, what you are likely to have on each "drop" and the reasonable bandwidth you might need (yeah, you may want to transfer gobs of data from a file server to another file server, but will they tend to be located at opposite ends of the house?)

I installed a 96 port custom switch in a closet. Short patch cords connect it to a pair of 48 port panels in the side walls. Cables run through the walls, from there, to the individual drops around the house.

The switch is PoE & 1588 enabled with a large 48V DC "battery" kept up by a 48V power supply (PoE distributes 48V DC to the PD's so no conversion losses, there). As expected, most of the devices are PoE powered. So, everything is "battery backed" in the event of an outage (instead of needing a UPS at each device). The switch can be commanded to shed individual PD loads to make better use of available battery capacity.

I opted to run CAT5e instead of CAT6 because it is easier to handle and a bit more forgiving of installation abuses. As each drop is essentially a single device (i.e., the only "combined traffic" happens inside the switch, not over a drop to another switch), 100Mb is more than adequate to deliver live video, etc. to a node.

Be sure you carefully examine how you intend to run the cable as there are Code restrictions that dictate when Plenum rating is required vs. Riser. You may also be required to seal around every hole that you drill through a fire-stop along the way. I.e., think before you invest a lot of time, money and effort!
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Old 08-15-2017, 06:34 AM   #28
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

^I've heard that elsewhere, and I'm using CAT5e. I'll be doing gigabit, but 5e should handle it.

As for sealing fire-stops, IIRC they make a product for sealing such holes (not expanding foam for windows!)
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Old 08-15-2017, 05:07 PM   #29
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Quote:
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^I've heard that elsewhere, and I'm using CAT5e. I'll be doing gigabit, but 5e should handle it.
The devices that will most commonly see/need fat pipes are all colocated in my office or server closet. So, cabling and dedicated 24p switches can handle those needs without penalizing the rest of the house (I've run ~6000 ft of CAT5e, here). The balance of the loads are things like "appliances", laptops wanting an outbound connection, TV's, media tanks, etc. All of which are inherently lower bandwidth consumers. Silly to run Gb to a VoIP handset!

Quote:
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As for sealing fire-stops, IIRC they make a product for sealing such holes (not expanding foam for windows!)
I use "3M Fire Barrier Sealant CP 25WB+". It is colored red (perhaps a Code requirement to make it easier for inspectors to verify that it isn't "just caulk"?) so it makes it easy to see which "penetrations" have been treated, or not.
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Old 08-26-2017, 05:19 PM   #30
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Saw this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cisco-SGE201...4AAOSw7pNZnYVX

But nah, probably unrepairable junk?

Reason I ask is I just scored some dirt cheap quad port gigabit cards and thinking that 24 ports isn't going to cut it. Or not and I get a 16 port switch for the office and give it 4 links (So I can quad team my workstation and dual team my wife's workstation, but neither of us will need all the bandwidth at the same time?
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Old 08-26-2017, 06:02 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Saw this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cisco-SGE201...4AAOSw7pNZnYVX

But nah, probably unrepairable junk?

Reason I ask is I just scored some dirt cheap quad port gigabit cards and thinking that 24 ports isn't going to cut it. Or not and I get a 16 port switch for the office and give it 4 links (So I can quad team my workstation and dual team my wife's workstation, but neither of us will need all the bandwidth at the same time?
Yeah, screw a 48 port switch, I found another 3com 32 port switch (identical to the existing one) for peanuts:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/332337362678

Even cheaper than the first! Also cheaper than any 16 port switch I could find.

So I'm thinking six links between the two (one full wall plate) to start would be good. Six links to the server (will have 2 on board +4 via card) too.

Yay I have to order more patch cables... Oh well, the costs of doing things right.

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Old 08-26-2017, 06:56 PM   #32
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

How are you planning to connect the two switches ?
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Old 08-26-2017, 08:33 PM   #33
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How are you planning to connect the two switches ?
Good point... apparently I'd need a middleman managed switch of some sort that was managed to setup the link aggregation between switches. I did see managed 8 port switches out there, for how cheap I'd have to see.

Doh!

Or I just run 8 links or something direct to the office (leaving 10 spare links for other rooms, wifi router, and additional access points) and keep the second switch as a spare. Damn, my wooden workstation cart's rear was perfectly spaced for a 19" rackmount switch too.

edit- here we go: http://www.ebay.com/itm/D-Link-DGS-D...8AAOSwIxxZn367

I'll RTFM first, but I bet I could set that up to do two 4gbs trunked lines... edit2: Nope, not actually a managed switch. Good thing I didn't buy.

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Old 08-26-2017, 08:49 PM   #34
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Try 2:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/D-Link-DGS-D...8AAOSwIxxZn367

Put in an offer. Wife says I spent too much money today.

Other suggestions are welcome.

Edit- counteroffered... I want to sleep on it.

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Old 08-26-2017, 09:52 PM   #35
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

Screw it.

I'm thinking of a compromise, for now:

Option 1: Configure one of my two spare gigabit N routers (OpenWRT) as a managed switch and AP combo and use that as a 2gbs trunking adapter.

Option 2: 5 links: two for each of the two workstations, and the 5th to the switch for slower devices (laptop docks, laser AIO, other workstations, etc.).

I'm leaning towards option 2.
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Old 08-26-2017, 11:13 PM   #36
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Default Re: Cheap Source for Racks?

^Yup, option 2. Option 1 doesn't work because of the internal layout of my routers.
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Old 08-27-2017, 01:52 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratdude747 View Post
Good point... apparently I'd need a middleman managed switch of some sort that was managed to setup the link aggregation between switches. I did see managed 8 port switches out there, for how cheap I'd have to see.

Doh!

Or I just run 8 links or something direct to the office (leaving 10 spare links for other rooms, wifi router, and additional access points) and keep the second switch as a spare. Damn, my wooden workstation cart's rear was perfectly spaced for a 19" rackmount switch too.

edit- here we go: http://www.ebay.com/itm/D-Link-DGS-D...8AAOSwIxxZn367

I'll RTFM first, but I bet I could set that up to do two 4gbs trunked lines... edit2: Nope, not actually a managed switch. Good thing I didn't buy.
No, for link aggregation on switches to work all switches must support it.
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Old 08-27-2017, 06:51 AM   #38
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No, for link aggregation on switches to work all switches must support it.
My 3com switches are cool with my server and topcat's stuff (same model switch) aggregating links. Good enough?
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:18 AM   #39
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Good enough for what ? Server to switch is ok as we know.
Switch to switch they both need to support 802.1AX or 802.3ad as it was called.
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Old 08-27-2017, 10:32 AM   #40
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Good enough for what ? Server to switch is ok as we know.
Switch to switch they both need to support 802.1AX or 802.3ad as it was called.
So I couldn't put a managed 8 port switch between the two unmanaged 24 port switches? The managed switch would have two 4 port aggregated links. Same idea as bonding/teaming on a server?
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