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What is OCP? (Open Compute Project)

March 9th, 2016

What is the Open Compute Project
The Open Compute Project started in 2011 and stems from Facebook’s initiative to improve energy efficiency, reduce hardware costs, and speed up deployment, by developing their own custom servers, power supplies, server racks and battery backup systems. The rack and equipment itself has evolved from a standardized 19” EIA rack with specialized IT servers to a unique rack with wide equipment and centralized power.

The Open Compute Project revolves around the Open Rack, a 539mm (21.22”) wide equipment space with a 48mm (1.89”) OpenU tall space. The power for the rack is standardized on a 12 VDC bus bar that runs the entire height of the rack. The benefits from this are a wider and taller space for the servers promote easier air flow through the equipment. Since power distribution and conversion is centralized to “Power Shelves”, this reduces the amount of intermediate power conversions along the way increasing the overall efficiency of a data center. This saves money money two-fold, by having more efficient cooling and by having less heat to remove.

“Vanity Free”
One of the signature things about OCP is called vanity free, if it doesn’t provide compute power or storage, you don’t need it. This philosophy keeps the equipment minimalist, utilitarian and ultimately lower cost than the more known OEM solutions. Bezels and pretty faceplates are out, efficiency is in.

Open Rack v1.0 versus v1.1 & v1.2
The v1.1 and v1.2 standards are lot more specific in relation to the mounting holes and mounting hole spacing when compared to v1.0. This makes it easier to interchange rails and accessories between different rack manufacturers.

To learn more about the Open Compute project click here

111-4493 22OU

Open Frame Wall Mount Project

March 13th, 2015

Courtesy of Steve M.

I have wanted to install network wiring throughout the house. A co-worker recommended an open frame wall mount rack for keeping equipment elevated, organized, and out-of-the-way. I was directed toward a few networking equipment websites, including RackSolutions.com. The level of customization that RackSolutions.com has on their open frame wall mount racks was instantly appealing. I settled on a size of 15U tall and 9U deep.


The equipment arrived within three days from placing the order. Several parts were packaged together, based on size, and arrived in good visible condition:

Opening the packaging showed plenty of cardboard, plastic wrap, and Styrofoam corners to properly protect the equipment during transportation:

After unboxing everything, you will have four posts, a top and bottom rack piece, and some bags with screws and cage nuts:


First Impressions
The metal is solid, and has a very durable paint coating across every surface edge. Running your finger over the metal, especially near corners or punched/cut areas, revealed no sharp or jagged edges. Each post had several threaded connections installed, which would be used to attach the post to the rack’s top and bottom sections.
Start Assembling!

The assembly couldn’t have been easier – only a single, #2 Phillips screwdriver is needed.
The posts are designed in a way that only allows it to fit a specific alignment with the top and bottom of the rack. This is accomplished through some notches placed at the ends of the posts. Each post fits within the inner-corner of the top and bottom of the rack.

Mounting the Rack
After marking and pre-drilling two holes for the top of the rack, two lag bolts and washers were installed. About one-half inch of space was left between the bolt heads and the studs.
Hanging the rack on the two lag bolts:


Racking Equipment
I first installed the patch panel, network switch, and a two-post shelf into the rack. To keep the free-standing components in place and remove any risk of tipping or falling, I ran Velcro cinch straps around the devices.
Here is the final picture of the completed rack:

Closing Thoughts
This product is simply outstanding, and I am absolutely thrilled with how this project turned out. Once the wiring has been installed into the walls, I am completely confident with housing my network and household components in this rack. The rack is quite sturdy and well-built, and I have no doubt about its durability for years to come. RackSolutions offers plenty of accessories for customizing the look of the rack, which allowed me to select a combination that fit my current needs and plans for the future.

Additional Parts

2 x Two-Post Shelves
Velcro Cinch Straps, various lengths
Bulk Velcro roll
Several 18-inch, 3-prong extension power cords from Monoprice
Cage Nut Tool

2 Post Rack TV Stand

January 23rd, 2015

There are many ways to utilize 2 post racks. This customer demonstrates that it can even be used as a TV stand.

tv stand 1

tv stand 2

tv stand 3

(Photos and article courtesy of Casey H.)

By using a common 2-post relay rack, adjustable shelves, and the lowest profile TV wall mount I could find, I was able to create a very simple and clean replacement for an old, over-sized glass/metal stand. The look may not be for everyone, but I like the spartan setup and complete customization of shelves. For my entertainment needs, I run only a fanless Intel Core i5 NUC and a Chromecast. (plus a Synology NAS in another room)

Some neat features:
· Buy a rack-mount UPS and screw it right onto the stand
· Wires are held with black nylon cable clamps in the back
· The Monoprice wall mount has a locking security bar
· Plethora of 2-post rack shelves available on the market

Parts List:
· $140 Rack Solutions RELAY-RACK-24-B-12
· $65 Rack Solutions 2USHL-020HALF-13V
· $40 Rack Solutions 1USHL-022HALF-7US
· $27 Monoprice Low Profile Wall Mount Bracket #6523


Ask Katrina- 19″ Rack & U Space

December 22nd, 2014

In this segment of Ask Katrina, she answers FAQ about 19″ racks:

Question 1: What is a “U space”?

A “U” or “RU” is a unit of measurement that is commonly referred to when discussing rack-mounting equipment. A “U space” is 1.75 inches and is commonly 3 hole spaces tall.

Question 2: What is the most commonly used rack?

We find that most Rack Solutions customers typically have a 4-post square hole rack. It’s called a “4-post rack” because there are 4 uprights and as you can see the holes of the rack are square.

Question 3: What is a 19 inch rack?

A 19 inch rack is the standard EIA-310 server rack. The term “19 inch rack” comes from the width of the equipment in the rack.

If you have any technical questions like the ones I have answered today please let us know. You can call send us an email or use technical support chat at racksolutions.com.


Server Rack Enclosure Features

July 15th, 2014

Below is the display of the features for a 4 Post enclosed server rack:

Every rack manufacturer has different features for their server racks. The rack shown in this video can be found at RackSolutions.


4 Post Rack Assembly

June 17th, 2014

Below is the assembly of a 4 Post open frame server rack:

The rack shown in this video can be found at RackSolutions.


Tool-less shelf Install

May 14th, 2014

Here is the installation of a tool-less sliding shelf into a 4Post square hole rack:

The shelf used for this install can be found at RackSolutions.


Ask Katrina- 2Post Universal Rails

April 30th, 2014

In this segment of Ask Katrina, she answers FAQ about 2Post Universal Rails:

Question 1: I ordered the 3UKIT-009 and I received 2 boxes. I don’t understand what the box with the black pieces is for?

Answer: Here is our 3UKIT-009. The black pieces that the customer is referring to are our Conversion brackets that come with our 2U and 3U size options, to support the extra weight. First, install the conversion bracket pieces to the same side to both of the rack uprights. For Flush Mount install both on the back of the 2Post Rack. For Center Mount install both on the front of the 2Post Rack. Then install the rails into the conversion brackets and rack just as if this was a 4Post rack.

3UKIT-009 http://www.racksolutions.com/2-post-rack-rails.html

Question 2: I have a Dell Poweredge R200 and I want to center mount it into a 2Post Rack but I don’t have a rail kit. Do you have a rail kit for this situation?

Answer: Our universal rails work will all rack mountable equipment. This is a 1U server so you would mount this with our 1UKIT-009.

1UKIT-009 http://www.racksolutions.com/2-post-rack-rails.html

Question 3: I have a 4U server that I want to center mount into my 2Post rack. Do you have any options for a server that large?

Answer: As long as your 4U server does not exceed 200 lbs, our 3UKIT-009 will work. The choices of different rail kits are mainly based on how much your server weighs. Our 1U has a 45lb weight capacity, 2U has a 75lb weight capacity and our 3U has a 200lb weight capacity.

3UKIT-009 http://www.racksolutions.com/2-post-rack-rails.html

If you have any technical questions like the ones Katrina has answered today please let us know. You can call send us an email (info@server-racks.com) or use technical support chat at racksolutions.com. All of the items that have been discussed today can be found at racksolutions.com.


Cage nut Installation

April 16th, 2014

Here is the installation of a cage nut into a square hole rack:

For more info about cage nuts see Define:Cagenut? The tool used for the installation is the Cage Nut Tool from RackSolutions.

Ask Katrina- Adapter Brackets

April 9th, 2014

In this segment of Ask Katrina, she answers FAQ about Adapter Brackets:

Question 1 My rails won’t work in my 4Post rack because the rails are too short. Do you have anything that would allow them to work?

Answer: For demonstration we have a 2UBRK-200-FULL. We do offer several different depths of brackets that will work depending on your situation. In this particular case we can use the 2.00” bracket to fill the space between the back of the rail and the back of the rack.

2UBRK-200-FULL http://www.racksolutions.com/2u-adapter-brackets.html

Question 2 The rails that came with my server don’t work because my rack has threaded holes and my rails require a square hole. Do you have any options?

Answer: For this problem you can use our 2UBRK-059-FULL. The reason that we use this bracket is because the depth of our rack is correct but we need to convert our holes from threaded to square. For this situation we can use our smallest bracket. Using this bracket will NOT add extra depth to your rack making your rails stick out of back.

2UBRK-059-FULL http://www.racksolutions.com/2u-adapter-brackets.html

Question 3 The rails that I am using are to long for this rack. Do you have anything to extend my rails?

Answer: Let’s say that your rail is 2 inches to long. Again we would use the 2UBRK-200-FULL with our 2U rail kit. This part allows your rail kit to function properly by providing the extra length for your rack.

2UBRK-200-FULL http://www.racksolutions.com/2u-adapter-brackets.html

If you have any technical questions like the ones Katrina has answered today please let us know. You can call send us an email or use technical support chat at racksolutions.com. All of the items that have been discussed today can be found at racksolutions.com.