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ITGround >> Racking server (spacing)

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7/9/10 7:48 PM
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tycoon
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Member Since: 1/1/01
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I've always spaced out servers 1U apart when I racked them. Now I am about to rack some servers at a colocation and I noticed a number of people just stack their Dell servers right on top of each other. I have always had the impression the best practice was to have some spacing to prevent overheating. How do you guys typically rack your servers?
8/14/10 2:57 PM
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intolerance
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Edited: 08/14/10 3:03 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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I have 5 racks at my CoLo in a private cage, 1 being stacked with EMC Clarion Enclosures with two clarion monitoring servers on top, no problems. The other 4 racks are all 3/4 or more full of hp dlxxx servers with our gear and cable management right above the servers which are 1U, 2U and 4U. It is absolutely packed with next to no space to 'breathe' in the sense you're speaking of.  With proper cold air flow in the front (55 degrees or so I believe it is) the machines will pull in and exhaust all that air straight through and you won't have any problems. In reality, it's a big waste of space. I have some pics i'll dig up and post if you'd like to see them.

But no, you were not given a good impression, these machines are made to run 24/7 and properly dissipate heat stacked one on top of the other, just monitor your power supplies! I learned the hard way on that one when I started my current job.

Hope that helps a bit.

 As an aside, we host in the same building with one of myspace colo's and numerous other large companies that have literally 100 times the machines (we've got 82 I believe it is) we do and they are racked as tight as possible. Just be smart about it and use that extra space for porn advertising servers and make some money.  
8/16/10 11:50 AM
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bartos
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It's my understanding that you don't want space between the servers. That's why they sell the spacers to cover up empty slots. You want to force the air flow from front to back and right out the rear of your rack. This prevents hot air from being able to cycle around to the front and be sucked in by the server's intake again.

Server's are designed to be stacked directly on top of each other.
8/16/10 12:49 PM
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gsx_r
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Member Since: 9/17/09
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Spacers are more for looks.

I've seen servers with vents on the bottom and top. In the end it doesn't really matter. Any good colo should do hot/cold isles.
8/24/10 12:00 AM
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asdf
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agree w/bartos.
though, blanking panels IMO are more if you pay for costs of cooling.
11/3/10 11:25 AM
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JohnnyLawrence
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bartos - It's my understanding that you don't want space between the servers. That's why they sell the spacers to cover up empty slots. You want to force the air flow from front to back and right out the rear of your rack. This prevents hot air from being able to cycle around to the front and be sucked in by the server's intake again.

Server's are designed to be stacked directly on top of each other.
^^ This. The last thing you want is space between servers. Additionally, you want to make sure your racks are flush and there's no space between them either.
 
11/10/10 2:23 PM
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E
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It's all about money. I have a full rack in a datacenter, and I want to cram as much stuff in there as possible. Everyone tries to keep wasted space to a minimum.
11/12/10 11:58 PM
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jave
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There's no vents on the top or bottoms of servers, no gain to stacking them 1u apart etc.. It's intake and outtake front to back.

In the IT room I work with we have 75 servers, all are stacked with no space. Going on 6 years with no heat issues.

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