Thursday, March 22, 2012

My "Data Center"

While you're adding more gadgets to your home setup, such as Unifi, NAS and home network setup, you probably are getting yourself headache on where to place and arrange the equipment neatly, so that they are safe from any unwanted harassment (i.e. kids) and won't be dust collector.

With monkeys (my nieces and nephew) jumping around with itchy hands to discover things in every corner of the house, it's extremely unsafe to expose my "investment" bare in open air like this...




I ought to protect them with a proper rack...


It's an 15U floor stand server rack (the Cisco box is the managed switch that I blogged previously) with detailed specifications as below...


An all round look. From front, side and rear...




I chose the conventional power extension than PDU power distribution unit as most home/consumer equipment comes with 3-pin plug. The rack also comes with 2 fans on the top, bundled with a packet of rack mount screws and all sides are detachable and lockable...





As I am installing this rack on the laminated floor, I need to put on some cushion on the stabilizer...



Beside the physical protection, I need to protect the toys from getting fried by TNB. All equipment will be connected to the UPS. But UPS does not accept the UK 3-pin plug, so I need to cut and splice the normal power extension cord to IEC 320 C13 standard...





I must warn you - make sure you know what you're doing and take extra caution when dealing with electrical matters like above.

As an IT professional with some experiences managing data center for a company, it would be shameful to have a messy rack. So each network cable is custom made to its perfect length...





And each cable is properly labelled and color coded accordingly...



And finally, the complete rack...



Look good? This is definitely not for aesthetic look, now all equipment is secured, it might also help to improve the lifespan of the equipment. For instance, if you own a NAS (or other stuff with fan), you likely notice the dust collected by the fans. The dust degrades the efficiency of the fan, hence the ventilation and heat builds up inside the NAS. I have been using this rack for 3 months and the fans on the NASes and switch are all clean.

Two things to take into consideration, I would recommend installing the rack either in a cooling area so that you don't have to turn on the noisy rack fans, or install it at a place where the fan noise is not a concern (and it's not too hot and humid). Second thing is you probably need a new wireless access point if you're using all-in-one wireless router gateway. Securing the wireless device in the rack is definitely not ideal as the signal coverage would drop tremendously. This is why I placed the Unifi's wireless router on top of the rack.

With this "racking migration", I shall conclude the completion of my home "infrastructure". Next up should be making use of the infrastructure, perhaps IP CCTV...