DIY Rack & Internet Isolated PCs and ESXi VM Host

Cosmoneer

New Member
Jun 22, 2016
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Hi All,

I am beginning my upgrade adventure on my DIY Home Rack (Modified Lack Rack). The rack itself was a black Lack Coffee table with the shelf installed at the bottom of the legs. The complete lower rack can provides 8U of roll-around rack space. (I will post pictures soon, sorry!)

My first mod is two aluminum square U rails screwed to the top of the shelf for rigidity and support of the servers sitting on it. Without the rails, the shelf will break under the load of the servers sitting on it. Trust me. it will BREAK.

Below the legs and shelf is my second mod using three IKEA KALLAX caster rails. The rails reach from one side leg to the other and provide a high amount of weight support and do not bend/flex when moving the unit. One KALLAX is mounted between the legs (front to back) and supports the midsection of the rack.

On top of the coffee table part of the rack and towards the back is an IKEA Lack end table. On the back of this is where I mounted the network switches. Below the switches are two APC backups and a NAS. Not under the end table are two Xbox ones. On top of the end table is a laser printer and the router/wifi.

The first generation of the rack contained three Dell R5400 workstations with FX100 PCoIP gear, which enabled me to host desktops around the house without the noisy and bulky PCs. The second generation, which I am now working on and will dedicate this thread to, will contain the following:

1> Several 1U Dell R610 servers modified to be desktop workstations, again, hosted via PCoIP
2> A 1U R610 ESXI host that will run internet exposed desktops used by the workstations
3> A PFSense VM
4> A 1U Dell R310 running FreeNAS with fiber channel to the ESXi host
5> One of the previous R5400 2U workstations for High end CAD work (3d modeling & printing)​

This new setup is intended to isolate the main workstations from the internet and prevent virus/malware infections and prevent windows updates from corrupting otherwise 100% functional PCs.
 

kapone

Well-Known Member
May 23, 2015
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While I'm all for DIY...when it comes to several pieces of equipment that weigh as much as servers do, I draw a line.

Servers = proper rack.
 
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Cosmoneer

New Member
Jun 22, 2016
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Eh, the servers are not mounted on rails, are they?
No, the servers sit on each other and their weight ultimately sits on the steel KALLAX caster rails. Since there are three rails, there are six casters.




While I'm all for DIY...when it comes to several pieces of equipment that weigh as much as servers do, I draw a line.

Servers = proper rack.
This isn't a 42U rack were talking about. At best I get 8U of rack space with this setup. While it is heavy as it is, slow purposeful movements work fine.



Get some steel, a welder and a ruler
My ultimate upgrade path is to buy one of these kits, which go for $350-$400.

Rack.JPG
 

nthu9280

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2016
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San Antonio, TX
If you are near major metro area, just setup Craigslist alerts for Racks. Other source would be local ecyclers. You have to be patient for 24u and smaller ones but 42u comeup all the time.