Looking for suggestions on a home rack - cosmetic and cost effecient - UPS help as well?

thecoffeeguy

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Mar 10, 2016
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So, as i finalize my home build (which has been a blast and folks here have been tremendously helpful..!), need a few more pieces to finish off the build. The big one being a rack for my office.

What I plan to have in my rack:

Currently will have:
1. ESXi server in a 3U norco chassis with supermicro board and 128gb memory. Still working on my storage layout.
2. 24 port Cisco switch.
3. Would like to have some sort of 1U SSL VPN/Firewall/Router if possible.
4. Converting a tower server into a 2U NAS at some point.
5. Maybe a rackable UPS, if the cost is good?

That is my plan.
Looking for something that is good, not crazy expensive and also some what cosmetically appealing.

This is one I was looking at:

12U SmartRack Deep Rack Enclosure Cabinet (SR12UB) | Tripp Lite

Looks nice. I think the cost is OK, but that is a big part of why i wanted to ask here. Many folks here have knowledge and experience on other solutions as well. I am open to all suggestions.

And on one quick note, also looking for a UPS. How do i know how much of a UPS I need? Specific brand? Thinking I need between 10-20 minutes of power which will allow me to log in and shut my stuff down.

Thanks everyone.
Cheers,
Coffee
 

T_Minus

Build. Break. Fix. Repeat
Feb 15, 2015
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10-20m of power is a long time even for 1 server unless the ups has additional batteries connected.
If you really need a lot of run time then you could do something like I did and run multiple UPS units. 1 for your ESXI, 1 for your network and nas.

Racks are really cheap depending on your location on Craigslist or Ebay. In the San Fransisco Bay Area, and around Sacramento they're practically giving them away compared to what they cost new. (For full-size racks.) But you can likely find a deal on the smaller ones on ebay and Craigslist too if you're not in a hurry.
 

NetWise

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Jun 29, 2012
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If you have to login to shut things down, good Chance you won't be around when it needs to happen. If that's automated to go off a trigger, shouldn't take more than 5-6 minutes based on my experience. Drastically changes the UPS requirements....


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thecoffeeguy

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Mar 10, 2016
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hey guys. appreciate the feedback. Great to know on the UPS.

what UPS would you recommend, based on my settings up? I could start with one for now and always add later. This would just be to cover my ESXi boxes and NAS box, for now.

I'll look through craigslist and ebay for some chassis. Nothing fancy, but something 12U+ range and some what aesthetically appealing. :)
 

cesmith9999

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Mar 26, 2013
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Read @canta Ikea thread. I bet with the 2 * 2 post rack for $45 you could do something similar for you. system and make it melt into the furniture.

Chris
 

thecoffeeguy

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Mar 10, 2016
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Appreciate the feedback. I will take a look.
About the UPS, is there a way to calculate how much/large of one I need? Poking around on a few sites (cyberpower, APC, tripplite..) but not sure how to gauge what i need.

I appreciate the help.

COffee
 

lpallard

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Aug 17, 2013
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Appreciate the feedback. I will take a look.
About the UPS, is there a way to calculate how much/large of one I need? Poking around on a few sites (cyberpower, APC, tripplite..) but not sure how to gauge what i need.

I appreciate the help.

COffee
Can you get your hands on a "Kill-A-Watt" thing? If so then measure the power consumption during a normal server run. The best is to let the thing record cumulative energy usage for a period of time, then calculate what is the average power usage.

My main server consumes about 200W (280 peak) so I sized my UPS for 750VA which gives me according to APC about 24 minutes of runtime, but in real life its more 18 to 20 which is PLENTY enough to shutdown the server.

Like others have said, shutdown should be automated, and thats where a good UPS comes in, reporting the leftover runtime on batteries.
 

fractal

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Jun 7, 2016
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Some things to think about..

Where do you want to put it?

If you are putting it in a garage our out if sight then you want the biggest you can reasonably handle. A standard 6 ft cabinet is a nice size for the garage. I have several in my garage that I picked up from junk dealers.

If you are putting it under a table, inside the house, then the 12u you suggested may be a good choice. You will, however, quickly fill it. Converting existing systems to rack mount is difficult at best. Your common "tower" will be 4u when turned on its side. A 12u cabinet will be full with a rack UPS, a rack mount switch and a couple of your older systems on their side before you know it.

If you are putting it free standing in your office/lab, then 20u is a convenient size. I have one in my office that I bought from a surplus dealer. The top of the cabinet is the perfect height for a keyboard and monitor to type on when standing. I really like this size for a home office.

Rack mount equipment is rarely quiet. 1U rack gear is the worse. I have a 1u DL360 in the garage that is too loud even for the garage that I will be getting rid of. Quiet usually means low power since those itty bitty fans are loud. The ESXi server in my office has a 20 watt processor in a 1U case and it is quiet.