Question for those who work in big data centers

Fritz

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Apr 6, 2015
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Do you have dedicated rack build out people? I can see this being a specialized job with a skill set that goes beyond the typical IT dude. I've spent about 4 months getting mine where it needs to be and it's still not perfect. Along the way I ran into quite a few gotcha's. In the beginning I had no idea how difficult it was going to be. I've gained a fine appreciation for people who can do a professional built out, cabling included. :)
 

Patrick

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Dec 21, 2010
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I was talking to some installers the other day and they were saying most of the installs they do these days are fully integrated racks. As a result, usually they just had to install uplink ports. They said the ones that are not fully wired are the exact same so they know the cable lengths that need to be used for each rack type.

It is certainly a specialized skill set though. You can very easily tell a rack done by a professional install and one done by software engineers very easily.
 
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dba

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Feb 20, 2012
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I was talking to some installers the other day and they were saying most of the installs they do these days are fully integrated racks. As a result, usually they just had to install uplink ports. They said the ones that are not fully wired are the exact same so they know the cable lengths that need to be used for each rack type.

It is certainly a specialized skill set though. You can very easily tell a rack done by a professional install and one done by software engineers very easily.
Below, for example, is a pair of racks wired, in a hurry, by some of those software/computer people Patrick mentioned - which includes me. It's organized, but far from the lovely perfection you occasionally find in large-scale network wiring closets.

Perhaps it's the fact that network wiring doesn't change that often, while those of us who deploy servers to run software know that the whole thing will need to be completely redone all too soon.

BTW: These are 52 of those OpenRack servers from the other thread - 208 CPUs in total.

rack.jpg
 
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Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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We have operations guys that do labels and cables.
Usually we get vendors to do the initial install of equipment into racks.
Storage & unix racks nearly always are shipped complete, Intel servers not usually.

Problem for us is we are only ~160 racks in 2 x DC which is just not large enough to get the scale needed to have full time dedicated person or people. Our DC operations are only semi dedicated and provided by our hosting partner.

Also if you are in the US , companies like CDW will pre config racks before shipping.
 
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PigLover

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Jan 26, 2011
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We run some of the largest data centers in the US. Generally we contract out installs, and for the last two years have been rolling in fully integrated racks. We use an off-site integrator to rack/stack/cable the equipment, load the base software (hypervisor layer). They run extensive acceptance tests before palletizing and shipping full racks.

On-site is also contracted, but more and more it's limited to bolt down, EQ bracing, power and connection of the rack TOR to the data center network.

Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
 

wiretap

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Jul 14, 2015
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I don't work in a datacenter, but we do have several server rooms, and a lot of racks for various nuclear related equipment. We almost always buy pre-configured racks that are just dropped in, then hook in the uplinks. For totally new builds, we contract it, and then have our craft people do the cable hook-ups. Really, they're terrible at it.. it's embarrassing how bad most of our racks look, lol. (not hideous, but just bad enough to be embarrassing) There's one set of racks that does look good though, and that's all the neutron / core monitoring equipment. That's because GE-Hitachi did it, and we probably paid them $xx million for it. (no joke)
 
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Jerry Renwick

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Aug 7, 2014
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I don't have any data center, but I do know some installers. The other day, they told me that it was troublesome to cabling the racks.
 

Drewy

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Apr 23, 2016
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We have dedicated DC staff in the major DC's. They will rack and uplink commodity hardware but more exotic equipment such as Exadata or HANA will be installed and commissioned by the relevant vendor.