The Hosting Solution Has Arrived

Back in January, I asked for suggestions for dedicated hosting. After reading the responses and doing my own research, I decided to go a different route. A new quad-core Xserve arrived a couple of weeks ago, and we went to install it last night but ran into a physics puzzle.

Xserve 1

Hurricane Electric (as best I can tell) does not offer four-post racks in a shared cabinet. That is, we'd have to rent a full rack to get rear support hardware. This is a challenge because an Xserve is a full-depth machine and not all that light.

We could try to wing it with a half-depth shelf, but it just doesn't seem like something you want to do with a $3,000 piece of hardware. So we're trying to come up with another solution. It sounds like a full rack is somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000 per month, but I could be way off on that.

Xserve 2

The other challenge is that the Xserve doesn't completely fit in the cabinets that Hurricane Electric has. In other words, if we bolt the front end in, the back hangs too far out to close the door. I think we can negate this a bit in a four-post configuration by simply mounting the Xserve on the rails and letting it sit a few inches forward.

Another option is to a find a separate facility that accommodates the Xserve form factor and is reasonably priced, but I'm not sure where to start on that front.

Part of the reason I'm mentioning this is tracking down hosting solutions and hardware, transitioning services over, and doing the actual installation takes a fair bit of time, and I haven't had time to update Cocoa Blogs. I apologize for that, and regular updates will resume as soon as this is worked out.

If anybody has suggestions for how we can make this work, that would greatly speed the process along.
Design Element
The Hosting Solution Has Arrived
Posted May 13, 2007 — 6 comments below


Mayo — May 13, 07 4113

You might be able to find some sort of moded rails that could fit mid-post mount. I'm not sure how many boxes you need to fit in, but a full rack seems a waste for single 1U box (no matter how cheap or expensive you can get a rack for).

It might be worth finding a facility that has 1/2 or 1/4 racks/cabinets. It's a regular 4 post rack, but it's split into 2 or 4 with separate doors and all. Just make sure you specify that you require a full-length rack when you ask for a quote, so that you get the full 30" depth to fit the box in.

I can't help you with locating facilities as I don't know anything in the Bay area, but if you want to ship the box up to Vancouver I know several facilities, or I could even put in in my own rack :) (now wouldn't that be nice, hehehe)

detla — May 13, 07 4114

Apples recomendation

Charles — May 14, 07 4115

Ah, this is a time to think outside the box. If the door won't clear the back of the server, two obvious solutions occur to me:

1. Mount the XServe really high on the rack, higher than the top of the door.
2. Cut out part of the door.

Tom Donovan — May 14, 07 4116 makes extension brackets for telco racks that I have used with a slew of Xserves.

Look for 2-post conversion kits, and make sure to check the measurements!

Nat — May 17, 07 4131

Check out Digital Forest. I'm not crazy about their shared hosting, but their colocation is tops, and they have a ton of experience with xserves, to the extent of sending some design advice Apple's way:

DF isn't the cheapest, but their pricing's reasonable, and they're highly reliable. TidBITS has used them for years, among other Mac luminaries.

Chris — Jan 08, 10 7087

Hurricane Electric has new, deeper cabinets at their Fremont 2 Facility. I think they can take up to 36" (depth) servers with standard width...
You could check that out.

(inb4 this is an old post)


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