Our Server Rack Tour March 2023 [YouTube Release]

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:stopwatch: Time Stamps :stopwatch:
00:00 :arrow_forward: Office Rack Tour
01:56 :arrow_forward: DMARK
02:36 :arrow_forward: Main Rack & Servers
06:45 :arrow_forward: Any Questions

I’m only part way through the video, the part where you took the side off the rack… It should be noted that rack depth has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Used to be a 26 inch deep rack (about 22 to maybe 24 between the rails) was fine, now you need MUCH deeper. Even broadcast TV equipment needs these deep racks for equipment, probably due to the increased merge between broadcast TV and IT.

Also rail design has changed. Broadcast is still mosly tapped rails with #10-32 threads, and IT is pretty much square holes now. Mix the two from an old TV plant and it is “interesting” (read pain in the backside).

And look out for old telecommunications racks, many are 21 inches wide (hole to hole) not 19 inches. Mostly those have died a long time ago, but if you are shopping at an auction or something, just be aware that not all racks are the same.

And finally, if you are buying racks with tapped holes, be careful which thread they are using before you buy screws. Seeing a lot of “discount” stuff coming with #12-24 screws. Buy good screws, you won’t regret it. Winstead makes nice hardened rack screws and most of them have the threads turned down on the end which helps you get them located when supporting heavy equipment with one hand and trying to get some screws in with the other. Any broadcast engineers reading this will know exactly what I mean.

Also, because this happened to us at work… The cloud is great, until it isn’t!

We had an entire day where no email, no phones, half the campus couldn’t even log in. All because someone crashed into a pole and took out the fiber that our ISPs were using for our supply (yes 2 ISPs).

In theory they contracted with a second company and brought a fiber in the other side of the campus, but I have a feeling it still all runs on Spectrum fibers and gets back down to a single point of failure on a pole nearby.

This warning is what Tom is referring to above, keep enough services locally to still allow some of the work to get done. Having Microsoft hold everything “in the cloud” is fine most of the time, but do you want “most of the time” when there are a lot of factors that you can’t control in the middle? My answer would be NO, and so far I’m still able to do that for my area.

I think it depends on the cloud you use as well. There are plenty of companies that try to convince buyers they are equal to AWS or Azure. They are nowhere close. Also, if you run your applications in a single location (cloud or on-prem) that is just poor design if you can’t afford to be down. DR does come at a cost and needs to be a business decision. Overall, I think cloud still has more pros than cons.