Posts Tagged ‘Racks’

Version 7.1 of the TCR rack diagram

Monday, June 30th, 2008

This is more or less how its gonna be. All the bits are now in place, half the rack stuff has been put in place already, the last stuff goes in coming Vriday.

One of the biggest oversights we made was with power requirements. If you want redundant power for a lot of servers, you need to make sure you have a LOT of plugs, enough PDU’s, and plenty of PSU to back it all up. We didnt, partly due to time contraints, budget, but also short-sightedness, and my reliance on people that I, to put it bluntly, shouldnt have relied on to do the math.

Above pic also available this time is very high res, so you can see all the exact server types. These Visio stencils are very detailed, I love em!

Computer Room Cleanup and re-cabling Pics and Movies

Monday, June 30th, 2008

So a few weeks ago, we spent our Saterday doing major recable work on the new Technical Computer room (TCR) in the new location, in preperation for our Big Bang services move coming up on the 5th of July (it was delayed from the 22nd))

So thise pics and videos are a few weeks old now, but who cares.

PICTURES (scroll down for movies)

IMG_3522 Not enough room to neatly get all the fat KVM cables sorted, so later I actually extended the room for the cables to 2U, and used the cable guide rail only for ethernet cables and power.

IMG_3521 2U above the KVM  not just being used for those fat cables, but also for the Avocent Switchview box, and its adapter, that is attached to the HP KVM box. Advocent KVM/IP hardware rocks by the way. If you have a non-IP KVM swich, consider the Switchview IP 1020, it makes life so much easier and they are super simple to set up!

IMG_3520 Too many cables, not enough room. Once we are done with the move, I am gonna seriously tie this shit down. Meanwhile I curse those HP 10K racks for not having ANY room at the sides for large cable bundles. Oh.. not to mention ANYTHING to attach a tierib to!

IMG_3519 The lineup of servers. The missing one was at the old location being synced up with another FTP box.

IMG_3514 The master at work 😉

IMG_3513 Not easy to work with all the cables all over the place.

IMG_3512 The patch panel guys where not done yet as you can see.

IMG_3511 Hello!

IMG_3508 Mustafa putting some of the servers into cold storage. You wouldn’t believe the kind of hardware we will end up putting into storage cause we have no immediate use for it!

IMG_3507 This is what happens when you dont move your servers professionally. We dont have the budget for it, so that is our exuse. Servers where fine, though I would not recommend this.

IMG_3506 Carting around servers.

IMG_3548 So very little room to work with. Look at the space at the sides, notice the PDU, then imagine it being full of servers.  See my point?

IMG_3547 So here we decided to move some servers over to the middle rack. This is partly to do with the fact that I discovered we dont have nearly enough power connectors in these racks to fill them.

IMG_3545 I havent been back there since, I really hope they cleared these bundles up now.

IMG_3544 I hate loose cables like that.

IMG_3538 HP-UX on a 9000 box. Very old, but still used. Hosts a warehouse management system, all terminal based.

IMG_3537 The proud admin of the HP box.

IMG_3534 Richard wasnt very usefull during our work, so he caught up on project admin 😉


A lot of engineers in a small space. This movie gives you an idea of the space 🙂

Me working on the cables. All the cables all over the floor was half the point of tackling this place, what a mess.

Me working on getting the KVM set up. The little box is the Avocent IP View 1020

The most important element of our productivity right there!

All the “temporary” plugs and cables finally being cleared out. I wonder how many admins out there wish they had the time or the downtime to do the same and really clean house.

Overview of our LAN and WAN racks.

Making slow but steady progress on the cables.  3 ours later it would look very diffferent!

Labling ALL of your cables on both ends means you can accuractly document what hooks up to what from A-Z. Doing the initial labeling though is a pain, so this is where our “certified labeler”  came in 😉

The amount of old hardware our IT department has in stock is just crazy. They dont know what to do with it all! We should have a CRT yardsale or something. Anyone need a Lexmark multifunctional? The IBM xseries 336 being stored here are only a fraction of the hardware we will be storing.

Its 2 am and the end of our scheduled downtime. Clearing up the last stuff and wiping the servers off, and turning em all back on. Hooked up to the new UPS, we could finally have them ALL on without burning out the old grid. The best bit of all was we managed to clear almost all cables from the floor.

Datacenter Move post 4

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Youtube videos are worth a thousands words, so I will let them do the talking.

Progress TCR Move May27 part 1 (the old location)

Progress TCR Move May27 part 2 (the new location)

What Mustafa thinks of IBM rackmount kits:

And some pics from the last 3 days:
(Click for larger versions)

IBM xseries 336, bout 3 years old now

ServeRAID 6M controller (in the PCI slot bay). Its IBM branded but its basically an Adaptec.
This comes out of one of the 2 xseries 336 servers that, together with the EXP400 shelf, served as a Windows 2003 cluster. The ServeRAID controllers are needed to provide failover control of the shared disk shelf.

Mainboard of an xseries 336, with the PCI card bay/thing removed.  The blue bracket at the top is where usually an RSA-II management card would be sitting, but this one doesnt have one 🙁

ServeRAID 6M removed from PCI bay of the 336 server

The rack is slowly emptying. I remember when I was building it all up, 3 years ago! Check it out

Installing windows on an IBM xseries 336. Its been a while. I noticed the IBM Serveguide CD has a few more options now.

Picture I needed to have to illustrate where to connect everything.

Ready to move to new location


Not the most ideal way of moving servers, but its better than nothing. At least they are softer  here than in the back of the car.

Richard, our project manager, trying to get more work in.

Temporary cabling 😉

Its slowly growing

They are not done with the rack interconnects, damnit. I cant finish my patching like this.

Our new firewall cluster

I love the blue glow of the console. Kinda wierd to have that out-of-place IBM in there, squashed between the HP.s.  The cable rail for the server is different than HP aswell, so that will be fun to cable.

Moved some servers around, getting to our final config now.

WAN comms rack in the new location

LANcoms rack in the new location

Khalid on servicedesk duty

Gertjan is helping us decomission


Mustafa hard at work decomissioning servers

A lot of servers where decommissioned today, these are all basically being scrapped.

Videos of serverrooms and progress report

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

So I havent posted about our Datacenter move in a while.

Well we are starting to pick up the pace now, all the new servers at the new location have been set up, and various other teams are now installing their stuff on there.

We are now getting into decomissioning more and more servers from the old server rooms. Here are two videos of rooms as they were 2 weeks ago.

Old Datacenter 1 from Robert Kloosterhuis on Vimeo.
(I focus on one of the comm pc’s for a while, as the mouse was moving just a minute or so before I filmed this, someone was working on the box remotely, and I was hoping to capture it )

Old Datacenter 2 from Robert Kloosterhuis on Vimeo.

The pics below show some of the servers, or lack thereof (gaps), as we are starting to take the first ones out




Ready to be disposed of.

I had Mustafa looking at ways to make some ghost-based images of some of the servers, just in case something happened during the move. He has a version of Bart’s modular Boot disk running there, allowing very easy to configure dos-based network booting.

In clearing out the office, I also found some interesting items 😉


This nicely complements my collection 😉
All I miss now is the NT4 and 2008 resource kits!