Good bye old friend. Welcome, new chick.
I’ve been downgrading from my 14U rack which I purchased about 20 years ago. It was too deep (26inch) and I no longer needed 14U space. The only good thing about it is that its material thickness is 3mm. Nowadays, racks are made from either 1.5mm or 2mm steel.
I suppose this is one of those cases where the saying applies. You know, like older stuff are made sturdier. This appears to be in fact the case for server racks.
Below is my old rack, Middle Atlantic 14U with 3mm thick post.
You won’t find anything with 3mm thickness easily nowadays.
Now, the new chick, Penn Elcom 12U R8500-12 with 1.5mm material thickness.
Which goes nicely under my desk – This was the primary reason for to me to go 12U. Its depth is 18 inches which is very shallow for a server rack. This also means I won’t be able to use sliding rack rails because the minimum length I’ve seen for a pair of sliding rack rail is 18 inches.
Well, you may see some contradictions on what I’ve just stated above. The rack depth is 18 inches, and the shortest rack rail I’ve seen is also 18 inches. So, why not?
Well, the rack depth, the whole thing from front and back is 18 inches. And, as you may see, the actual rack depth doesn’t actually start from front. Where you would screw in is actually located a bit deeper. This makes actual rack depth less than 17 inches. Thus, no sliding rack rails can be used.
Of course, other forms of rack support can still be used.
Those guys, seen above, has numerous nicknames. I call them dumb rack rail because quite frankly it’s what they are. It’s basically a pair of metal sheet bent at 90 degrees to provide the most rudimentary weight support for a rack unit.
While I call those dumb, those provide the easiest way to provide support for a rack unit. It’s simple and it works. Its major downside is that you have to sacrifice a U of space underneath. Some other types make it so that you’d have to sacrifice a U of space above. Either way, you have to sacrifice a U of space.
And here we are. This 12U rack unit contains two computers in 2U, two 2U drawers, and an 1U UPS. 2U of space had to be sacrificed for the dumb rack rails. One’s used for the top PC. The other is used for the bottom UPS. A UPS is freaking heavy. You have to use either sliding rails or those dumb rails.
This setup allows me to upgrade the UPS to 2U height if required.
I’ve closed up majority of gaps with blank rack plates, and the rack itself is pretty self-contained with both sides closed up. This is completely intentional on my part as I wanted to create a clean looking setup.
This is pretty much it. One may think this set up takes up a lot of space, but it has two PCs and two drawers along with a UPS. Realistically speaking, the size is about the same as two full tower cases.
Now, there is something else I’d like to show you.
The RGB fans are pseudo. You can’t control the colors. It’s static. But it does give a nice sensation of having RGB if that’s your fetish. The fans are Aerocool Frost 8. I purchased these from Amazon UK for about 10 CAD each.
See you around.