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Gain 7% More Space in a Hosting Rack

written by Calvin Hendryx-Parker on Wednesday August 10, 2011

PDUs in RackOur state-of-the-art colocation facility, Lifeline Data Center, charges us by the rack, which means we have a strong incentive to use the space in our racks  as efficiently as possible.

Considering we have 3 Power Distribution Units (PDUs) per rack, we looked at a way to regain the 3U (a U is a unit of measurement in a rack - and usually a server takes up one U) that they occupy in each rack.

After much investigation, we switched to Geist 0U PDUs as they cleverly sit behind the servers, on the back of the rack, hence saving up valuable space for our customers. While this works great, we ran into a compatibility problem between our new PDUs and our Dell racks as the Geist PDUs are 1/8 inch too wide and don't fit in the racks properly.

Dad's Rack Stand-offsWhat's the son of a machinist to do? Exactly that: call upon the family's expertise to get custom-made standoffs for the PDUs. They consist of a few pieces of steel with screws that hold the PDU to the frame without altering the rack.

Now we can fit more billable servers in our racks thanks to saving PDU space and installing more efficient PDUs. Thanks Dad!

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