How to Move a Server Rack

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How to Move a Server Rack

Server furniture is usually bulky and heavy. Special durable enclosures are produced from metal sheets. The weight of a big 48U cabinet reaches several hundred pounds. Smaller models are easier to move. Yet, this is the case when they are empty. Add the weight of the hardware, and you’ll get almost unloaded furniture pieces. This is why server cabinet relocation is a complex task for professional employees.

System administrators only turn to server cabinet relocation as a last resort.

Heaviness is not the only problem faced while transporting a server rack enclosure.

Challenges during Server Cabinet Relocating

System administrators face the following challenges when dealing with server furniture relocation:

  • Office space – Not every office is capable of accommodating server cabinets. Moreover, if you have a big one, usually, compact solutions are chosen for placement in offices. In addition, wall-mount solutions are frequently chosen to achieve the best ergonomics of the premises.
    Big and spacious models are more suitable for separate data centers. Thus, consider the point when choosing a suitable room.
  •  Connectivity – When the staff delivers server systems to a new facility, it turns out that sockets and outlets are incompatible. So, they have to buy additional wires, PDUs, and other accessories. Make sure all the technological holes, accessories, and services
    tools are compatible with your system.
  • The safety of transport – Is transport equipped with all the fasteners and lifting straps? Server furniture requires thorough fastening during transportation. Thus, server cabinet transportation must be entrusted to specialize, experienced contractors only. Do not try to save money and do it yourself or hire low-quality companies.
  • Data backup – Remember to create backups of all the information before relocation. It doesn’t matter how confident you are and how trusted a contractor is; no one can foresee all the unforeseen circumstances. So never risk data and create copies.
  • Ventilation at the new address – Suppose the staff neglects a preparatory step and does not examine a new premise thoroughly. In that case, it may turn out that ventilation works improperly or the room can’t maintain the required environmental conditions. In addition, when yees face problems adjusting fans and other accessories when setting up a ventilation system.
  • Unexpected errors – Incorrect unplugging, system component disconnection, or shakes during transportation may cause unexpected errors.

Guide on How to Plan Server Relocation

You should foresee many points to ensure smooth and secure server cabinet transportation. So here’s a detailed guide on how to move a server rack.

Create an inventory list

Before you get down to system and furniture disassembly, list all the system components. This is the first step of the planning process. This will help compare the number of equipment pieces after transportation and quickly navigate after changing the location.

Back up the data

Make sure to save all the important information and create copies on cloud storage to ensure the complete safety of data.

Consider how much it will cost.

Look through the offers of moving companies and compare the price lists. Estimate an approximate cost of relocation, taking into account average service prices. Compare the offered terms and pick a suitable moving team. Make sure to check compliance with transportation standards. For example, ask whether trucks have fasteners and lifting straps for moving server racks. Find a license. It will be good if someone of your acquaintances can recommend some contractors.

Determine which equipment goes first

Disassemble the server system and pack equipment according to the order of transportation. Thus, think about the order. Answer the following questions:

    • What hardware should be delivered first?
    • How many times will the vehicle transport devices?
    • What packages to use for certain types of hardware?

Labeling is a helpful technique at this stage. Thus, you won’t get any tools or devices lost. Here, you’ll be done with devices and their wrapping.

Ensure a proper cooling environment

The last point is to prepare a new premise for data center arrangement. Check how building ventilation works and consider the layout and server rack allocation. When the layout is ready, create a map of fans and other cooling tools. Consider cold and hot aisles.

Plan the wiring and cabling

Think about the way to route wires and cords to connect system components to PDUs and power sockets.

Find a suitable place for the rest of the IT equipment

Finally, you should leave space in the room for hardware to rest after transportation.

Possible Dangers during Transportation

The transportation process requires taking certain precautionary measures. Experienced movers are aware of them. Yet, it is better to control the process yourself.

    • at least three movers should be engaged in the transportation process;
    • only flat surfaces are used to avoid damage or overturning;
    • if you use an elevator to lift or descend the cabinet, a pallet should be used to support the furniture piece from the bottom;
    • a ramp must be tilted no more than 10 degrees;
    • doorways are too small to fit server cabinets;
    • plug out all the cords and wires. Make sure that the system is completely switched off.

Emergency switching off can lead to system malfunction.

Server rack relocation is a responsible process that requires particular attention, preparation, and taking measures to foresee all the possible challenges. The main thing about transporting server furniture and hardware is to find a trusted professional contractor that guarantees the highest level of services and security. When the company is found, it’s time to disassemble the system and prepare hardware for moving. Equipment should be carried up under the control of system administrators.

How to Move a Server Rack