Facing Issues with Rack Servers - Seeking Help and Advice


Hello Everyone

I hope this post finds you all well. I am reaching out to our wonderful community today because I am encountering some challenges with rack servers and I am in need of your expertise and guidance.

Recently, I set up a rack server system in my home/office, aiming to enhance my computing capabilities and create a more efficient network infrastructure. However, I have been facing a few issues that have left me scratching my head. I am hoping that some of you may have experience with rack servers or possess the knowledge required to help me troubleshoot these problems.

Here are the specific problems I've been encountering:

  1. Cooling and Ventilation: My rack server room seems to get quite hot, and I am concerned about maintaining optimal temperature levels to ensure the equipment's longevity and performance. Has anyone successfully implemented cooling solutions for rack server rooms? Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Power Management: I have been struggling with power management for my rack servers. I am unsure about the best practices for efficiently distributing power, as well as dealing with power surges or outages. If any of you have dealt with similar situations, I would love to hear about your power management strategies or any reliable surge protection solutions you can recommend.
  3. Cable Management: With a growing number of servers in my rack, I find it increasingly challenging to keep the cables organized and maintain an efficient layout. I am interested in learning about cable management techniques that have proven successful for others. What cable management solutions or tools do you recommend?
  4. Noise Reduction: Rack servers [] can be quite noisy, which can be disruptive to the overall environment, especially if they are located in a shared living or working space. Have any of you found effective ways to reduce the noise generated by rack servers? I would be grateful for any suggestions or advice you can offer.

If any of you have encountered similar issues or possess knowledge in these areas, I would greatly appreciate your insights and recommendations. Your expertise can go a long way in helping me overcome these challenges and ensure the smooth operation of my rack server system.

Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. I am grateful to be part of such a supportive and knowledgeable community.


  • Lambdaben
    Lambdaben ✭✭✭
    5 Likes 5 Awesomes First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls

    Hello @devinmarco!

    As a former Sys Admin, I'm going to try and answer your questions as best questions as I can.

    1. Most server rooms have a dedicated A/C unit to keep the servers running at optimal temperatures. Depending on how big your server closet is, you can try to get a portable AC unit to help with the temperatures. Because I live in Texas, my server closet is currently 92 degrees cause my initial solution didn't work. So if you figure something out, can you let me know😅
    2. You can purchase a CyberPower Systems GreenPower Server UPS, any rack mountable solutions that Micro Center carries, or one of EATON's many solutions for battery backups. I would recommend getting dedicated power to your server room by having an electrician come and add a dedicated breaker so that the power is separate from any other plugs so you don't have to worry about someone plugging in a vacuum and shutting everything down.😭
    3. Cable management will depend on your rack, my Star-Tech 42U came with cable management loops to make my cabling a breeze, but results may vary. I would recommend buying lots of Velcro cable loops.
    4. Noise reduction kind of depends on your room, if it is a dedicated closet, like I have, you can add Dynamat sound barrier, but that requires you to cut and replace your drywall. Otherwise you may need to get creative on a solution to sound dampen your system.

    Hope this helps!

  • SC3
    SC3 ✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Likes First Comment Name Dropper

    I've seen small setups, but not an expert.

    1. +1 on @devinmarco advice: Portable A/C and/or air duct to remove trapped heat. If many racks, consider a hot aisle/cold aisle layout.
    2. +1 on a circuit (breaker) dedicated to a small server room, and PDU to control and monitor power. Larger setup has each rack on two separate circuits, to avoid full rack power-ups that can trip one circuit. Another good UPS is APC Smart line, which are server grade with longer runtime.
    3. Rackmount cable organizer/raceways will help. Most common is the cable ring type used with cable ties.
    4. Linus Tech Tips has a video titled "This is a disaster - Server Room Vlog" with many links to DIY sound insulation tips and materials (e.g. SONOpan, Rockwool).

    Good luck.

  • Vaganza
    Vaganza ✭✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Likes 5 Insightfuls 5 LOLs

    I have designed many MDF rooms over the years.

    1. If you do not have a dedicated Duct with dampers, a portable unit will get you by for a while, see if you can find one that sends the condensate out the exhaust and that the exhaust exits the building. This will eliminate the need for a drain. Even with dedicated duct, I still prefer a mini split, it is completely separate from the main system and in many cases is actually easier and less expensive than getting ductwork run even for a portable unit. You'll need to get a heat load calculation and make sure you get plenty to cover growth. Also maintain a "Hot side" and a "Cool Side" trying to put the cooling in the back of the racks is counter productive as your servers are going to pull cooler air from the front and dump it in the back. If there is a way to exhaust the back of the rack, that helps too.
    2. Dedicated circuits are really best for your UPS, for a small 1-2 rack room I get an electrician to put in 2 circuits with quad plugs, typically I have them mount a box either on the rail above the rack or directly behind it. Get a UPS or 2 in the bottom of the rack and a pair of PDU (power distribution units) essentially an outlet strip that mounts in the rack rails. Place them about 1/3 and 2/3 on the way up the rack
    3. Vertical and Horizontal cable management is great for sending network cables from switches to servers or other equipment. In the rack I tend to run power on one side and data on the other vertically.
    4. Even adding a layer of plywood around the room gives you ability to wall mount things and add quiet to the room.
    5. Plan your racks. When I build racks, i place my devices with at least 1U of space between devices, this allows for better airflow and servicability. A visio diagram can be helpful when laying them out.

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