Home Lab 2.0 – Racking

For the past year most, if not all of my home lab has been packed into boxes. First in storage, then in shipping to our new home. This has made it tricky to do much (apart from sorting out my parents’ kit). Now we’ve finally settled I can rebuild it however rather than just bolting it all back together again it’s time for a rethink, and of course upgrades!

The first issue was where to build it. It used to all live in a 48U rack I was kindly given by my old work. Handily it breaks down to four uprights, a top and a bottom so getting it into position is not too bad. The spare room has full height cupboards with sliding doors that we could put the rack in, then when we have guests I can shut down all unnecessary kit and close the doors. A match made in heaven, apart from the small issue of about a quarter of an inch clearance. Nuts.

We needed a plan B, but what? I could just heap the stuff up on the floor, but that’s hardly ideal, and racks are not exactly cheap and I’d rather sink the cash into new hardware than metalwork. So step forward the LackRack from eth-0!

I’d seen this a while ago, and it should do the job of keeping everything neat and tidy without costing me the earth. I had a Lack table that hadn’t survived shipping from the UK, but dropping it into the wardrobe showed it would just fit. There is a shelf in the wardrobe, three Lack tables will fit underneath it stacked on each other and I need three tables to house all the kit!

After dining on meatballs at the Swedish furniture emporium known as Ikea the result was this:

IMG_1954 IMG_1955

As you can see it fits just with a gnat’s whisker to spare. The longer table will take servers, the top ones will take the various bits of network kit and power distribution. The kit will all have to face to the left to stop the door catching on patch cables, but it should do the trick nicely.

the legs are hollow which means I may need to add some reinforcement to take the weight of the kit, but I’ll see how that goes as I start to add the kit. Who knows, I might even manage more than one post a month!

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