Best Way to Move a Rack

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
31,884
Hey all,

I struggled a little bit with where to post this thread, as we don't have a servers / enterprise hardware subforum, but I figured I'd get the best audience here, as many of you with VM Lab hobbies have racks.

I'm going to ahve to move at the end of the month. I have an older Wright Line 34U rack in my basement. It has a couple of APC UPS:es, one 4U and one 2U server as well as a switch in it. There is also a PDU, a few shelf units and some other junk. The 4U server is full of drives and quite heavy.

I am going to wind up utilizing movers to move everything in the house, including this rack.

Is it generally OK to move racks with all the hardware in them, or is it better to take everything out and reassemble at the new location?

The thing is pretty damn heavy...

Appreciate any suggestions on the topic
 

Eulogy

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,268
If you didn't have stairs in the way, I'd move it loaded and be fine with that (I move racks of gear every day as part of my day job). The stairs make that very difficult though. I don't know that rack, but, standard racks with doors and sides -empty- weight a couple hundred pounds... adding in all the crap in there, yeaahhh. I'd probably disassemble it and use the opportunity to clean eveything and do a better cable job at the new place.
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,170
Big Internet companies I worked for would sometimes ship racks fully loaded, and roll them into datacenters, and it usually worked; of course, these were new boxes with basically empty drives. I'd personally unload the rack, move the computers with data I cared about myself, and rerack at the other end (well ok, I'm too cheap to have a rack, but you get the idea).
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
31,884
I appreciate your feedback.

I figured unloading the rack would be the better/safer approach, but I was hoping I could save myself the work :p
 

Nobu

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
5,829
Yeah, put them in boxes/crates or on a small pallet, and strap'em down. Make sure whoever moves them has someone helping so they don't get dropped.
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,170
If you want to save yourself the work, buy a new rack and new servers for the new location, and transfer data. Then wipe the old servers and sell them as-is where is, buyer unracks them. :)
 

Zarathustra[H]

Fully [H]
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
31,884
If you want to save yourself the work, buy a new rack and new servers for the new location, and transfer data. Then wipe the old servers and sell them as-is where is, buyer unracks them. :)

That's certainly the easiest method, but not so budget friendly :p
 

Eulogy

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,268
You COULD maybe try an appliance mover, but, I can't imagine your gear being super happy about that going up the steps.
 

wra18th

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
7,979
I moved from a second floor to another second floor. I had to move a 42U rack that was full to my new place. My buddy and I took 3 hours removing 5 computers/NAS, 3 UPS, 3 switches, KVM, monitor, cabling, PDU and shelves out and carried down the rack empty and naked. Was 225lbs like that. Fully loaded had to be 400lbs.

It is time consuming but necessary of you want to save your back or someone else's.
 

robijito123

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
125
Loaded racks have jacks with wheels that are easy with an elevator and flat surfaces. Stairs even with a stair climber dolly is prob pushing it for safe migration.
 

Bookmage

Gawd
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
671
Our datacenter used a big Appliance dolly to roll our rack into the freight elevator and rolled it into its new spot on a different level.... so envious our houses don't have elevators...

When I moved mine at home, I had stairs inside the house, steps outside the house, and then the moving truck/car to factor. So even if I got a big dolly that worked, there was no easy way to roll it.
and with stairs, it was easier to just un rack everything and let the movers do the heavy lifting.
The last thing I wanted was for the movers to drop the rack while going up the stairs or something and damaging the drives...

I moved my storage server myself and did a mix of pulling the drives separately and leaving them in depending on the server.

Moving in the future is the biggest reason, I'm consolidating to just drives and small Teeny/tiny/micro servers....
 
Top