Server room installation, part 1

loocas | hardware,miscellaneous,technical | Monday, January 18th, 2010

Electricity Label

We finally got to the first stage of installing and prepping the server room this weekend. The first stage was to get electricity to the computers. The problem with this is, firstly, the power drain, then the network connection. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any other choice but to place the server with the DAS and the render slaves in a storage room, located on the ground floor in the building my studio is placed in (former flat). The room is great since the server and the running machines don’t bother anybody, but, it’s not properly air conditioned, it didn’t have any electricity power (except for the light) and it wasn’t connected or even remotely being able to be connected to the LAN switch.

I’ll deal with the air conditioning later, since it’s pretty damn cold here nowdays (below 5 degrees Celsius) and thus the temperature will be fine up til about April or so. But power was the first major issue. So this was the first step I had to take care of. I filed tons of paperwork, dealt with the local bureaus and finally hired the electricity gurus (pictured) to connect the storage room to my flat fuseboard. This presented several challenges. The first one was the power input. It had to be upgraded so that the fuses would sustain the higher power drain from the computers (both in the storage room and in the studio). Then we had to figure out how to connect the fuseboard, located about 20 meters behind three walls, to the storage room. The last bit will, yet again, be all about paperwork and bureaucracy. I’ll have to deal with that this week.

The second step will involve T-Mobile and their T-Systems (its subsidiary company, our internet provider) to connect the server’s switch to the local LAN switch, that is located in the underground level (the garage), also about 20 meters away. That’ll be another story and I still haven’t received the date the installation will be done, yet. But I’ll cover that as well, don’t worry. ;)

Anyways, I thought some might be interested in this whole process of “putting stuff together to run a small studio”, so I took quite a few photos during this first installation. :D All this took about 9 hours of continuous labor, by the way. And for those who understand electricity, the fuse box we had to install in the fuseboard was a 32 amp (upgraded from the standard 25 amp), 3 phases, 240V for the rack (it should sustain about 30KW take-off), or so I was told. :D

server_room_01.jpg server_room_02.jpg server_room_03.jpg server_room_04.jpg server_room_05.jpg server_room_06.jpg server_room_07.jpg server_room_08.jpg server_room_09.jpg server_room_10.jpg server_room_11.jpg server_room_12.jpg server_room_13.jpg server_room_14.jpg server_room_15.jpg server_room_16.jpg server_room_17.jpg server_room_18.jpg server_room_19.jpg server_room_20.jpg server_room_21.jpg server_room_22.jpg server_room_23.jpg

The fuseboard was alive! I wouldn’t even dare to undo the cover, let alone reconnect the cabling! Anyways, as I’ve said, this is only the first of several steps. I’m still missing a special type of a socket outlet in the server room for the rack, that should come in about a week or so. Then a complete electrical revision. Then some more paperwork. Then the LAN switch interconnection. And that should be it. We should be able to access the server and its data storage and the render slaves from the studio, 5 storeys away. Hopefully all will be done in two weeks, tops. I’ll keep you updated. ;)

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