1

I am building a little home network, and bought a 6U server rack. Right now, it's sitting in the attic, and I am trying to think how to best hang it up.

I am pretty new to this, and I am bit concerned about drilling anything in attic, as not to compromise the integrity of the structure.

The weight of the rack is about 20KG, currently. I am thinking it will be around 50-70 KG a few years down the line, as I add more stuff.

Any recommendations how to best hang it in, based on the picture below? I can provide more pictures if below doesn't make sense.

Thanks!

enter image description here

  • 4
    I'd be a bit concerned about cooling in the attic. Attics get hot because heat rises, and in the summer they get even hotter because no air conditioning and (usually) minimal ventilation. Servers generate heat, and are sensitive to overheating. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jul 14 at 2:10
  • I can confirm issues with cooling in the attic. it will get too hot. Also it gets annoying rather quickly to clime up there. And that was my experience with just one server. – anm767 Jul 14 at 4:01
  • I have researched this issue a lot, and heat/cold will not be a problem for me. First of all, I am in a very mild climate country. Then, my attic is "conversion ready". So I will be converting it into a room at a later date, which will make the issue even less of a problem – iBiryukov Jul 14 at 9:59
  • 2
    Attics don't get hot because heat rises. For one thing, it doesn't. Heated air rises, and that's not a factor here. They get hot because they're immediately adjacent to a huge, scalding asphalt heat sink. Even in mild climates it'll be 100 degrees up there at times. It'll also potentially be very humid. Maybe if it was insulated (with proper roof ventilation).... – isherwood Jul 14 at 13:00
  • Why does it need to be hung? Can't you put legs on it? It's hard to answer this question without a photo or a link. We have no idea how it mounts. – isherwood Jul 14 at 13:02
4

Last place I'd put one, as a network/wiring pro. Basements (off the floor/above flood levels) are good, attics not so much, and anywhere you plan to inhabit is usually a poor choice (the noise gets very tedious very quickly.) Thus, an attic that you think will be cool enough because you'll convert it to a room that you will use is still not a good choice.

Apart from the background temperature of the space on whatever a hot day is in your mild climate, have you considered how you will deal with the heat this will be pumping out continuously when you've loaded it up with 70 KG of stuff that uses power?

As for mounting it, either drill into the masonry wall and use appropriate masonry anchors and bolts, or put planks across the framing it's sitting next to and use lag bolts. If planks on the front of the framing would upset your finishing plans, mount a plank (roughly 37mm or 1.5 inch thick) between framing members to be behind the finish layer you plan, and get that finish layer (or a piece of plywood the same thickness as your planned finish layer) in place behind the rack, before mounting it.

| improve this answer | |
  • I agree with mounting lumber to the truss uprights. I would not modify those other than to run a few construction screws into them. Don't drill for lag screws or make any cuts. – isherwood Jul 14 at 13:15
  • 1
    I quadruple the "it's to hot in the attic" sentiments! Heat is the #1 enemy of computers. About the only way I'd consider putting it in the attic is if I had an AC duct nearby that I could tap into for a flow of nice ice-cold air in the summer directed directly into the bottom of the rack. Of course that would need to be thoroughly sealed off in the winter because you don't want to be pumping heat in there during the winter. – FreeMan Jul 14 at 13:22
  • @FreeMan Too MUCH heat is an enemy of computers. Google runs their server rooms at 80 degrees F to save on cooling costs. Servers don't last longer at 70 degrees than at 80. airpacinc.com/new-blog/bid/83313/… – George Anderson Jul 14 at 14:09
  • @GeorgeAnderson Google has minions carefully monitoring and maintaining 80° in their rack rooms. That is much different than 120°+ unmonitored in the attic where one tends to forget all about it until the software kicks in to slow things down or shut them down due to overheating - if one has temperature monitoring software running on the boxen to shut things down. Additionally, with the exception of extreme cold possibly interfering with the operation of mechanical hard drives, the colder and drier, the better. – FreeMan Jul 14 at 14:20
  • @FreeMan No disagreement here, attics are the worst place for servers as you rightly pointed out, they get extremely hot. My only point is you don't have to run them at 68 or 70. 80 degrees F is safe. – George Anderson Jul 14 at 14:40
0

All that wood is oversized (this is how buildings are designed), making 6mm holes for lag bolts, coach bolts, or structural screws will not compromise the structure significantly.

Others have suggested that it may be too hot in the attic, adding a vent to the roof will help, then adding a duct from the eaves to the server cabinet will then feed outside air to the cabinet which should keep the temperature in the cabinet down.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    While the concept of roof venting isn't new and random water ingress in to the house is generally considered a Bad Thing™ and methods for ensuring no water ingress are well known, water ingress expressly directed toward computer hardware is an Exceedingly Bad Thing™. Extreme care must be taken to ensure that any roof venting leading from a server rack directly outside is very waterproof. A small leak will take a fair bit of time before it has a negative impact on the house structure. A small leak will have rather immediate negative impact on computer infrastructure. – FreeMan Jul 15 at 16:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.