My main motivation for starting this thread is that I wanted some feedback from users who have made the leap and rack mounted their home setup… especially users for whom noise had to be taken into consideration. I’d like to know the pros and cons… whether there’s anything you wished you’d known going in? Is Reverberative, low frequency noise more of an issue than just using desktop cases? I also have a few questions that don’t really warrant their own threads.
You don’t have to specifically address any of what is written below, as any input is appreciated.
My current setup is a bit of a hodge podge, spread out over the floor of a small loft space above my bedroom.
My two main servers are currently in Fractal Design XL R2 cases.
Primary Server - running Proxmox, and all my various LXCs. I plan to swap the server into a front loading 24 bay, 4u case. I want enough bays so that I can connect the pool from my Backup Server directly, or add new disks when I want to create a new pool.
Backup Server - running TrueNAS. Used just for backing up my Primary Server. I plan to swap this server into a cheaper 4u case, with 15 internal 3.5" bays, which should be more than enough for the 8x 3.5" disks the server currently has.
pfSense - running on a Lenovo TS140. I’m thinking about doing a case swap to a 2u case as the TS140 uses an ATX PSU that has the fan positioned at the rear, so cooling should be fine.
HPE 1920s 24 port switch - It’s actaully in my bedroom at the moment but the plan is to move it to the loft eventually.
APC SmartUPS 1500i - because, well, I need a UPS. It would be nice to have this on a shelf in the rack but it’s not essential… I was thinking about putting a piece of MDF board at the bottom, between the rails, in order to avoid paying rackmount shelf prices, and it would also give me a little bit more height to play with.
I also have the following which I don’t want to rack mount but would like to connect to the UPS when the need arises.
- An HP Microserver Gen8 - just sitting around (as I think the CPU is faulty).
- Another TS140 - Because the price was too good to pass up.
All of the above is spread out across the floor, on various pieces drawing board / old shelf / chopping block that’s was pain in the arse to clean… in order to keep them off the carpet (which isn’t ideal but I gotta work with what I have).
So I’m thinking of consolidating as much as I can into a server rack but I have a few limitations to work around. First and foremost being that I won’t be able to use anything larger than 18u, which is why I’ve set my sights on the StarTech 4POSTRACK18U. The second major constraint is that, as the loft is above my bedroom, noise is an issue… especially reverberative noise. Which is why at the moment, my Primary Server is standing on 4 Sorbethane hemispheres (which are amazing). Which do an acceptable job by taking the noise from “I can still hear it through these ear plugs, how am I meant to sleep?!” to “Is that the server I can hear or just the blood in my ears?”.
Has anyone got any experience dealing with reducing the reverberative, low frequency noise from their racks that travels through the floor? I’m looking at the possibility of using Sylomer but it would mean putting the rack on some kind of platform…. Which reminds me!
1a. Would the little screw down feet, that keep the rack from moving, be strong enough to jack the rack up by about 5mm for a short period of time?… just long enough for me to slip the Sylomer platform into place between the casters.
In regards to the possible 2u pfSense system, and my 1u HPE switch… given the short depth of the 2u case, is it possible / or would it be a bad idea to mount the switch to the back of the rack (behind the 2u firewall)? The switch ventilates out either side and has a solid rear… just like me.
Has anyone tried enclosing their open rack? I’d like to know whether it helps with noise but my main concern is with potential cooling. On hotter days, I use an AC unit to keep the loft cool enough but I’m just wondering whether I could put panels on the side of the rack, a large diameter exhaust hose out the back (and out the window), and just have a great big box fan pointed at the front…