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Rack mounting six packs of MacPro

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John Heagy
Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 8:40:44 pm

The new MacPro is certainly a powerful device but Apple couldn't have designed a computer harder to mount in a rack if they tried. The Mini looks purpose built for rack mounting compared to the new MacPro.

We have a 14 machine Episode cluster made up of 8 core Xserves that is plenty fast, but I'd guess would be twice as fast with 14 of these new MacPros.

I'm dying to see what Sonnet and the like come up with to rack mount these.

Lining them up in a row on a shelf would make it hard to access the back and would need quite a lot of headroom for all that hot rising air. Laying them down with external fans across the back to draw air front to back might work. You would need space to reach in to access the cables and power. In the end it would take up far less space than our Xserves but is not an out of the box solution as far as mounting goes.

John


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Michael Hadley
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:20:39 pm

From the demo, it shows they actually rotate 180 degrees or more to expose the i/o ports. Although you'd have to allow some play in your cabling. Not sure how that will work. But maybe it grinds coffee, too?


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Craig Seeman
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:21:03 pm

If you look at wine racks you can get some design inspiration






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Craig Seeman
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:26:12 pm

Or maybe this.





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John Chay
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:27:17 pm

Plugging in cables would be a mess.


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Craig Seeman
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:36:39 pm

They'd be accessible without having to spin the thing around though. You could get a good cable management system so they're not all hanging lose. Obviously you'd want a much sturdier strap (metal support).

I'd think ideally the key needs might be:
On the side for proper air flow and efficient use of space.
Open to have access to the cables which would be on the side rather than back or front.

If you have them upright you then have to worry about clearance for the air flow and the cables, either back or front, are going to be awkward.



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Walter Soyka
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 1:17:36 am

Craig, I wonder if mounting the new Mac Pro sideways will cause an airflow problem.

An upright Mac Pro tube gets a cooling boost from convection, with hot air naturally rising up and out of the thermal core like a chimney. A sideways-mounted Mac Pro tube might throw too much heat at the top-most component, plus it would lose convection, putting the entire burden of venting the hot air on the fan.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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John Heagy
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 1:12:29 am

I like the horizontal approach but with breakout panels at the back so you plug everything into the Mac then slide it in. All the connections would be present at the back. The last trick would be the on/off button which would need a front button connected to a lever contraption much like the Mini cases have.

Any device connected would also need to be rack mounted like the Promise SanLink in this case. These could be grouped together separately or under each row in an alternating fashion.

Looking forward to building my own Warp core.

John


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Chris Harlan
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 2:46:45 am

I just completely LMAO when I saw that picture!


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John Chay
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:24:33 pm

My guess is a shelving system with the shelves being made of metal grate so that the computers can suck air from the bottom.

Since they are a smaller I'm assuming you can fit a lot more computers into a smaller space.

I don't think laying them down is a good idea since the power button and cord outlets are on the side.


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Tim Vaughan
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 9:40:49 pm

The new server room:



A Mobile Server Room:


Tim
Apple XRAID, XServe, 2008 2x3 GHz Quad-Core MacPro, Macbook Pro, XSAN, Dell Studio xps PC's
FCP Studio (7), AVID Media Composer, Adobe Production Premium, Maxon Cinema 4d, AJA Kona 3, Flanders Scientific Monitors, Panasonic HPX250's, Kessler Crane, Glidecam.....
Beer fridge fully loaded.


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John Chay
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 10:09:40 pm

You're onto something.


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Douglas K. Dempsey
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 14, 2013 at 11:42:40 pm

Think of Doc Brown loading a plutonium canister into the Deloreon, 1985 version ...

Doug D


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Oliver Peters
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 2:15:16 am

Of course, by stacking vertically, you are venting hot air to the shelf above. Not ideal either. My guess is that Apple does not intend for these to be rack-mounted at all.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 2:32:26 am

And more on redesign:

http://jonyiveredesignsthings.tumblr.com

;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 2:36:24 am

[Oliver Peters] "Of course, by stacking vertically, you are venting hot air to the shelf above. Not ideal either."

Build hats and boots, closed on three sides and open (with forced ventilation) on the fourth, rotated 180 degrees from each other? You could force it to draw cold air from the front of the rack and exhaust hot air out the back. Of course this is naive speculation and I have no idea how much air you'd have to move or what else you'd have to do make this work reliably.


[Oliver Peters] "My guess is that Apple does not intend for these to be rack-mounted at all."

We are talking about the company that kept an otherwise perfectly rackable design un-rackable with those goofy ears for a decade.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Oliver Peters
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 4:09:51 am

[Walter Soyka] "We are talking about the company that kept an otherwise perfectly rackable design un-rackable with those goofy ears for a decade."

Of course, there's nothing magical about the cylindrical design other than size reduction and the cool factor. There's nothing that says Apple won't release a server variation of the same product, only in a rack-friendly configuration. Thus putting the Mini-Server out to pasture.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Dan Stewart
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 3:53:38 pm

Isn't this a bit excessive? I've got a bedside table that could carry 4 of these things and if they're as quiet as billed I wouldn't even know they're there.. or if you really need an enclosure turn one of these sideways and stuff in 20+..

http://www.minkels.com/getfile.php?id=400

(Need to move the perf to the other 2 sides natch..)



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Oliver Peters
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 3:57:21 pm

[Dan Stewart] "or if you really need an enclosure turn one of these sideways"

What makes you think the fan system will operate properly turned sideways? Either conclusion is an assumption at this stage.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Dan Stewart
Re: ack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 6:30:19 pm

I meant the case - the tubes would stand as normal with the spaghetti feeding backwards.. really its just like lining a few rows of em on a low flat topped cabinet..



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Chris Harlan
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 2:55:18 am

And here's the new distribution system. "Ships in 24 Hours" is SO last decade.







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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 3:57:52 pm

I think Walter's right about a side mount killing the effectiveness of convection cooling, but I'll just bet that someone is going to come up with some sort of quick, flexible clamping system which could hold the chassis tightly, without marring the finish or blocking any ports. They could also be mounted in an array where the "shelves" are offset, front to back, bottom to top, with maybe a couple of inches allowed for a wire race, or carefully bundled wires, to go through to the back, or use the bottom of each shelf for attaching the wire bundles. If they built this right, you could make a system which would fit a standard rack mount system, and keep everything accessible. And it would look like a wine rack, more or less, turned 90 degrees, but with each tier offset. And it would look pretty cool as well. This would also give the option for a fan array above the shelving setup, because I have a feeling that these pups are going to generate a lot of heat, with the dual GFX card.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 4:00:30 pm

[Joseph W. Bourke] "This would also give the option for a fan array above the shelving setup, because I have a feeling that these pups are going to generate a lot of heat, with the dual GFX card."

Aaw, just put them in a beer cooler and pack lots of ice around them ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Joseph W. Bourke
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Jun 15, 2013 at 6:37:22 pm

Oliver -

The hell with the Mac Pros! Just put beer in the beer cooler, and ponder the editing conundrum...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Russell Hirtzel
Re: Rack mounting six packs of MacPro
on Oct 22, 2013 at 8:37:33 pm

There's a Mac Pro rack mounting solution about to hit kickstarter....

http://modemount.com/

Should be cool!


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