shipping pre-built cabinets vs. build-on-site

Elmar K. Bins elmi at
Mon Apr 6 16:33:30 CDT 2009

martin at (Martin Hannigan) wrote:

> 1. as-builts designated by the RU
> 2. physical layer wiring diagram
> 3. cable run list (optical, fiber, connector type, pots)
> 4. Bill of materials down to the rack mount kit screws
> 5. cut view, detailing cabinet details _from the datacenter_.


We have quite some experience in having third party people, including
professional hosting companies and "friends" on-site, receiving our
boxes and assembling the entire thing for us. The only ones that failed
were a big german teclo back in 2004. Which was essentially why we
why we assembled an entire cabinet ready-for-production, in the 2006
rebuild for their new datacenter site. Yes, we got it shipped within
Germany (Frankfurt to Ulm). Getting a shipping company to do that
difficult at best: The big ones all turned us down. We found a small
company that did it (who usually worked for one of the big ones that
turned us down). They claimed to have experience, and they delivered
everything in working condition. The telco was eventually able to
plug the five cables into the right sockets and everything was ready
to jumpstart.

Usually we send parts, and what has proven a very good idea for us is
to ship really everything, including every cable, connector and adaptor,
except for the mains connectors which are different in every single
place. It is crucial to label every port (and I mean "server ports"
and "strange boxes' ports"; everything but switchports, really) with
a number and do the same with every single cable and adaptor.

A detailled cabling plan which lists and sometimes depicts what goes
where (A- and B-side systems, cable numbers, lengths and colors, and
the according port numbers) makes cabling the thing - as I've been
told - pretty easy.

Well, soon enough I'll be doing the first ever on-site installation
myself which comes with a nice couple of days vacation, so I opted
for doing it. Of course, it's actually just the verification of our
assembly instructions being _really_ idiot-proof.

Anyway, Joe, if you can make it happen, have people on-site assemble
the stuff for you. They will usually be kind enough to make power
cables for you, too. I have had people from professional hosters
really go out of their way (using private credit cards to obtain
parts etc) to make the thing work.

Sending that one full rack has proven successful for us, but that
was specialists with some experience, and it was road only. Every
time I see suitcases being thrown around in airports...well...


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