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How to Install a Server Into a Rack in 7 Steps

Picture of Steve BashkinDo your data center employees know how to install a server into a rack? There’s little point in a lifting solution for your servers if they aren’t installed correctly. Improperly installing a server potentially risks damage to the server, and can endanger the safety of data center employees.

There are multiple ways to install servers into various configurations. One way to do it is with slide rails. Here are the 7 steps for accomplishing that successfully:

How to install a server into a rack:

  • Check that your server is compatible with the rack. Before you begin with the installation, it’s important to make sure that your server will fit into the rack you are using. Trying to install a server into an improperly fitted rack may result in injury.
  • Disassemble bolt-on slide rails. Once this is done, you can adjust the width and depth of the rack to accommodate the dimensions of your server.
  • Attach the slide rail assembly to the rack posts. Insert the screws into the mounting post first, and then attach the assemblies. Tighten the screws and make sure the rails are fitted securely.
  • Extend the Anti-Tip bar. This is a simple step but it’s very important to prevent the rack from tipping over, which could cause serious damage to the server.  Lift the server (using a data center lift) and make sure that the rear ends of the mounting brackets are aligned with the slide assemblies. Then insert the mounting brackets into the assemblies and slide the server back into the rack.
  • Verify the server is securely mounted into the rack. The slide rail assemblies should be locked in place.
  • Install the cable management arm. This is an optional part, but it’s very useful. It helps you ensure that server cables do not become snagged or pinched, and that there is adequate room to maneuver them. Assemble the cable management arm separately, and then insert it into the back side of the left-side rail.
  • Verify operation of slide rails: Once you have installed the cable management arm, slowly slide the server out of the rack until it reaches the slide rail stops. Verify that the cable management arm extends properly and that the cables are not pinched. Then slide the server slowly back into place.

Warnings and Cautions

It’s very easy to make mistakes in server handling that could potentially cause damage to equipment or even serious injury. When installing a server make sure that you:

  • Always load servers from the bottom up. This prevents your servers from becoming  top-heavy and tipping.
  • Ensure air flow is normal. Servers require a certain amount of airflow to keep from becoming overheated. Improper installation may compromise airflow and result in malfunctions.
  • Consider temperature. If a server is installed in a closed rack with other servers, its temperature may be slightly increased. Always make sure this is taken into account when managing temperature in the data center as a whole.

Data center employees may have to install servers into racks quite frequently, yet issues related to server handling are often overlooked in training. Following the correct procedures and remaining safety conscious keeps the servers in good shape, the workers safe, and everyone happy.

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