Browse Prior Art Database

Rail Solution To Support Multiple 1U Servers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126401D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Jul-15
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jul-15
Document File: 4 page(s) / 99K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This publication describes a multiple server rail solution that saves basic material cost, reduces installation time, reduces the in-rack tolerance stack up, and reduces the total number of parts required when compared to the industry standard one rail kit per one server paradigm. In addition, one instance of this multiple server rail solution provides ease of use functionality (tool-less retention and integrated cable management) found only in four post rail solutions to the two post rack environment.

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Rail Solution To Support Multiple 1U Servers

Currently, for each installation of a 1U server into a two-post or four-post rack, an individual set of rails or slides has to be installed. These rail kits consist of a number of component pieces (front section, rear section, retention screws, retention nuts, etc.). All of these individual pieces take time to find, orient, and install. Tool-less rails, i.e. rails that don't require screws to install provide a great advantage because they reduce the number of parts that the user interacts with and reduce the time to install each server. Unfortunately there is still a separate set of rails for each server. For large numbers of systems, mounting individual servers quickly becomes a repetitive, time consuming, task where the total installation takes a sizeable amount of time.

This disclosure describes a pair of related railing systems, which at their core, allow six 1U servers to be installed into single set of rails. Although the number six is arbitrary, it was selected because its' multiples fit nicely into the 42U maximum height of most enterprise level racks. 6U is equal to 10.5 inches which is still a manageable size when working with EIA racks. The invention idea includes both two-post rack and four-post rack versions. By consolidating six rails into one, the number of required pieces is substantially lowered. This reduces total installation time and reduces the stack up of vertical tolerances. The two-post version also includes a cable management arm which provides splay control for the two-post rack rails.

The disclosed invention idea presents a method of installing six 1U servers into the same rail system. This rail system is made up of a left and right side. Each side has six rows of flanges that support the six 1U servers similar to current 1U rail designs.

For the two-post solution, each side of the rail system is attached by two screws, thus the user is required to install only four screws per six 1U servers. When compared to the minimum number of screws required for six individual 1U servers installed into the same rack (24 screws) the time savings is easily apparent. For the four-post solution, each side of the rail system is attached by four screws for a total of eight screws per six 1U servers compared to the 48 screws required for six individual 1U servers.

Another benefit of this multiple server (6U in this example) rail system is that the vertical tolerances are more accurate than they would be with six individual rails. With individual rails for six 1U servers, there would be seven different vertical tolerances that would stack up and have to be taken into account. These tolerances are:

The distance between the top of each rail, and the bottom of the rail directly above it. (5) The distance below the bottom of the lowest rail to the bottom boundary of its U space. (1) The distance above the highest rail to the upper boundary of its U s...