Tag Archives: Datacenter Move

Our datacenter move has officially begun! And preliminary thoughts about Brocade MLX

My company is preparing to move our corporate headquarters next year, and part of this naturally is the datacenter.  All along we have hosted all our IT operations in our own datacenter inside the corporate HQ, but now we are planning to move operations to a co-location facility.  I can see why we never did this before, since we had been running on primarily stacks of physical servers, with a high of around 22 racks, so co-location space would have been expensive.  Also, connectivity was much more expensive and slow.  And since our current HQ already had a dedicated datacenter space with big Liebert AC units when we moved in, it made perfect sense to host all our IT operations locally.

These days, however, we are about 90% virtual, and so it makes a lot of sense to move our datacenter operations to a co-location facility.  We started evaluating locations a couple months ago, and pretty quickly narrowed down the field to just a couple contenders.  We considered options like QTS, Peak 10, Sungard, and several others, and after a whole bunch of tours, hand-wringing, and contract negotiation, we decided on a co-lo vendor.  No, I’m not going to say which one.

Management is really antsy to start moving in to the new facility, and so even though we don’t have power in our cage yet, or even, you know, A CAGE, we spent our Friday installing routers in our racks at the new co-lo.    You might wonder how it’s possible to spend most of a day installing 4 routers (and 1 switch! Don’t forget about that!) but that just means that you’ve never seen the insanity and overengineering that is the Brocade MLX rack-mounting kit.

I love Brocade, don’t get me wrong.  OK, I love most Brocade stuff.  But the rackmount solution that comes with the MLX routers is laughable.  It has two front-mount rack ears, each held on with 4 tiny screws.  And they expect that you will use that to rack mount a router that is the FULL depth of a rack cabinet, and weighs 70 pounds easily.  Ummm… no.   The alternative is even more ridiculous, somehow.  Brocade sells separately a rack-mount kit with a ducted air intake, that is certainly a lot more secure of a mounting solution.  This piece of over-engineered aluminum is something like $2000.  Seriously.

In order to save on front panel space, the MLX has it’s air intake on the left side.  The rack mount kit is a big 2U hollow aluminum shelf that has an open face on the front to allow air to come in, then it sticks out a bit on the left side with a vertical duct that rises up the full height of the router, and allowed air to be pulled through the intakes on the side of the router.  This allows air to come in the front of the rack, and be exhausted out the back.  And most importantly, it provides a secure shelf that the router can rest on, that is secured to the rack with 6 screws in the front and 6 in the back, in addition to the 8 screws that the router’s rack ears take to attach it to the front of the rack.  At least I’m not afraid of a router that costs more than my house falling out of the rack.

Anyway, most of my Friday later, here it is, proof that we have officially started to move in to our new co-lo facility!

MLXs at our new Co-Lo space!

Please don’t fall please don’t fall please don’t fall


Currently drinking: Humboldt Brewing Company Red Nectar

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Filed under Datacenter Move, IT