> On Friday 09 July 2004 07:19 am, Eric Crist wrote:
> >
> > I'm just asking opinions here, but:
> >
> > What do you prefer for a 2U rack mount server case?  I want to keep the
> > cost down, but I want something that looks nice and is functional.  I've
> > got 5 servers I'm looking at replacing existing cases on to make them
> > match, as well as to free up some rack space, as some cases I currently
> > own are 4U, and some are 2U.
> I would recommend you avoid the Antec 2U unit (& probably all Antec 
> rack-mounts if the 2U is any indication).
> Jay

Antec appeared to have no practical experience with mid-density servers
when they made their 2U abomination.  I had the product which appears to
have morphed slightly into the 2U26ATX300XPR.

Power supplies for a chassis should be mounted in the back.  Antec
apparently decided that there was a benefit to using a traditional ATX
style PS, but then *still* modified it to have a cord extension to the
power socket on the back.

The power supply cable won't reach to certain motherboards - in my case,
the ASUS P2B-DS.  I despise having to use extenders in a 2U case.

The brilliant internal drive arrays are enough to make me scream.

They no longer make the nice case that they once made, the 3480B, which
was a 4U short case with three front accessible bays.  We still use the
ones we have, generally retrofitting them with a 5-drive-to-3-bay SCA
converter.  They take a normal ATX MB and PS with no fuss, and the only
major complaint I ever had was that I couldn't stick a large ATX MB like
the P2B-DS in and also a hardware RAID controller in the bottom two bays,
because they'd overlap by about a quarter of an inch.  This is a function
of the RAID controller being too long, not really an Antec issue.  :-)

We no longer buy Antec products because they have made themselves

If you are looking for *cheap*, I doubt you can beat the price on a
Skyhawk 2U like the IPC-2025L - usually around $100.  They are not great
units.  They are made of cheaper, thinner steel, and the screws thread
out if you're not careful (we're a power screwdriver shop).  They do use 
a regular ATX power supply, but front-mounted (ecch).  Once you discard 
the riser card that comes with them, make sure the speaker isn't shorted
out against the case, and commit to buying a real riser, however, there 
are not too many other issues.  They're basically usable after several
lessons in frustration.

If you are looking for *nice*, AIC/T-Win has some nice stuff in a 
multitude of configurations, some I like, some I don't, but all of 
which seem to have been targetted at various specific applications, 
so I can at least appreciate their thoroughness.  
http://www.aicipc.com ("mfr" website)

We currently use a number of their RMC2Q-XP cases out at Equinix Ashburn.
Very nice, 6 drives on trays, good airflow, keeps reasonably cool even 
though there is a pair of AMD MP 2400's on a S2469 and 6 x 15K RPM 
Fujitsu drives.  We've had one major incident in the last year which
*might* have been related to the chassis; we swapped a SCSI backplane. 
I am reasonably certain it was the drive though (but when you're flying,
you're replacing all the possible bad components).

The 2Q-XP comes with 300W, 460W, or various redundant supplies, can be
configured for normal riser card/PCI or low profile PCI, etc., etc.
Very thoughtful.

That is, of course, more pricey than you'll want for most applications,
but the design appears representative of the rest of their products (of
which we have a number).

If you're looking to buy any of these, drop me a line and I can point
you right.  You can get truly screwed buying them from some vendors.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.
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