Sometimes system administration requires a hacksaw

January 21, 2007

I have to admit that the hacksaw was kind of a special situation.

Our hacksaw usage came about when we were pulling an old rack from our machine room to make space for a new and better rack. The old rack had a bottom plate that was just a frame, with a big opening in the center, and long ago we'd routed the power cord for the rack's power distribution unit (PDU) through that opening (presumably to keep things neat) instead of just out the back.

Normally you'd just turn off the PDU and pull up its cable. Unfortunately, the PDU had one remaining power cord connected to it, which went to a power bar in the next rack over, which in turn was connected to two crucial systems we couldn't power down (partly because one of them is so old that we're not certain how many more power cycles it has in it). The net effect was a loop through the rack's bottom plate that was pinning the rack more or less into place; certainly we weren't going to get it out of the room.

So we (and by 'we' I mean 'someone else, while I watched a bit') took a hacksaw to the rack's bottom plate, cutting things apart enough that in the end we could pull the PDU's power cable out without having to turn it off. (I believe the PDU is now stashed in the rack that it helps power, probably on top of that rack's own PDU. This is par for our course.)

This probably sort of ruins the rack, but it was an old shallow rack that we have no remaining use for anyways, and it is in the same grand spirit that has seen us drilling out rack screw holes to widen them enough so we can screw rails in. (And to think that I used to innocently believe that racks only came in one universal flavour.)

Written on 21 January 2007.
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Last modified: Sun Jan 21 22:31:33 2007
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