LackRack

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Note to short URL fanatics: this page is available as http://lackrack.org/.

Contents

The LackRack

The first implementation: Red LackRack with Ethernet switch and table lamp

First occurrence on eth0:2010 Winterlan, the LackRack is the ultimate, low-cost, high shininess solution for your modular datacenter-in-the-living-room. Featuring the LACK (side table) from Ikea, the LackRack is an easy-to-implement, exact-fit datacenter building block. It's a little known fact that we have seen Google engineers tinker with Lack tables since way back in 2009.

The LackRack will certainly make its appearance again this summer at eth0:2010 Summer.

Summary

When temporarily not in use, multiple LackRacks can be stacked in a space-efficient way without disassembly, unlike competing 19" server racks.
The LackRack was first seen on eth0:2010 Winterlan in the no-shoe Lounge area. Its low-cost and perfect fit are great for mounting up to 8 U of 19" hardware, such as switches (see below), or perhaps other 19" gear. It's very easy to assemble, and thanks to the design, they are stable enough to hold (for example) 19" switches and you can put your bottle of Club-Mate on top! Multi-shiny LackRack can also be painted to your specific preferences and the airflow is unprecedented!

Howto

You can find a howto on buying a LackRack on this page. This includes the proof that a 19" switch can indeed be placed in the LackRack in its natural habitat!

Close-up of the LackRack, with a switch, in its natural habitat (the IKEA)

Assembly

Illustration of the LackRack's modularity
For assembly in terms of a programming language, this is not the page you need.

However, in order to assemble the LackRack, there are a few prerequisites or tools that are needed:

  • 1 (or more) LACK side table from Ikea
  • Screwdriver (whether muscle-driven or motor-driven, with preference of the latter)
  • Wood screws (they should fit in the rack mounts on your appliance, and not exceed 1" in length)
  • Spare time

That's all! First, follow the assembly instructions in the Ikea manual in order to assemble the LACK. After that, the installation of your 19" hardware can begin. When assembling a larger number of LACKs, this link describes a useful tool for fitting the legs to the tabletop.

The LackRack is a stackable modular product. Additional elements can be stacked on top easily. Brackets to secure the top element to the bottom one are not included but available from your local non-computer hardware store.

  • If you put several LackRacks side by side, the higher levels can be staggered to form a pyramid. This feature is not present in any other of the commercially available rack products.

Installation

Due to their light weight design, Lackracks will grow to any required size without compromise

Installing hardware in your LackRack is easy!

  • Optional but recommended - Put the table on its side (which one is your decision) or upside down
  • Mount the hardware between the left and right leg
    • If you mount the first item, it is recommended to install it against the table top for good fit. This happens automatically if you have the LackRack upside down, except in zero gravity environments.
  • Screw all the screws that fit in the rack mount in the left and right leg (for stability).
    • With deep units, a Z-shaped bracket may be advisable to secure the rear of the unit against the underside of the tabletop.
  •  ???
  • Profit! (note how lackable.com has been bought by sgi recently)

Note

Current LACK tables have hollow legs; only the top 5 cm (2") is solid. Fitting equipment below the solid section may require the use of cavity plugs, such as these

Goodies

  • You can put food and/or drink on your rack.
  • You can put a small lamp on top of the rack to see your hardware and/or better find the aforementioned food and drink.
  • The table can be painted in a color of your preference, or decorated in various ways. The eth0 Design team can advise, for a fee, how to optimally decorate the rack to suit your environment.
  • It's easy to colour-code your datacentre: e.g. red for critical services, grey for office automation, green for file-servers, black for systems and network management.
  • Cheap!
  • Easy!
  • Looks good!

Alternative configuration

fitting the equipment to the rear of the front legs
  • Mounting the equipment to the rear of the front legs is recommended if you plan to fit switches with fiber uplinks; the created tabletop overhang shields the fiber connections from minor mishap
front view: 8 port switch with fiber uplink, and power bar
note protective overhang

FAQ

  • Q: Does the LackRack provide redundant power supply?
    • A: Only if you add it yourself
  • Q: Can I put my (coffee) mug on top and don't have to worry about it if I spill liquid on the LackRack?
    • A: You can spill coffee on the LackRack, since it can be cleaned quite easily. However, if you have appliances in the LackRack, there is a chance that these appliances cannot handle the coffee (or any other liquid). You should take precautions in order to protect your appliances

Specs

As from the Ikea product page:

  • Product information
    • Easy to assemble.
    • Low weight; easy to move.
    • Readily available desktop area holding your laptop during maintenance.
    • Levenstein distance of "Lack" and "Rack" is 1. Can this still be a coincidence?
  • Designer:
    • IKEA of Sweden
  • Product dimensions
    • Length: 55cm (21 5/8 ")
    • Width: 55cm (21 5/8 ")
    • Height: 45cm (17 3/4 ")
    • Almost 9U of rack space
  • Care instructions
    • Wipe clean using a damp cloth and a mild cleaner.
    • Wipe dry with a clean cloth
  • Product description
    • Top: Particleboard, Fiberboard, ABS plastic, Printed and embossed acrylic paint, Clear acrylic lacquer
    • Filling material: Paper
    • Leg: Particleboard, Fiberboard, Foil, Foil

Special Editions

Enterprise Edition

RevSpace branded LackRack Enterprise Edition
Norco RPC-3216 mounted in a LackRack Enterprise Edition.
Additional brackets used to raise the shelf and support the 45kg+ weight.

Ikea LACK coffee table: almost twice as deep, and comes with a shelf. Its size allows both short ends to be used as rack space simultaneously. It's interesting to note that Ikea photographed it from the side; an uncommon artistic approach to 19" server rack photography. It provides for 8 U of hardware: 4 on either side of the shelf.

Following ICT tradition, the Enterprise Edition is more than three times as expensive, while providing less stability than two of the regular products combined.

  • Product information
    • Easy to assemble.
    • Low weight; easy to move.
    • Readily available desktop area holding your laptop during maintenance.
    • Levenstein distance of "Lack" and "Rack" is 1. Can this still be a coincidence?
  • Designer:
    • IKEA of Sweden
  • Product dimensions
    • Length: 90cm
    • Width: 55cm (21 5/8 ")
    • Height: 45cm (17 3/4 ")
  • Care instructions
    • Wipe clean using a damp cloth and a mild cleaner.
    • Wipe dry with a clean cloth
  • Product description :
    • Top: Particleboard, Fiberboard, ABS plastic, Printed and embossed acrylic paint, Clear acrylic lacquer
    • Filling material: Paper
    • Leg: Particleboard, Fiberboard, Foil, Foil

Other rack solutions from Ikea

It is clear that Ikea has strived to keep many of their products rack compatible since so many of them are capable of housing 19" equipment. See List_of_IkeaRacks


Pricing

Region Currency Price Price in €
Australia SA+WA AUD 24.95 15.91
Israel ILS 79 15.03
Australia AUD 19.99 12.75
Kuwait KWD 4.50 11.08
Canada CAD 14.99 10.02
Finland EUR 9.95 9.95
Czech CZK 249 9.55
Turkey TRY 19.95 9.48
Romania RON 39 9.34
Hungary HUF 2490 9.19
Hong Kong HKD 99.9 9.09
Singapore SGD 17.90 9.02
Malaysia MYR 39.90 8.31
Russia RUR 349 8.27
Japan JPY 999 7.87
Poland PLN 29.99 7.34
China CNY 69.00 7.15
Switzerland CHF 9.95 6.76
Ireland EUR 4.90 4.90
United Kingdom GBP 4.99 5.69
United States USD 7.99 5.65
Denmark DKK 39 5.24
Portugal EUR 5.03 5.03
Belgium EUR 5.99 5.99

Austria
Greece
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Slovakia
Spain

EUR 4.99 4.99
France EUR 4.95 4.95
Ikealand SEK 49 4.77
Norway NOK 39 4.73, cheapest!

Links

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Gallery

Eth0:2014 Winter