[rescue] Server lift: rent, borrow, or buy?

Carl R. Friend crfriend at rcn.com
Mon Jun 27 15:23:43 CDT 2011

    On Mon, 27 Jun 2011, William Enestvedt wrote:

>   We just got in three new Sun servers (an M4000 and two M5000): yay!
> But they are very heavy (almost 300lbs.): boo! And they need to be lined
> up juuuust right so as to attach the rack arms and engage all these tiny
> pins: boo again! And we don't have a lift, only three strong guys:
> thrice boo!

    You *absolutely* want mechanical advantage for this task.  Trying
to manoeuvre a 300-pound *anything* with any sort of precision is
asking for wholesale trouble if one is trying to free-hand it.

    You *might* be able to do the trick with a jerry-rigged automotive
transmission hoist (which have casters and hydraulics for getting
trannies out of, and back into, cars on hoists, but that'll likely
be suboptimal for this, and still need bodies to get the device onto
the lift, stabilise it while it's there, and you would still risk
damaging the kit because the tool is wrong..

    I would recommend calling companies that specialise in moving
computer gear and getting ideas that way.  Also, make use of your
buddies in Sun Field Engineering -- they may well know somebody in
the area.

   Finally, while a $2K expenditure is probably not worth it in the
short term for a one-off job, recall that these devices will need
removal at some point when the inevitable "forklift upgrade" happens
(and it probably won't happen all in one go) so that $2k may amortise
a bit better than you might think -- and that's one Hell of a lot
cheaper than having some poor bloke put his back royally out.  (Your
school's HR and liability departments will vouch for that one.)


| Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
| Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
| mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
| http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |

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