ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Issue 41

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Nanci Kindle

November 5, 2008

IN THIS ISSUE
                          Your success story                Monthly featured product Kevinisms Trivia
Articles of Interest:  A Rack For All Spaces The Thanksgiving Pig
Back to ISC Main Page

Your Success Story

 Good morning Jack –

Sorry I missed your call.  I received the rails this morning and they look like they should work great.  It will be a day or so before I can put them to use but once I’m certain everything fits OK I’ll order two more sets.  When I do that I’ll fax the PO and email you so you know the fax
 is on its way.

Thanks for your help.  It’s always a pleasure working with you.

Neil Shanholtzer

Monthly Featured Product

                
LPPKG Series Low Profile Server Rack Cabinet

LPPKG Series
TTSWE Series Low Profile Server Rack Cabinet

TTSWE Series
TTSC Series Low Profile Server Rack Cabinet

TTSC Series
XRN Series Low Profile Server Rack for Apple Servers

XRN Series

             

The four different series of Low Profile Server Rack Cabinets

 
 

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Information Support Concepts (ISC) has discontinued the monthly product special. Since we are now running weekly specials with much deeper discounts, it made sense for the monthly special to be replaced.  We will now have a featured product each month, and direct our customers back to the weekly special for discounted items.

You can click on this link to see the current weekly product special! 

ISC offers four series of  low profile server rack cabinets that can help make your company PCI compliant.

  • All four series have square hole mounting rails that are Dell and HP compatible 
  • One series is designed specifically for noisy applications, being acoustically engineered with sound dampening, fans, and special air flow characteristics
  • Each series has its own accessories like casters, fans, and doors
  • Some series have preconfigured packages
  • Some series have frames to which accessories can be added

As always, ISC personnel are ready to answer your questions, and can confirm what product will work for your specific application. If you have a question, just call us at 800-458-6255.

A Rack For All Spaces

Information Support Concepts Provides Flexibility
To A Variety Of Configurations

 
by Sue Hildreth  

When stacking computer equipment in the data center, a rack is pretty much a rack, right? Not really. Depending on the weight of the equipment, its dimensions, and how easily you need to access the equipment, different types of racks can make a big difference. Today, it’s possible to buy racks for a variety of different environments and equipment needs.

One leading hardware retailer and distributor that caters to this demand for flexibility in server rack options is Mansfield, Texas,-based Information Support Concepts (817/842-9090; www.iscdfw2.com). ISC sells a wide range of open-frame racks, 2-post and 4-post racks, server cabinets, relay racks, and shelving. One of the company’s newer and increasingly popular rack products is the open-frame 4-Post Expandable Rack.

The 4-Post Expandable Rack is a heavy-duty, adjustable rack that can be expanded or compacted to fit different spaces and sizes of equipment. The expandability is provided by horizontal frames that can slide in or out to as much as 42 inches in depth or as little as 26 inches. The sliding feature means that it can be easily resized as needed, without cutting metal or buying extra pieces. That, in turn, saves data center managers time and money when they need to reposition a rack or migrate to a new computer room.

"It's more adjustable than other racks," says Jack Burlin, product manager for ISC, who notes that it is also available in either 19- or 23-inch widths, as well as 40U, 44U, and 48U heights.

Designed For RapidRails

Burlin explains that ISC began offering the 4-post rack three years ago to fill a need in the market. According to Burlin, the traditional way that both data center employees and vendors would create a 4-post rack was to simply connect two 2-post racks. That didn’t always work flawlessly, particularly when users needed to mount additional hardware, such as Dell’s popular RapidRails (www.dell.com).

RapidRails are commonly used to hold equipment that is accessed frequently or is too heavy to be attached to the rack without extra support. The rails provide greater support and also permit the unit to be slid in and out of the rack without requiring the removal of bolts or screws.

Mounting the rails to a rack, however, can sometimes pose problems. That’s because 4-post racks constructed of conjoined 2-post racks usually have extra mounts that get in the way of the RapidRail mount. The rails can be mounted but often at the loss of a few inches of rack space. The only way around it, says Burlin, is to cut off a piece of each C-channel to make room. However, the 4-Post Expandable Rack was made specifically to alleviate this problem.

“People had 2-post racks, which are very common, and used connecting pieces to attach them. But when you do that, if you need to add RapidRails, then part of the C-channel that you need to mount the rails to gets in the way. So you can’t use the full depth of the rack [for server equipment],” explains Burlin. “We went out and found a manufacturer that would make us a 4-post rack that’s RapidRail-compatible. It saves you acreage wherever you put it since it doesn’t have to be 6 inches deeper.”

Ideal For Small Computer Rooms

While the 4-Post Expandable Rack can work well in any data center or equipment room, its open-air frame makes it especially well-suited for smaller computer rooms, says Burlin. That is because larger data centers typically use a hot aisle/cold aisle layout and need server enclosures—cabinets—which can help direct air flow. A cabinet enclosure typically has ventilated doors for expelling hot air and taking in chilled air, as well as channels for organizing multiple cables. It is, however, ideal for smaller computer rooms or equipment closets, which can benefit from an open-air frame to help keep equipment cool.

“Cabinet rows are back-to-back and facing opposite directions, with the cold air at the front of the cabinet,” explains Burlin. “An open-frame rack, on the other hand, doesn’t have the ability to direct air flow—there are no sides. But in data closets, or centers with six or eight racks in a row, the 4-Post Adjustable Rack sells well.”

The 4-Post Expandable Rack is good for situations that need a fairly heavy weight capacity. It’s rated to carry up to 1,000 pounds, although Burlin notes that the rack has not been tested at higher limits and may be capable of higher loads.

Michael Petrino, vice president of PTS Data Center Solutions, a data center design and consulting firm in Orange County, Calif., notes that 4-post racks are necessary for many newer, heavier types of equipment.

“Newer switches, especially those which support PoE [Power over Ethernet] are larger and may be difficult to support with a 2-post rack,” he explains. “Their rails typically need four mounting points—two in the front and two in the rear—for adequate support typical of a 4-post rack solution. However, 2-post racks only offer two mounting points in the front or two mounting points in the middle of a device, if the device accommodates center mounting.”

Advantages For SMEs

While able to accommodate heavier loads and provide more mounting positions, the 4-Post Expandable Rack is also made to be assembled and disassembled and ships in three separate boxes. That is an advantage for small firms that may have to receive their computer shipments at the front door or carry them up several floors.

“It’s a knock-down rack, so you don’t have to have a loading dock to receive it,” says Burlin.

Overall, the rack’s expandability, Rapid-Rail-specific construction, heavy weight capacity, and multiple sizing options make it a very versatile rack that can fit into most data center environments.

“It’s attractive to just about anybody that might need to put fairly heavy, fairly deep equipment into a rack, be it communications equipment, servers, etc.,” says Burlin, who adds that it’s also priced lower than comparable racks. The 4-Post Expandable Rack ranges from $370 for a 19-inch 40U model to $458 for the 23-inch 48U version, which Burlin estimates is about 15% cheaper than most other racks—a feature that may well appeal to IT managers regardless of the size of their data centers.
 

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Kevinisms

A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, The Washington Redskins, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that order).  He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

Kevin prides himself on having a way with words.  Sometimes this does not work out so well, as has been documented numerous times in this column.  Sometimes Kevin creates new words to describe something. 

Frequently these words are pretty ridiculous, but occasionally he gets close to a good idea.  Here are a couple of recent examples:

Imbibishment

Kevin coined the term Imbibishment to convey the mood of people attending the annual Oklahoma/Texas weekend in Dallas.  Traditionally, the two schools play each other at the Cotton Bowl, and the event is always scheduled during the Texas State Fair. 

The fans from both schools are typically out Friday and Saturday nights visiting clubs, bars, restaurants, etc.  People sometimes imbibe too much alcohol, but in recent years the Dallas police have kept things mostly in check.  Kevin's observation was that during the event a lot of people get nourishment from imbibing, not eating.

Burningness

Kevin coined this term to describe the sun's appearance on a cloudless summer day.  Now what is actually happening in the sun is not burning, but in fact nuclear fusion.  The high temperatures and pressures in the core of the sun cause hydrogen atoms to fuse into helium atoms and release energy.  This is the source of the sun's light and heat.  However, there are numerous sources that define stars and the sun as "burning balls of gas." 

Burning is actually oxidation where a fuel combined with oxygen and heat causes the fuel to ignite.  But since so may sources equate nuclear fusion with burning, we need to cut Kevin some slack on this one.  Burningness might be a pretty good term to describe the sun's key characteristics, as long as we don't get too technical about it.

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4-Post Expandable Rack Specifications

• 19- or 23-inch EIA rack rails

• 10/32 tapped or square hole rack rails

• Available in 40U, 44U, and 48U heights

• Black powder-coat finish

• Priced from $370 to $458

 
Information Support Concepts (ISC)

4-Post Expandable Rack
 ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc


Description: An open-frame equipment rack with four vertical support posts to support heavy equipment. The rack is available in 19- or 23-inch widths and three different rack unit heights and can be expanded from 26 inches deep up to 48 inches; it also supports mounting of RapidRails without loss of rack space.

Interesting Fact: ISC offers a large variety of equipment and storage hardware, including computer cabinets, tables, KVM switches, LAN racks, network security hardware, patch panels, power strips, and various racks and shelving units.

Don't put your hardware in danger!
Call the Rackmount Ranger!
800-458-6255.

The Thanksgiving Pig

A few years ago a tourist was touring the back roads of Texas and came across a farmer leading a pig across the road.  Two thing attracted the tourist's attention:  the pig was being lead on a  leash in the "heel" position just like a dog, and it was limping happily along next to the farmer because one of it's rear legs was missing.  Not having to be anywhere at any specific time, the tourist was curious enough to stop and talk to the farmer.

The farmer was wearing coveralls and a Texas A&M hat, so the tourist presumed him to be an Aggie.  When he hailed the farmer, the farmer turned to him, told the pig to sit, which it did, and then addressed the tourist.  "What can I do for you today?"

The tourist said he got curious when he saw the farmer leading the pig and decided to stop and ask about it.  So he hoped the farmer would tell him the story.

The farmer was happy to oblige and said the pig was a very special pig.  His family raised cattle but one year decided to see if they might like to switch to pig farming.  They bought a sow (female pig) that was about to have babies and this pig was one of 14.  Right from the start they knew this pig was special.  While the other pigs did what pigs do, this pig was very attuned to the people in the family.  Whenever someone approached the pig came over and sat near that person, just looking at them.  On a whim, one of the kids called the pig to come and it came right over.  Then they told the pig to sit and it sat.  Yes it was a very special pig.

The tourist remarked that this was interesting, but he still did not see what made the pig so special. 

The farmer went on with his story.  After teaching the pig to sit, stay, and come they tried some other commands.  They also got a collar for the pig and put it on a leash.  Within a very short time the pig learned to heel and would walk right beside whoever had the leash with no problems.  The pig seemed very happy just to be near someone, and never tried to run away or pull anyone behind them like many untrained dogs do.  It just liked being walked.  They learned the pig was also quite fastidious and clean, not liking to do "normal" pig activities.  So the pig started staying on the front porch at the house, and after the evening meal they would put leftovers in a dog dish and take it out for the pig.  The pig even ate dog food if there were not enough leftovers.  Yes it was a very special pig.

To this point the tourist was not convinced and said so.  This got the farmer riled up a bit so he continued to explain what made the pig so special.

The farmer then told how the pig won a medal for bravery.  The medal was awarded by the local mayor and the pig had his picture in all the local newspapers from Beaumont to Huntsville.  The pig got the medal by saving the whole family from a fire.  Since the pig stayed on the front porch it became aware of a fire that started in a storage shed adjacent to the main farm house.  The pig started running around on the porch, squealing and stamping, until it roused the entire household.  Then everyone came pouring out of the house to see that the fire had started enveloping the one side of the house and was in danger of spreading.  Just at that moment the pig recognized that one of the children had not made it out of the house.  So the pig ran in the burning house that was rapidly filling with smoke.  The farmer was getting more and more worked up as he told the story, and finally said that after searching numerous rooms the pig found the missing child and dragged it out of the house.  The child had some coughing due to the smoke but was otherwise unharmed.  Naturally this got a lot of publicity in Southeast Texas.  Now didn't the tourist agree it was a really special pig?

The tourist agreed with the farmer that he had not heard of any pig doing something like that, and agreed the pig was a real hero and very special.  But the tourist did not understand why the pig was missing one leg.

The farmer had calmed down by now and said, "Oh, that happened at Thanksgiving."  When the tourist said what happened, the farmer remarked, "Well, with such a special pig, you can't expect us to eat it all an once, can you?"

 Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. 
Please direct your comments to Jack Burlin.

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Trivia Question

Q:  Before he was Gilligan, Bob Denver played this character on "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," which aired from September 1959 to September 1963.   

All correct answers will be placed into a pool for a random drawing at the end of the month.  The winner will receive a free roll of velcro, plus free ground shipping. Send your answers to: Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

Answer from October's Newsletter.

Q:  What does the name "Raytheon" mean, translated literally from Greek?"    

 A:  Light of the Gods.

The winner was Jim Arvin .  Congratulations!

   

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Information Support Concepts, Inc.

Mansfield, Texas
ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc