During the build-out of our third colocation facility, we have been investing in trying different types of rack hardware. Instead of simply focusing on servers, we have been testing some of the gear that makes life easier. Today, we have a short review of the NavePoint 4U Rack Mount Drawer we purchased off of Amazon.com. As we quickly learned, this simple product (a drawer) is going to be one of our lowest review score products ever on STH.
Getting the NavePoint 4U rack mount drawer
The operator of a rack next to ours in the third data center told us “get a drawer, they are awesome.” He also seemed to be a fan of buying lower cost items from Amazon so that is what we did. Total cost was around $55 on Amazon.
Two days later it was at our doorstep thanks to Amazon Prime. The packaging was overall good and this looked like a simple yet functional unit.
Overall it was a sturdy feeling unit that functioned as a drawer, had a lock with two keys and had mounting holes.
The setup and signs of trouble
As we were installing cage nuts, we noticed something a bit off with the alignment. At this point the drawer was sitting atop a 2U server we had in the rack. Apologies for the grainy pictures, it was dark in the datacenter and these were taken with Samsung Galaxy Note IV. As one can see with the left side sitting atop the server, the holes did not look correctly drilled.
One can see this is sitting atop a 2U server at this point that was correctly installed/ aligned. We then checked the right side and there was the same issue with the drawer:
Once we had it mounted, the issue remained:
As one can see, it takes up 4U but went from RU 35 and into RU 39 so one could not install a full 1U server in RU 39. This is due to the poorly drilled holes. Apparently we are not the only ones to have had this issue.
Now that the unit is mounted, it works fine. The sliding motion is surprisingly smooth. However, it is essentially a 5U system because it does impinge on an extra rack unit. NavePoint continues to sell these units despite the fact that the holes are drilled improperly. If it was a 5U drawer that would be fine (except we could get an extra inch of space on the 5th U.) Marketed as a 4U Rack Mount drawer that cannot be fit into standard racks is simply false. Given the solid construction, there is still some use for this drawer, just not int he context of a rack environment where it is marketed.
That is pretty lame – it would still be disappointing if it was labeled as 5U, because you then have an almost 1U sized air gap that you can’t easily block off. For optimal cooling (espeically in dense environments), you would want to eliminate open space in the front of the rack like that.
Indeed, some places even require blanking covers for unused ‘U’s because it messes with their hot/cold aisle design otherwise.
Someone needs to get the message to the chinese factory that their drilling jig template is wrong (or better yet, put in more holes for different rack types) then wait for all the bad versions to be sold off first 😉
We’ve had good luck with this drawer (so say my staff).
MCM Custom Audio RACK DRAWER WITH LOCK 4U
We find that it’s a really good use of space in front of 1U PDUs since the front side is unusable for anything else (rear-facing PDU)..