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Speed-Assembling Servers

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the summon-precision-and-a-crown-and-coke dept.

Hardware 160

Nieriko writes "The Planet is holding competitions to speed-assemble rack-mounted servers. It's like watching latter-day Marines field-strip and assemble their weapons. There is a video on YouTube about this incredible contest. Looks pretty challenging."

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frick pissed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482492)

flibbididy diddidy, come smoke a bowl and watch this vid with me!!!

Jeebus. (1, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482532)

That is INSANE. I would love to see a similar competition for wiring up a small sound studio :-)

Re:Jeebus. (3, Insightful)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483166)

It doesn't take much to impress you, does it?

Re:Jeebus. (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483338)

It doesn't take much to break your sarcasm detector, does it?

Uh yeah... very speedy. (5, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482538)

"It's like watching latter-day Marines field-strip and assemble their weapons."

Well no actually, it looked like any normal IT support guy putting a machine back together, except most people don't even fumble and drop the RAM.

Really, that was fast? I'd be inclined to believe anyone here on Slashdot whose built a machine a few times could do it faster than that. It's not like they even had to build half the machine, the fiddliest components were already in place anyway.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1, Informative)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482614)

Well, his time is a little off, because the guy's first attempt didn't register on his iphone...

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1, Interesting)

Aaron_Pike (528044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482618)

I do a very similar exercise with my shiny-new, mostly-freshman high-school class at the very basic introductory level of computer science. They'd be competitive with the dude in the video (sorry, dude in the video).

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (2, Funny)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482906)

I guess you should have been in my Intro to Networking class, we had to dig the parts out a room with a lot other junk, get the computer up and running then install the OS. At least it was a group project, but still after 2 motherboards we got it to post, then came the fun trying to get the Network card to work, we when though 6 cards to find one that worked correctly.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482978)

What does fitting RAM have to do with computer science?

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483210)

It's high school class, it makes sense to introduce some practical elements as most HS students interested in CS would likely decide to major in creative writing if their intro to CS was "Welcome to intro to CS, today we're going to deal with quicksort, binary trees and compiler optimization".

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483306)

most HS students interested in CS would likely decide to major in creative writing if their intro to CS was "Welcome to intro to CS, today we're going to deal with quicksort, binary trees and compiler optimization".

So what's the problem with that?

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483440)

Recalling my initial attempts at these, one could say that it was creative fiction :)

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1, Interesting)

composer777 (175489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482636)

Agreed. That is not fast, at all. I think I've thrown together machines faster than that in the excitement of getting new hardware up and running. I think it would be more impressive if they were required to get them to boot, not to mention small details like hooking up the power and reset buttons, etc.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1, Interesting)

BinaryBobbie (1714694) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482660)

It looked like a task I give to newbies on the first day they show up to work. And now they have a competition for that....I'm speechless.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

KUHurdler (584689) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483558)

better yet, a task for two newbies. The slower one gets FIRED.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1, Insightful)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482674)

Exactly, you should have to screw the motherboard into the case, plop in the CPU, apply thermal, stick the heatsink on, put in the PSU, etc etc.

This is like buy a prebuilt Dell and upgraded the RAM.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (5, Insightful)

ranulf (182665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482682)

This task was just pointless. The CPU was already in there, the graphics card, disks, DVD drive etc... Make it a real challenge and actually get them to assemble the machine in order to win a speed-assembling prize.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (4, Interesting)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482950)

Seriously. Rack mounted server? That was just a regular computer case (Sure, it could be rack mounted, but that kind defeats the point of a rack)... Where's the thermal paste? Not to mention the IDE hard drives (I thought SCSI at first, but that doesn't look like a u320 68 pin (or 80 pin) SCSI, so I can only assume it's IDE...

The better test would be to give all the parts set on the table along with all the screws. Then time from the first part picked up to the computer booting into a boot CD (to test that everything actually works). For bonus points, chose the parts from a bin (So they would have to select the proper CPU/Mobo combination, etc)...

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483252)

How is he trolling? You don't like what he said so therefore he is troll? You are not the arbiter of the words "troll" and spam" in case you didn't know. Anyways, I was baffled when I watched the video. That's a competition? I coulda stuck the fan and RAM in within 15 seconds and this guy took 50! See the parent to this post for a REAL competition. This thing is a joke.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483258)

Seriously, screwing the motherboard into place on the chassis, putting the PSU where it's supposed to be without destroying something and mounting the heatsink without blowing away one of those delicate motherboard capacitors that designers are fond of putting right next to where the huge heavy sharp heatsink goes are the three most challenging parts of assembling a computer. The rest is all plug 'n play a monkey could do, and I bet a monkey wouldn't drop the goddamn ram.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

jim_deane (63059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483494)

I agree. At the start there should have been a pile of boxes and a pick list/order sheet with everything listed.

This competition was like having someone "speed assemble" a car by putting on the oil filler cap, gas cap, and shutting the hood.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

uncledrax (112438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483744)

I'd agree, except this is a trade-show booth contest.. so it's designed to be techie enough to be techie, and simple enough anyone can do it..

Aside from that.. who the hell still uses mid-tower format (3u? 4u?) servers in that density? get some 1u pizza-boxes or at least some 2u's..
(I'm sure it's just decommissioned h/w they have for this show though.. or so I hope..)

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (2, Informative)

Nesman64 (1093657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482710)

On top of that, look at the blue snap-in parts. This is a Dell. Hardly a single screw to bother with in there even if he did it from individual parts. Motherboard, drives, fan, even the CPU in many cases, just snaps in place.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482890)

They could even go one step further and have everything still in the box and turn it into a real machine. Two HDs, processor, heatsink, memory, CD/DVD player and obviously the motherboard.
Time should only be valid if the PC boots and all hardware responds correctly.

OTOH it is a neat little attention grabber for a fair.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (0, Troll)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482946)

I think they did it the way to did to save time, a lot of people won't had time to do it that way. You have to remember the challenge was on the trade show floor.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483086)

Time should only be valid if the PC boots and all hardware responds correctly.

And if they didn't drop the hard drive. Which I hear was a single IDE drive. Classy.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (2, Interesting)

billcopc (196330) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483270)

Looked more like an Asus, but yeah... real computers take way longer than that to assemble. This was more like a kindergarten Lego competition. The guy looked like he was one of those Geek Squad half-wits who'd never used a screwdriver his whole life. You want a real competition ? Give them a pile of boxed parts, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Timer starts the moment they touch anything.

As someone who used to run a store and has built tens of thousands of PCs, I had gotten to a point where my entry-level boxes took less than 5 minutes from sale to delivery. That included pulling parts from the shelves, assembling the damned thing, running a short diagnostic suite and putting the finished machine back into the padded box. Gaming rigs took around 20-30 minutes, mostly due to the fiddly drive cages and cable routing. Rack servers can take an hour or more, especially if you're mounting a dozen hard drives on hot-swap sleds and routing all those SAS cables around the absolutely un-ergonomic cases. Obviously there was more testing involved with bigger systems, but the nice thing about the el-cheapo kit was that I could pre-assemble a ton of them over the weekend. The guy in the video ? He'd have assembled me out of business... people aren't buying $3000 PCs anymore, they're buying $299 PCs where your margin is maybe $25, so the tech has to be extremely quick to be worth the money. It's not like you can realistically charge an $80 assembly fee on such a cheap machine.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

adonoman (624929) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482790)

No kidding. I'd be impressed if he was doing at that speed blind-folded, like many people can do with guns [youtube.com] for example

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (4, Informative)

flosofl (626809) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483062)

Wow Nierko (the submitter), way to plagiarize BoingBoing. Cory Doctorow used this exact same phrase in his post [boingboing.net] last night about this event.

The Planet is holding competitions to speed-assemble rack-mounted servers. It's like watching latter-day Marines field-strip and assemble their weapons.

Seriously, you couldn't come up with something original?

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483116)

Well no actually, it looked like any normal IT support guy putting a machine back together, except most people don't even fumble and drop the RAM.

Exactly. I drop almost everything else. Power wires that you have to spend 30 seconds relocating in the jumble of other cables. Fans. The video card sometimes because the things are so heavy these days. Screws...especially screws. Have to hold the bloody case upside down to get them out. But RAM? No, that's about the easiest thing to get in there.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483184)

    Ya, severely misrepresented.

    The guy installed a CPU and memory into a desktop box, and hooked up a couple cables.

    We used to do real "speed assembling servers". You start out with organized piles of parts from the vendors. Memory, CPU, hard drives, rails, piles of sorted screws. We used a lot of SuperMicro machines, so the motherboards came mounted in their case. Well, originally, it was all from scratch. We just got lazy with the SuperMicro stuff. :) We were probably under 2 minutes, and then just around 5 minutes to get it complete with OS. It was more impressive with two people flowing 10 machines through simultaneously. While you have all your powered up positions full, keep the assembled hardware pool ready to start new installs on.

    All they did was complete the assembled hardware, which looks like they just pulled a little of it apart anyways. They didn't get the OS on the drive, which is kind of essential to call a computer a server. :)

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483544)

The guy installed a CPU [...]

Worse than that, he just had to install a heatsink/fan assembly. The CPU was already in there...

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483288)

Not only was it only sort of fast (although I don't know if he's one of the contestants or just "demonstrating" the challenge, like the other guy said) -- I wouldn't want any servers that I paid for built this way.

Honestly, guys -- which is less likely to get you in trouble with the boss -- taking an extra half a minute to do it right, or snapping a stick of DDR3 in half because you were in a big hurry?

I can see the point of assembling and disassembling a weapon quickly (Marine-style); they're built for it, and there might be a real, tangible benefit to getting your rifle assembled 0.2 seconds faster than the other guy. But servers? Naah.

Make it a real contest. Give them all them identical problems -- like a missing filter cap causing intermittent errors, or an out-of-spec power supply or something. First one to diagnose the problem wins.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (2, Interesting)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483346)

Funny thing, the comment on the Marines was Nieriko's, which I assume means that Nieriko is Cory Doctorow's alter ego. Original Boingboing story [boingboing.net] . Either way, my opinion of Cory just took a nosedive.

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483390)

+1 on that! The CPU and the drives were already in place, same goes for the SMPS and the MotherBoard.
I also noticed that the cables were already tied into the motherboard and aside from sliding the case shut, there was absolutely no challenge involved. :|

If they really wanted to have a challenge, it would be fairer to have people assemble the whole machine from scratch, including unboxing parts and using a non-powered screw driver!

  "Looks pretty challenging."? Did a troll post this up? :P

Re:Uh yeah... very speedy. (2, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483678)

No ESD strap, dropping RAM, mindlessly plugging things in, what's this guys number? I want him working on my servers.

Build outside the box (1)

ironicsky (569792) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483700)

I don't know about most people on /. but I build outside the case.

CPU, RAM and cables are installed before attaching the mobo to the case.
Then its a simple step of attaching power and HDD cables and Im done.

I dislike working inside a case, get too many cuts

Major disappointment. (2, Insightful)

wheeda (520016) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482592)

Lame. I was hoping they were going to assemble a 40U rack. Maybe actually use tools. Maybe a stop watch that works the first time you try to stop it. Lame.

Re:Major disappointment. (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482700)

My thought as well.

Give them a few 1U's a few more 2U's and 2 4U UPS's to mount. Give them one of those server lifts too so they don't break their back.

Points given based on tidiness of cables and speed.

Re:Major disappointment. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483016)

And then have to put a 2U PSU aux unit at the top :-)

Re:Major disappointment. (1)

Hyppy (74366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482910)

Or maybe they could assemble an actual rackmount server? What's with this IDE and single power supply crap? No engineer/admin in their right mind would call this a "server." And this is a plug for a HOSTING company? Dear $deity, I weep for their customers.

Lack of server-level hardware aside, how could they even call this "assembling?" My neighbor's 8 year old could plug in two Molex connectors, a couple IDE cables, a couple sticks of RAM, and a processor fan in 45 seconds, and still have time to text his posse.

If they're going to call it "Speed-assembling servers," they probably shouldn't just be re-connecting a couple of the components in an ancient desktop. Pathetic.

ARF PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482594)

This was like watching somebody "speed build" an ARF R/C plane. *yawn* How did this escape from Idle?

Herpes without cares? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482622)

With a lanyard their shirts probably don't read like they wanted to.

Site sources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482634)

If you are going to directly quote Boingboing for your summary, say so. http://www.boingboing.net/2010/03/14/speed-assembling-ser.html#comments [boingboing.net] " Speed-assembling servers Cory Doctorow at 11:05 PM March 14, 2010 At SXSW (where my two of the games my wife commissioned just won Best Game and Best Edugame!), the trade-floor booth for hosting company The Planet is holding competitions to speed-assemble rack-mounted servers. It's like watching latter-day Marines field-strip and assemble their weapons. "

That's not a rack-mounted server (5, Insightful)

pathological liar (659969) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482638)

... and that's not speedy.

The youtube clip is some knob plugging in ram and an *IDE* disk cable in what appears to be a several-year-old desktop. If any of you can't match that, turn in your computer geek card now...

Re:That's not a rack-mounted server (5, Insightful)

ircmaxell (1117387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483040)

I wouldn't match it. Not because I couldn't reach that speed, but because I chose not to. I prefer to take the time to make sure every cable is secure, that each screw goes in straight, not stripped and tight. I take the time to apply thermal grease and make sure it's applied well before carefully placing the heat sink so as not to disturb the grease... I take the time to power the computer up while the case is still apart and on the bench, so that I can verify that all components are working properly before buttoning it up. Sure, doing it fast is nice. It may take twice the time to get it together, but I wonder how much longer it would take you to figure out what's wrong when something doesn't work (including removing the case, and possibly removing components that are blocking the issue)...

Re:That's not a rack-mounted server (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483734)

Yawn. Elitist troll is obvious.

Re:That's not a rack-mounted server (1)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483286)

... and that's not speedy.

It is for ThePlanet... ;)

Just an idea... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482658)

Perhaps they should stop fucking about with stuff like this and get rid of the many spammers they have for customers?

Was it just me? (5, Funny)

naich (781425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482664)

Was I the only one that read his shirt as saying "Herpes without capes" due to the placement of his name tag strap? Oh god, it was just me, wasn't it? I'm sick.

Re:Was it just me? (1)

daveatneowindotnet (1309197) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482794)

I'll admit I read it that way too

Was I the only one who expected this to look like a racing pit-stop (screws being driven into a rack mount like lug-nuts on a new set of tires)

Re:Was it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482808)

Me too!

Re:Was it just me? (2, Interesting)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482876)

OK, I admit I had to go look at it again after seeing your comment - just so I could see what it *did* say.

I read it as herpes, didn't get it, and moved on.

it makes much more sense now :)

Tom...

Re:Was it just me? (1)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482900)

You mean it was something else? I'm serious.

Re:Was it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482930)

Nope, not just you, I read it that way too.

Re:Was it just me? (1)

crazycheetah (1416001) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482972)

Holy shit... I laughed at "Herpes without capes" and almost started thinking the whole video was a joke. And I had to go watch it again to figure out what it did say...

Re:Was it just me? (1)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483234)

You are not alone. I blame it on the yellow strap fooling me into seeing "p" when just glancing at the shirt. Either that, or we're both sick.

Re:Was it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483382)

Read the same thing myself :)

Re:Was it just me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483762)

Still thought is was until i read your post and went back.

Re:Was it just me? (1)

Walruzoar (514362) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483894)

Me too. I spent a few seconds wondering exactly what the slogan "Herpes without capes" meant! Also, that is NOT what I would call a server...

Server indeed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482698)

NO RAID? SINGLE CPU? NO HOTSWAP PSUS? What the hell kind of "server" is this?!

Roughly as challenging to anyone in IT as doing the laundry is to a full-time housewife. Seriously...

Not impressed (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482758)

I would like to see them assemble 300 servers including the racks, wiring and software.

Re:Not impressed (2, Funny)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483044)

300 racks, Blindfolded, while answering phones from angry users asking why their server is down, and being chased by 2 service managers who do have a bet running on you.

I will see your raise...

It isn't done right until you are bleeding (5, Funny)

Rhacman (1528815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482770)

Maybe I'm just clumsy but the job isn't truly over until you discover all the cuts on your hands that you didn't realize you made at the time. The ones that have that sort of quantum uncertainty to them in that they don't hurt until you see them for the first time.

Re:It isn't done right until you are bleeding (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482830)

You must give blood to the BIOS gods or your PC will not boot when first built.

Re:It isn't done right until you are bleeding (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483088)

While I know what you mean, I've only ever done this once with computers since my boss thinks that Blood on the components is a health and sanitary issue.

Re:It isn't done right until you are bleeding (2, Interesting)

cyphercell (843398) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483454)

Your boss is right. If you're really clumsy or doing a lot of work in the cases wear gloves.

http://www.bestvalsup.com/G-Tek-MaxiFlex-Plus-Gloves-p/pip%2034-846.htm [bestvalsup.com]

I know some folks that have to wear debris masks while dusting out PCs.

Re:It isn't done right until you are bleeding (1)

LoudMusic (199347) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483102)

One of my early jobs was at a local newspaper. I sliced my hands open pulling a workstation out from under a desk and didn't realize it for several minutes, all the time wondering why the computer was covered in some red liquid.

First bogus typing speed article now this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31482898)

Sorry but is Slashdot getting increasingly lame or is it just me?

don't show this to your employer (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31482934)

He'll end up planning server installation within the hour; "real geeks can setup a server in 1.2 minutes", he'll mock you.

"But, they already chosen the different components, invested time comparing and haven't installed software on it, they're just clicking the parts together", will end up in deafmans' ears.

Soon enough, they'll call you a slacker because you took 3 days to get that server-rig running with redundancy system to be able to support your SLA-contracts.

I can get a desktop running Windows in under 15 mi (2, Informative)

slaker (53818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483004)

I can go from a collection of parts to a desktop running Windows in under 15 minutes using a prepared disk image on a USB stick.

Servers are actually a bit easier to deal with than that, since the layout is more open. On a Tyan GT20 (a barebones server platform) there's probably about three minutes of work involved in sticking in the CPUs, RAM and hard drives. If I had a prepared disk image for one I could probably get one of those running in 10 - 15 minutes. The hardest part of the whole thing would be getting the machine into the rack.

Re:I can get a desktop running Windows in under 15 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483772)

Do it a lot slower if you want more than a beer as payment ...

Did it work? (3, Insightful)

trippyd (307143) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483014)

I would think that any contest for assembling a computer would involve actually turning the computer on to test if you did it right.

Re:Did it work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483158)

well he wasn't wearing a grounding strap, and he fumbled around with the ram touching the contacts...

Demonstration model (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483022)

That was not the contest.
Maybe they did not want to show the actual servers before the beginning of the contest and only used the tower to demonstrate on?

This is stupid (2, Insightful)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483050)

We build servers here. First rule is that if you hurry, you're likely to screw something up and end up needing to fix something down the road. The hour of downtime and cost of replacement parts later is not worth any up-front savings in time.

Building a server starts with a bare metal chassis (not just plugging in a few snap-in components to a prebuilt). Integrate your power supply, install system board, from there of course it gets dependent on the specifics... but if you're not spending a fair bit of time trying to be neat, tying your cables down, thinking about how to route the cables for airflow, custom-building cables to fit odd needs, tightening screws with the right torque, and all of that, then you're not really doing a good job. Rack mount servers are especially sensitive to the skills of the designer and builder.

Your rack mount server will end up in a rack somewhere where it may not be pulled out for another five years. There may not be a "second chance" to fix it if you rush through building it - it becomes someone else's problem, perhaps, but they won't be thanking you for it.

Re:This is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483254)

I agree... assuming he was able to assemble it so that it would boot and without breaking anything, I'd be surprised if it kept running well, and I wouldn't want to have to work on it later with all of the tangled up cables clogged with dust.

Easy on a server that big! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483104)

Try this on a 1U high rackmount server that's fully loaded and needs a new RAID controller battery!

Re:Easy on a server that big! (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483230)

Try this on a 1U high rackmount server that's fully loaded and needs a new RAID controller battery!

and of course ... without taking the raid out of service!

Stupid... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483130)

I don't like building servers any more. Rather I would have had my clients purchasing either well-known systems already builtr and burned, or at least primary assembly. Maybe I would install drives.

Now a more fun competition would be to build a full sized cabinet, rack/stack the servers, create RAID volumes, install and wire a KVM switch, configure the servers to the KVM, wire Ethernet, configure IPs and remote access, and put your hands up. Then let the referees try and remote in to start OS loads. Extra points for configuring to load a network-based image. Of course this all avoids making decisions like volumes and names, but hey, this is a speed demo.

THAT would be fun to watch. Yes, you must velcro the cabling and leave it so that each server can be extended and serviced. Sadly, while stacking a full cabinet probably would take an hour, it would take, what, how long to verify the work? Better way to test would be to leave them ready to accept a push of a multicast image.

Actually, I would rather field-strip an M16. Servers are boring until the OS is running.

Not the Hardest Part... (1)

Taliesan999 (305690) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483140)

Erm, slotting RAM in, connecting some HDD cables and clipping a fan to the case...

LOL, the hardest part (of any PC build, let alone server (that's not a server)) was always trying to figure out which screw thingamajigs the motherboard required inserting into the case and then putting the motherboard in.

That and the inevitable blood spill! An upgrade or new PC requires a sacrifice of blood!

I'd like to see them speed loading racks. (1)

zerofoo (262795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483142)

I'd like to see them speed un-boxing heavy servers, cursing at different rail types that require access above and below the rack space allocated to you. I'd also like to see them curse when there isn't enough power outlets available in the rack space you've rented, or there aren't enough cable management systems in place to hold all the stuff that connects your gear together.

That would be much more entertaining.

-ted

bah (1)

balbord (447248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483144)

It is NOT "like watching latter-day Marines field-strip and assemble their weapons". No Marine would be so clumsy.

Stupidest video. Ever.

I could win that prize easy (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483146)

I mean, by beating the tar out of these nasally nerds, swiping the prize, and taking their iPhone and lunch money while I was at it. Then going back to wedgie them, because damn, that was utterly, tragically pathetic.

ThePlanet must have some mods here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483178)

Some crazy modding going on today...

Re:ThePlanet must have some mods here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483518)

Yup, someone's got their finger on the "Troll" mod.

latter-day marines? (5, Informative)

bunhed (208100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483180)

"It's like watching latter-day Marines field-strip and assemble their weapons."

umm...no, it was not like that at all. It was more like watching a guy plug in a usb cable.

this was a joke (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483204)

"rack mount"? most racks don't accept full size towers. I'll try to ignore that minor oversight and press on....

So he had to plug in the cables for the hard drive, but not install the hard drive itself, that was already installed for him?

Heck the motherboard was already installed and most of the wiring attached. Over 75% of the work was already done for him. This whole thing was a joke.

This was like a cooking contest that involves seeing who can be the fastest at pulling prepared courses out of the fridge and stuffing them into the microwave.

PHB vs real techs (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483218)

PHB = Impressed by how fast you slap RAM sticks into a glorified desktop. Nice job not running memtest86+, its cheaper for the users to open support tickets after the guarantee expires, right?

Real Techs = Impressed by how cleanly the cables are routed/tied down and how well the equipment and external cables are labeled/documented.

Latter-Day Marines? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483226)

Is that some kind of church?

Assembly is already the fast/easy part. (2, Insightful)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483292)

fast server assembly? BFD. Servers come already assembled. If you want to wow me, show me a challenge where the guy racks, cables it per standards, labels the server properly, labels the cables, sets the switch port vlans, updates the CMDB, etc. You know, does the WHOLE thing, not just the easy part.

Drug Testing (1)

sprior (249994) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483318)

Is having a triple espresso before this competition considered doping or is it just expected...

Slashdotted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483372)

It appears they can't keep their blog site up. If they can't do that then why would I host there?

Hah! (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483492)

I'd rather watch Mike Rowe disassemble a PC in his "tech recycling" job.

Rack Mounting (1)

xdroop (4039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483708)

I was hoping to see them install rack-mount computers. Sure, it isn't as fiddly, but when you have 40 of them to do all at once... you tend to get good at it.

Re:Rack Mounting (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483790)

Sure, it isn't as fiddly, but when you have 40 of them to do all at once... you tend to get good at it.

And it can become a very visual explanation of the "off by one" software bug.

You can also do some pretty good slapstick comedy by installing one heavy rail mounted server in a new empty rack, pull the heavy server out on the rails to test them, then dodge the tipping over rack. You did anchor the rack to the floor and overhead first, right?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31483720)

Silly demo...

From boxed components (eg. case, mobo, fans, cpu, etc) to powered up, tested and then repacked for shipping, that would be the challenge!

WAH? (1)

GregC63 (1564363) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483756)

That was weak... :-/

WTF IS THAT? Huh? What kind of competition! (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483874)

I have been a participant of a similar event in my local city back in my high school (like 8 years ago). I tell you what it should be like.
The competition included everything from screwing motherboard to the case, then CPU, heatsink, fan and all the tightening up all screws. And all component from Fan to PSU to HDD has to be fixed by screws, it wasn't a slide in design. The timer stops when POST is passed will a check with all the components position and make sure they are properly fixed by screws. Like you can't pass with a FDD up side down.

Adding to that, it's done in a team of 3. So optimizing who do what and get the shortest time is an added challenge. You know you can't put HDD first before mobo because of those cheap chassis. Then CPU and heatsink must be done on a flat surface before putting it in the chassis, etc.

lame ... (1)

nblender (741424) | more than 4 years ago | (#31483950)

Not to mention the lack of any sort of ESD strap... Or maybe it was on his 3rd leg... http://xkcd.com/649/ [xkcd.com]
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