I'm in the process of shopping around for a new server and came across the "1U Rack Bezel" option for Dell's PowerEdge™ R310 server. The only hint is the german heading "Frontblende" which seems to imply that it is just an aesthetic choice.

So the question is: For what do I need the bezel and why does it cost 15€?

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    If you had googled for "dell bezel" and click the images link, you'd have had a bunch of pictures that would show you what they are; server, CDROM, workstation bezels...faceplates. – Bart Silverstrim Oct 1 '10 at 11:38
  • @all: thanks for the thorough answers and the inevitable discussion about why people expect things for free :-) P.S.: Mitch's comment is true. – David Schmitt Oct 1 '10 at 15:53

The bezel is attached to the front side of the server and it protects the hard drives and the power button from removal or accidental usage. The bezel comes with a key and a lock but it's not necessary if the server itself is only accessible by you or your administrator staff.

In my opinion it is just an aesthetic choice. We're using about 120 DELL servers and we don't have any bezel installed.


It's a bit of plastic that makes the server look less like the metal box of bits it actually is and more like the sort of thing that management-types have been led by salespeople to think servers look like - i.e. it's purely aesthetic - nice of Dell to give you the option I guess, not many other places do.

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    It can also usually be locked for security, and they are custom fit for the particular server so the blinkies line up properly on the front of the bezel. – Bart Silverstrim Oct 1 '10 at 11:37
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    +1 for an answer that addresses the pointy haired boss issue. – joeqwerty Oct 1 '10 at 11:39
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    @Bart: But of course... blinkies are important to the pointy haired bosses. :) – joeqwerty Oct 1 '10 at 11:40
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    And sysadmins who walk into a dark server room and get comfort from the cool blue scrollies and blinkies, and for a brief moment, feel they're back on the Enterprise from when they were kids playing in their imagination... – Bart Silverstrim Oct 1 '10 at 11:45
  • @Bart; I'm definitely comforted when I walk in an all the lights are green. – Chris S Oct 1 '10 at 12:44

Well, why it costs money - use your brain. Seriously. Why should Dell turn it out for free if not everyone has it so it is not included in the price for the server. It is a part, it costs money to make and store until someone buy sit and Dell is not in the business of giving money away. Seriously, "why do things cost money" questions are not smart.

Now, for the rest.

It normally is a front cover which can be LOCKED (!). This is the most important thing. You install a bezel and you can lock all the hard drives into the server so people can not remove it. Most of the time you also lock access to things like reset button (but obviosuly not the power cord). Whether this makes sense seriously depends on server usage. A server in an open rack - MAYBE (!). Even then the hoster will gladly help you go after other idiot customers playing with your equipment while doing maintenance on theirs. Larger (locked half rack, like me) and even before the real sense starts to disappear pretty fast.

I seriously prefer open servers where I can rip out the discs as needed without playing around with keys for the brezel first.

  • +1. Cheers on the "Why do things cost money" retort. I'm always amazed when I hear people ask this question. The open source movement has created a monster, now everyone wants everything for free. – joeqwerty Oct 1 '10 at 11:37
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    +1. However that bezel is (quite flimsy) plastic, the lock is metal. It does not take a burly sysadmin (or a screwdriver) to coerce the bezel from its lock position. I also believe the keys may not be unique. – jscott Oct 1 '10 at 11:41
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    Well, techncially ariflow prevention is a problem and dust non-existent in a server room. I have seen metal brezels that were quite stable. Again, as I said - I think it is not needed. Point. I prefer my servers acccessible. – TomTom Oct 1 '10 at 11:50
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    @TomTom: I don't see that he asks why it costs money, he's asking why a lump of plastic costs 15 euro. There is a difference between "I want it for free" and "why does a piece of plastic not required for the operation of the server cost so much". That's how I read it anyway. – Mitch Oct 1 '10 at 13:30
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    @TomTom: I agree with Mitch. He didn't ask why a part costs money. He asked what it was and why it cost 15 euros. Don't rake smby over the coals for sthg they didn't say. – LarsH Oct 1 '10 at 15:16

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