Maybe a bit stupid question, but

Sometimes (rarely but it happens) I need to move a server in a rack 1-2U up or down. What do you think, which of the ways is the most correct and useful and why?

  • remove a server from the rails, detach a rails, attach them back to the new place, put a server back on the rails

  • carefully, hole by hole (or by 2-3 in one step if possible) move a rails together with a server

  • do everything in some other way (explain)

Please do not write "you must plan a rack before assembling" etc. This is good idea to plan everything but unfortunately the real life is not so ideal :)

  • 3
    I see there's already one close vote on this but I feel this is a good question that most admins will encounter sooner or later. Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 1:43
  • thanks, personally I see it's always the best way to solve - remove a server then move a rails, I agree with this and recommend doing this way always when possible (except maybe a few rare circumstances i.e. the server is very heavy and nobody can help you to remove it; or you can't turn off a server right now but need to move it asap etc.)
    – disserman
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 16:06

1 Answer 1


While time-consuming, removing everything altogether and putting it back in the new location is the best way to move a server. Trying to take shortcuts will only risk bending your rails, making them unusable. (Bent rails are hard - if not impossible - to bend back.)

Never mind the possibility of dropping your server outright, possibly damaging yourself, the floor, or other servers!

This is also a good time to fix your cable management if it's sloppy...

Also, since you should be taking an outage on the server (you are shutting it down, aren't you?), it may be a good time to do those things that you don't otherwise have time for, like firmware updates?

  • 2
    +1 Moving equipment in situ is an honest, royal, PITA.
    – jscott
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 0:31
  • 2
    +1 Sometimes there's only one option that makes any sense, as many of us have already learned the hard way. Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 1:42
  • 7
    +1 Break out the Velcro tape and fix that cabling!
    – Chris S
    Commented Oct 11, 2010 at 15:27
  • 4
    @Chris S: +1 for hook-and-loop tape... Stay the heck outta my racks with those damned zip-ties. I carry a pair of dikes in my backpack at all times.
    – jscott
    Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 13:29
  • 5
    While dikes are a commonly known tool, I am forced to refer to them as diagonal cutters for fear of misunderstanding and dirty looks for not being politically correct. :( Commented Oct 13, 2010 at 13:47

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