Following are links of my DIY 6-Node Hadoop Cluster using i3 Machines,

What is the best possible way to protect my design from dust & provide better heat transfer? What should I use to cover four side of my rack in order to protect it from dust?

  • 6
    It's kinda adorable. In a strange kinda way. Jan 7, 2013 at 14:32
  • 1
    How's the performance?
    – ewwhite
    Jan 7, 2013 at 14:34
  • good air conditioner. If you can get +15 °C then dust will be less. Much less. Also you can put 400 or 450w PSU because they are designed to provide more power and cool down PSU. So they will produce less heat.
    – Guntis
    Jan 11, 2013 at 7:59

4 Answers 4


Here's what I'd do.

Get some large sheets of thin Lexan (or even foam board / corrugated plastic board - I know this as Correx, YMMV).

Punch some holes through it, and bolt it to the holes on the uprights. Build about a foot or more higher on the top, cut out a hole and then mount a 12v automotive radiator fan on the top. You'll also want to build in some air-path through the "rack". One way to encourage airflow up and across would be to block alternate shelf-sides, and then build out a "box channel" for it to flow through. Side view.

                           || Fan Out
            | +-+--------->++          |
   And Up   | ||                       |
            | ||                       |
            | ||-----------------------+
            | ||                       |
            | |<----------------------+|
            | <--+                    ||
               | +--------------------+-+ |
               |                       || |
               |                       || |
               +-----------------------|| |Air flows up
               |       +----------------> |
               |   +-----------+       || |
               |   |           |       |+ |
               +---|Filter IN  |-------+--+
               |   |           |       |
               |   +-----------+       |

Cut out a panel at the bottom, and mount in that hole a filter from a ducted AC unit..

The theory is that air will be drawn up from the bottom (where it's cooler), through the filter panel, up past the servers, and out the hole with the fan in, on the top.

Or just buy a few 2U rack server cases from somewhere like Xcase, and then get a second hand rack to put them in.


Use real server cases with good cooling/ventilation paths.

  • 1
    +1. Exactly what I was going to write. There's a good reason real server cases have all of those plastic ducts - to direct airflow directly onto and away from the components that produce the most heat.
    – EEAA
    Jan 7, 2013 at 13:37
  • 4
    @TomTom Google started in an era before server hardware was the sort of commodity product it is now. Cargo cult "Google does this, so we can" thinking can be harmful.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 7, 2013 at 15:15
  • 3
    "google does this" - yes but google does 'this' (whatever 'this' we're talking about, server hardware right now, sure, but other things too) because google have looked at their needs and come to that conclusion. They're not doing it because "altavista did this", and you shouldn't be doing it "because google does this". Now if you look at something google is doing and it makes sense for you too, then fill your boots. Otherwise... not so much.
    – Rob Moir
    Jan 7, 2013 at 15:26
  • 2
    @TomTom OP does not appear to be doing anything like that.
    – ceejayoz
    Jan 7, 2013 at 18:35
  • 4
    that rack is holding 6U of stuff in 42U of space. Microsoft experimented with putting servers in a tent outdoors. That doesn't make it a good idea.
    – Sirex
    Jan 7, 2013 at 22:38

Honestly? Unless its in a very dirty or very hot place (ambient temperature of above 30c in the room), nothing.

Those computers aren't going to generate much heat and there is loads of room around them to dissipate the heat they do generate. Not nearly enough to worry about in any case.

  • And if you stand the boards on edge dust will be pretty much a non-issue, as it will tend to just fall down. Jan 10, 2013 at 9:09

Use mini-itx.

No heat. No dust. No noise. (almost) no electricity bills.

I've been running hadoop 8 nodes cluster for a month+.

The cluster is described here: http://www.pault.com/p/table-t

The cluster is used to datamine hadoop urls: http://hostedrobots.com/hadoop/

  • How about raspberry Pi? Jan 10, 2013 at 15:45
  • Or soekris, yeah, right. No comparison. Raspberry Pi is an R&D toy. Mini-itx is different league, supported by intel and other big names. But then again, I think you were joking, right?
    – PaulT
    Jan 11, 2013 at 0:48
  • Er. Kinda.. Not really joking, more just idle ponderings. Jan 11, 2013 at 10:13
  • Found this one for you then: serverfault.com/questions/405834/…
    – PaulT
    Jan 11, 2013 at 19:42

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