The Sun rack with PN 595-5953-01 does not use the normal rails like HP and IBM uses.

Does there exist Sun rails so standard servers can be put in it?

Or perhaps those L-shelves, where you lay the servers on the the L-shelves?


The reason I am asking is because since the rack was put in place, a cooling pipe have been mounted on the wall, which prevents the rack from being pulled out. If I should remove it, then it would have to be sawed in two.

Right now I have left the old Sun servers in the rack powered off, just to separate the hot and cold room.

So either I can let it stay as it is, and not be able to use the rack, or saw it over, and then have to find something to cover the hole where the rack was. I would prefer to be able to put normal servers in it.

  • 1
    I have absolutely no idea what you're going on about. Could you be much more specific about the problem you're facing?
    – Chris S
    Aug 15, 2014 at 16:55
  • 1
    @ChrisS Looks like they have an old SUN-systems rack that doesn't appear to have EIA-310 standard rack-holes.
    – sysadmin1138
    Aug 15, 2014 at 17:18
  • 2
    I'm only familiar with modern HP equipment, but they either come with rails that will already work with round holes (eg DL380 G7 rails work with both), or you'd need to buy the "alternate" rails that work with round holes. I imagine IBM and Dell have similar designs.
    – Chris S
    Aug 15, 2014 at 17:40
  • 3
    Just don't use it. There's no reason to start any project with a round-hole non-standard rack today. See: What to look for in a server rack?
    – ewwhite
    Aug 15, 2014 at 18:18
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    Yup, Dell call those "versa rails", they tend to be slightly more expensive, but they are so much easier to work with
    – dyasny
    Aug 15, 2014 at 18:55

3 Answers 3


Just don't use the Sun rack!! It really can't be converted.

Starting a new project with a round-hole non-standard rack today is irresponsible.

  • Racks are not expensive new.
  • Racks can be purchased used or refurbished, if cost is a concern.
  • If you're going through the steps to rack mount equipment, you may want to future-proof it a bit.

A more comprehensive description of rack types and features is available at:

What to look for in a server rack?

You can't go wrong with APC's NetShelter rack offerings.

  • 1
    +1 for the APC racks. They're the best I've ever seen.
    – EEAA
    Aug 15, 2014 at 18:53
  • Yes, would be great to get a new rack, but I am in a situation where I can't get the rack out. See updated OP. Aug 15, 2014 at 20:10
  • 1
    Then this is a function of the servers and equipment you wish to use in the old rack. Most HP and Dell systems have options for round-hole mounting, and third-party adapters do exist. However, it will be a case-by-case situation, and there's no generic advice we can give about making this rack universally compatible.
    – ewwhite
    Aug 15, 2014 at 20:12

The EIA-310 standard does have provision for round holed racks, however the Server industry has pretty much stopped supporting them. Square holed racks are far easier to build for and are much more tolerant of slight variances in rail build. Thus, for vendors who have to sell into a market where buyers can have racks from any of a hundred suppliers it makes rail-engineering a lot easier.

Which is to say, it can be done. However, you will have to source rack-rails that fit your equipment and support round holes.

It's probably easier to just not use that old rack.

  • I will try the DL380 G7 and Dell Versa rails as suggested, as I can't get the rack out. See the updated OP. Aug 15, 2014 at 20:17

I've had to do exactly this to reuse an old Nova rack from the 70s that had round holes.

First I tried clip-on cage nuts intended for round holes. These worked okay but have a fairly low maximum load. So okay for small switches but not servers.

From Left, two rivnuts, uncompressed. Two clip-on cage nuts, with bolts. Then two slip threads (only had one spare) and last a common square cagenut for comparison. Own work

Second I tried Rivnuts, which kinda worked but were too large or too small. I could have drilled out the rack holes to take the larger rivnuts, but they were expensive, and would have obstructed other rail systems from going home properly if I changed the rack content.

Likewise I thought about cutting square holes instead of round, but a quick test on a scrap of metal convinced me that was going to be a painfull lot of work for minimum gain.

Finally I used a combination of 1/4" bolts and nuts for rackmount items, and used some HP servers whose rails are designed to clip into round or square holes.

Two switches held in by bolts. Own work

Workshop amp and tuner Own work

Close up of a spare bolt Own work

In theory I should have used a washer under the last nut, to spread the load over the equipment. In practice this hasn't been needed.

I should have used a much thinner first nut (the one holding the bolt in the rack, between the rack and the equipment) but locknuts were bonkers-expensive compared to normal ones - 12x the price.

Downside - you need a spanner or a tool to cinch the nut down tight and undo it. The ideal tool would be a deep nut driver on a screwdriver.

You could use wingnuts instead, but they run the risk of fouling on something. Super-deep nuts would help too, but they're not cheap.


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