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Unpacking Your Cluster Hardware


Watch our instructional video on unpacking your HPC cluster from Advanced Clustering:

WARNING: The components of an HPC Cluster can be very heavy. Some pre-assembled clusters are more than 2,000 lbs. Great care must be used when unpacking and/or moving a cluster or any of its components.

Check For Shipping Damage
Despite all attempts at safe and secure packaging, occasionally some packages get damaged during shipping. Any suspected shipping damage MUST be reported WITHIN 48 HOURS. After 48 HOURS we will be unable to file any claims with the carrier or the insurer.

Tools Required
Installing an HPC Cluster will require the following common tools.

  • Box Cutter
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Slot head screwdriver
  • Diagonal cutters (also called wire cutters)
  • 1/2″ wrench or socket
  • (Optional) drill or electric screwdriver
Unpacking A Rack
Unpacking a rack will require a minimum of three people. Do not attempt to unpack a rack alone. The following tools will be used:
  • Box cutter
  • 1/2″ wrench or socket
  • Diagonal cutters
If you have a drill or electric screw driver with a socket attachment, it can be used to remove the bolts securing the rack to the pallet.

Do not discard the pallet or the packaging for the rack. In the event that your cluster may need to be moved these packing materials are required for the safe transit of the rack.

  • Use the box cutter to cut the plastic stretch wrap. Take care to not cut through to the thicker plastic covering placed directly over the rack. Remove the stretch wrap from the rack.
  • Remove the cardboard corner protectors.
  • Remove the documentation packet from the plastic covering.
  • Slide the plastic covering up and off of the rack.
  • Open both sets of doors on the rack and cut the zip tie that attaches the key to the inside of the door. Keep these keys in a safe place. The keys are required for the doors and side panels.

Removing And Attaching Doors And Side Panels
There are some situations that may require the rack doors and/or side panels of the rack to be removed like installing new equipment or reducing weight when moving a rack.

Removing A Door

    • Open door as far as it will open.
    • Disconnect the grounding wire on the inside hinge side of the door. There is a spade connector in the middle that should pull apart easily.
    • Gently lift up on the door

Attaching A Door

    • Lift the door and place the hinges in matching grooves.
    • Lower the door into the holes making sure that all hinges are firmly in position.
    • Reconnect the grounding wire by pushing the male end of the spade connector into the female end.

Removing A Side Panel

    • Use the rack keys to unlock the side panel.
    • Pull the siding latch directly below the key hole.
    • Tilt the side panel away from the rack and lift up to remove.

Attaching A Side Panel

    • Slide the bottom portion of the side panel into the ridge on the rack.
    • Tilt the top of the side panel up until it latches securely into the rack.
    • Lock the side panel using the key.

Shock Pallet

Fully assembled racks can weigh up to 2000 pounds! Use extreme caution unpacking and moving. Fully assembled clusters are shipped on shock pallets. These pallets have a layer of shock absorbing foam built in to protect the rack, and its contents, from shock and vibration. Also included are ramps to remove the rack from the pallet. If the ramps are missing do not attempt to remove the rack from the pallet by other means; Immediately contact Advanced Clustering to obtain replacement ramps.

  • Using the box cutter, carefully cut the plastic stretch wrap and remove it from the rack.
  • The ramps are covered in plain cardboard. Remove them from the side of the rack and remove the cardboard.
  • Locate the holes on the top surface of the pallet and place the metal tabs of the ramps in to holes. The ramps must be fully inserting and align flush with the top of the pallet.
  • There are brackets located along the bottom edge of the rack on the front and back sides. Use the 1/2″ wrench or socket to remove the bolts and brackets. Retain these bolts and brackets.
  • Do not push the rack from the top, it can tip over! Slowly roll the rack toward the ramps taking care to line the casters up in the middle of the ramp.
  • Carefully roll the rack down the ramps.

Standard Pallet

A rack with rails and cables can be up to 500 pounds! You will need at least three people to remove a rack from a standard pallet.

  • Clusters that are to be assembled on site are shipped on standard packing pallet. The rack will have the sliding rails, cables and other accessories installed.
  • To reduce weight remove the doors and side panels.
  • There are brackets located along the bottom edge of the rack on the front and back sides. Use the 1/2″ wrench or socket to remove the bolts and brackets. Retain these bolts and brackets.
  • Carefully lift the rack then slide the pallet from underneath.
  • Gently place the rack down on the floor.

Releasing Cables Tied For Shipment

To prevent damage during shipping, some of the pre-installed cables will be bundled up and secured to the rack. These will be attached with black, white, or green zip ties that have not been trimmed. There will be a long “tail” hanging from the zip tie.

To release the cables from the zip tie, use the diagonal cutters to cut the zip tie. Be careful to avoid cutting the cables and cut the zip tie between two cables.

Unpacking Nodes

Unpacking cluster nodes will require at least two people. A box cutter will also be required. Please retain at least one box for each type of node. In the event that warranty service is needed, the original box will be required to protect the node from damage.

  • If the nodes are on a pallet they will be covered in plastic stretch wrap. There may also be nylon straps holding the boxes to the pallet. Using a box cutter, carefully cut any straps and remove the stretch wrap.
  • Working with one node at a time, remove a box from the stack on place it on the ground. Cut the tape sealing the box with a box cutter. Take care to not cut too deep.
  • Open the inner box.
  • Lift the cardboard panel out of the box.
  • With one person per side lift the node up and out of the inner box
Use our Breakin stress test and diagnostics tool to pinpoint hardware issues and component failures.
Check out our product catalog and use our Configurator to plan your next system and get a price estimate.

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