Design flaws: Tripplite, seriously?

For the latest datacenter I worked in we considered Tripplite racks and PDUs since the prices were extremely competitive and the brand was “not that bad”. APC has always been my go-to brand but this time the decision was taken on price and not quality. Part numbers of hell are SR48UBWD and PDUMV30HVNET (which they nicely discontinued a month after we got them, even if asked about the product’s lifecycle before the purchase).

  • Design flaw 1 – Top cover holes

Those openings are a must when you need to bring fiber/cooper to the rack but only when the hole is well positioned. Check this.

Originally the hole sits right above rack unit 48 and anything coming inside the rack blocks that rack unit (forget about putting a server in there). In our case, the fiber had to follow a diagonal path to connect with the vertical cable organizer.

To solve this we had to drill (yes, drill) a new hole in the cover, at the right position. As you can see, with the new hole the fiber could get straight into the vertical cable organizer, not blocking any rack unit.

  • Design flaw 2 – Weak rack posts

SR48UBWD is 750mm wide, that means you have plenty of space next to the rack posts for cable organizers, PDUs or whatever you need to keep your rack tidy. However the posts on these racks are weak, and I may be actually meaning cheap.

I racked two Catalyst 3850 switches, the latest multigigabit model and I’m not going to lie, it’s heavy stuff, but this rack simply cannot with the weight, you can see the posts and the switches bending down at the back.

On the last picture, you can see the difference when mounted on a firm APC Netshelter SX rack, no bending at all. Since I don’t like trays, I will probably make a custom pair of long rack ears to install at the back, similar to the ones used with the Cisco Nexus switches.

  • Design flaw 3 – Misplaced PDU leds

This one is funny, very. Tripplite sells a very handy universal to C13 AC adapter that lets you use all those American, European and Asian plugs, however, the PDUMV30HVNET comes with a weirdly placed led that makes impossible to plug the adapter properly.

It works, but if you happen to slightly touch the adapter, “c’est fini”, you lost power. Top-notch design here, it tells you how much the business units talk to each other at Tripplite.

Tripplite, I’m officially done with you, but you already knew that.

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