Building your own cases and servers......(was DUAL CPU board vs 2 Single CPU boards: bang for buck? )

Lechner, David Lechner at
Thu Mar 14 06:48:51 PST 2002

I posted this a year ago, but thought it'd be useful given the recent
interest and traffic again in home-built cases.
Summary - you better have a lot of luck, a great insurance policy, and maybe
a good lawyer if you are going down this path......
Regards /. Dave Lechner.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Lechner, David [SMTP:Lechner at]
> Sent:	Tuesday, March 06, 2001 3:34 PM
> Cc:	beowulf at
> Subject:	RE: high physical density cluster design -structural...
> I'll throw in that there are some valid liability concerns and
> Underwriters Lab issues and insurance policy issues that people building
> their own hardware should think about - 
> There are greater risks of electrical fires when dealing with plexiglass
> and plywood casing for electrical products - esp. ones that get hot spots
> and PC processors and such - This somewhat applies to almost all
> open-frame no-case type designs also!  Will the electronics be protected
> from dust and paper falling on them forever?  Who is doing your assembly
> work for you?  Training? Certifications?
> I would hate to have to provide explainations to a corporate or university
> financial manager after-the-fact when 50 PCs in plywood or plastic cases
> were mounted in a high density home-grown arrangement caught on fire, or
> worse-yet that fire injured someone or the box electricuted someone that
> was in doing this with little guidance or training.
> That bunch of UL and NEBS tests are what the insurance industry falls back
> onto, and is why the products are slightly (or a lot) more expensive than
> spin-your-own boxes.  I think that university teams in particular are
> given some flexibility (in some cases not!) for EE laboratories, but that
> is a special case and probably a special insurance policy also.  Since the
> market for cluster products has evolved now it seems worth considering.
> This also does not count the personal or project time factors involved -
> are you in the hardware business or do you want to get code running -
> there are qualified hardware vendors that can provide hardware to
> specification or in vanilla flavor at reasonably quick turnarounds - 
> Best of luck in the projects ... - 
	Dave Lechner

More information about the Beowulf mailing list