Review: Rubbermaid 12-Slot Organizer as a Mac mini server rack

I needed to do something about the Mac minis that were accumulating on the table in my office. Digging around, I found this Rubbermaid organizer on Amazon.

It turns out to be nearly perfect. The unit is very sturdy, was easy to put together, and the shelf height is just right. There’s enough clearance for airflow but not so much that you feel space is being wasted.

I used self-stick cable tie anchors and cable ties to mount the power bricks and used double-stick mounting tape as stops to keep things in place. The old-style minis are heavy enough and are pretty non-slip, so I just put some tape at the front of the shelf to keep them from sliding off. The one new-style mini was pretty slippery so I used the tape to actually stick the base to the shelf.

The unit came with vertical rods that go in the back of each column of shelves to keep them from sliding out the back, but I decided to leave those out. That way I can slide each shelf forward to get DVDs into the mini, or back to get at the connectors.

The weak spot of the minis is the power cord (at least on the pre-2010 models) which comes out quite easily. I tied those down as well and am pretty sure they won’t jiggle their way out. I have four minis in the rack right now along with a Drobo with 10TB of disk. I’m going to be adding a 5th mini with a stackable disk drive, that’s why there’s double-high slot ┬ástill open on the mini side of the rack.

Cable management is an issue, mostly because of the power bricks long cables. I may fiddle with how I fold the cables into the shelves a bit more.

The whole thing plus a UPS and monitor/keyboard/mouse sits nicely on some steel shelves in our A/V equipment room at the museum. I still need to time how long the UPS runs. I’m only going to have the public web site minis on it.

Posted in Mac, Museum