Cisco R-Series Rack and RP-Series PDU Installation Guide
Site Preparation
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Table of Contents

Site Preparation

General Site Requirements and Recommendations

Tools Required

Prepare the Subflooring (optional)

Space and Clearances

Safety Recommendations

Moving the Unit Safely

Safety with Electricity

Preventing Electrostatic Discharge Damage

Plant Wiring

Planning Considerations

Environment Required

Dust and Particles


Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference


Power Source

Power Requirements

Site Preparation Checklist

Site Preparation

General Site Requirements and Recommendations

Consider the following issues when planning your installation site for the Cisco R-Series Rack:

  • The unpacking and installation process requires 3 logistical steps:

Unloading the unit from the vehicle in which it is shipped

Using a forklift or similar device to move the unit to an unpacking site

Moving the unpacked unit to the installation site

  • Select an unpacking location with adequate surrounding space for the unloading process. You must allow for the pallet.
  • Choose an installation site that can accommodate your Cisco R-Series Rack. To provide for future installation of a joined configuration, you should plan enough space for additional cabinets that occupy the same amount of space as the initial cabinet.
  • Make sure you have enough people to help you safely unload and install the system. A fully loaded cabinet can weigh over 2000 lbs (907 kilograms); even an empty cabinet is approximately 300 pounds (136 kilograms) and moving it can present dangers to both personnel and the incorporated equipment.
  • Plan a smooth and unobstructed route from the off-loading site to the installation site. You should only move the rack when it is empty of all equipment.

Imperfections or obstructions in the floor between the unloading and installation site might hamper the movement of the unit. If you encounter an obstacle such as a sill or carpet, exercise care in navigating over it.

  • Verify that you have adequate standard tools on hand. See the “Tools Required” section.
  • Ensure that your site contains an adequate power infrastructure

Tools Required

You may need the following tools and equipment to install the Cisco R-Series Rack:

  • Documentation for the devices you plan to install in the rack
  • ESD-preventive wrist straps for each person
  • Phillips head screwdriver (#2)
  • 4mm Hex driver
  • Pozidriv screwdriver (#3)
  • 3/8” or 1/2” flat-head screwdriver (to lower and raise stabilizers)
  • Adjustable wrench (for unbolting system)
  • Allen wrench (to disassemble caster assembly after unit is sited)
  • Standard clippers or knife (to cut packaging binding)
  • Tape measure
  • Level
  • Anchoring bolts
  • Rotary hammer drill
  • Fork lift
  • Chain hoist

Prepare the Subflooring (optional)

To prepare your site for installation of the Cisco R-Series Rack you may need to reinforce the floor to support the Cisco R-Series Rack when fully loaded with equipment. Refer to Figure 2-1 to assure that the reinforcement will have secure anchoring for the rack.

Figure 2-1 Anchoring Pattern for the Cisco R-Series Rack


Note It is your responsibility to fulfill local seismic safety standards.

Space and Clearances

Figure 2-2 shows the dimensions and space requirements for the Cisco R-Series Rack.

Figure 2-2 Space Footprint


Plan for at least 3 feet of clearance in front of the Cisco R-Series Rack to install servers or networking equipment. Refer to the documentation for the equipment you plan to use to find out how much clearance is needed at the rear for ventilation or other uses.

Safety Recommendations

The following guidelines will help to ensure your safety and protect the equipment. This list does not cover all potentially hazardous situations, so be alert.

  • Review the safety warnings listed in Appendix B, “Translated Safety Warnings” of this guide before installing, configuring, troubleshooting, or maintaining the Cisco R-Series Rack.
  • Keep the area clear and dust free during and after installation.
  • Keep tools and components away from areas where people might accidentally step on or kick them.
  • Do not wear loose clothing, jewelry (including rings and chains), or other items that might become trapped in the chassis. Fasten your tie or scarf and roll up your sleeves.
  • The Cisco PDUs ship with locking 3-wire electrical grounding-type plugs, which will only fit into grounding-type power outlets. This is a safety feature. The equipment grounding should be in accordance with national and local electrical codes.
  • Be sure to use the installed products in accordance with their marked electrical ratings and product usage instructions to guarantee safe operation.

Moving the Unit Safely

Note Before you install the system, make sure that your site is properly prepared so you can avoid having to move the Cisco R-Series Rack later. Specifically, choose your installation site to accommodate existing power sources and network connections.

Whenever you move the Cisco R-Series Rack or any heavy object, follow these guidelines:

  • Always disconnect all external cables before moving the Cisco R-Series Rack.
  • Do not attempt to move the unit by yourself. Never attempt to lift an object that might be too heavy for 1 person to lift alone. If you are not sure how much a particular object or device weighs, refer to the appropriate device specifications.
  • Ensure that your footing is solid, and balance the weight of the object between your feet. (See Figure 2-3.)

Figure 2-3 Unsafe Lifting Practices


  • Move the system slowly; never move suddenly or twist your body as you push.
  • Keep your back straight and push with your legs, not your back. If you must bend down to move the Cisco R-Series Rack, bend at the knees and not at the waist to reduce the strain on your lower back muscles.
  • Move the rack from the middle. Grasp the middle of the Cisco R-Series Rack exterior with both hands.

Safety with Electricity

Most networking and data center devices are designed to be removed and replaced without presenting an electrical hazard or damage. Refer to the documentation for individual components for the few procedures that require completely removing power to a component, but in those situations you should always remove the plug on the component side first, and unplug all components connected to a PDU before unplugging a PDU.

Follow these basic guidelines when working with any electrical equipment:

  • The installation of your Cisco R-Series Rack should be in compliance with national and local electrical codes. In the United States, the relevant code is National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 70, United States National Electrical Code. In Canada, it is Canadian Electrical Code, part I, CC22.1. In other countries, you should observe the standards of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 364, part 1 through part 7.
  • Before working on equipment that is connected to power lines, remove jewelry (including rings, necklaces, and watches). Metal objects will heat up when connected to power and ground and can cause serious burns or weld the metal object to the terminals.
  • Before beginning any procedures requiring access to the Cisco R-Series Rack interior, locate the emergency power-off or breaker switch for the room in which you are working.
  • Disconnect all power and external cables before installing or removing a PDU or Cisco R-Series Rack.
  • Do not work alone when potentially hazardous conditions exist.
  • Never assume that power has been disconnected from a circuit; always check.
  • Do not perform any action that creates a potential hazard to people or makes the equipment unsafe.
  • Never install equipment that appears damaged.
  • Carefully examine your work area for possible hazards such as moist floors, ungrounded power extension cables, and missing safety grounds.

In addition, use the following guidelines when working with any equipment that is disconnected from a power source, but still connected to network cabling.

  • Never install network wiring during a lightning storm.
  • Never install network jacks in wet locations unless the jack is specifically designed for wet locations.
  • Never touch non insulated wires or terminals unless the line has been disconnected at the network interface.
  • Use caution when installing or modifying lines.
  • Read the installation instructions before you connect the system to its power source.

Warning Connect the device to a grounded power outlet. Statement 25

Warning For Nordic countries (Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark) this system must be installed in a Restricted Access Location, where the voltage of the main ground connection of all equipment is the same (equipotential earth) and the system is connected to a grounded electrical outlet. Statement 328

Warning Do not work on the system or connect or disconnect cables during periods of lightning activity. Statement 1001

Warning Read the installation instructions before connecting the system to the power source. Statement 1004

Warning This product relies on the building’s installation for short-circuit (overcurrent) protection. Ensure that the protective device is rated not greater than: 30 A in the US and Canada and 32 A International. Statement 1005

Warning This equipment must be grounded. Never defeat the ground conductor or operate the equipment in the absence of a suitably installed ground conductor. Contact the appropriate electrical inspection authority or an electrician if you are uncertain that suitable grounding is available. Statement 1024

Preventing Electrostatic Discharge Damage

Electronic components are sensitive to Electrostatic discharge (ESD). ESD precautions should always be taken when handling electronic components. Electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage occurs when electronic cards or components are improperly handled and can result in complete or intermittent system failures. Use an antistatic strap whenever handling electronic components. carrier edges only; never touch the boards or connector pins.

Note Always tighten the captive installation screws when present. These screws prevent accidental removal, provide proper grounding for the system, and help ensure that the bus connectors are properly seated.

Following are guidelines for preventing ESD damage:

  • Always use an ESD wrist strap or ankle strap and ensure that it makes good skin contact.
  • When handling a removed component, make sure the equipment end of your ESD strap is attached to an unfinished chassis surface of the device in which it is housed. Do not touch the printed circuit board, and avoid contact between the printed circuit board and your clothing.
  • Always place the component side up on an antistatic surface or in a static shielding bag. If you are returning the item to the factory, immediately place it in a static shielding bag.
  • Ensure that any plug in devices are fully inserted and their captive installation screws are tightened. The captive installation screws prevent accidental removal and provide proper grounding for the system.

Note For safety, periodically check the resistance value of the antistatic strap. The measurement should be between 1 and 10 megaohms (Mohms).

Plant Wiring

When setting up the plant wiring and cabling at the site of the new system, consider the distance limitations imposed by power cable lengths and connector compatibility.

Planning Considerations

When planning your rack installation, consider the following guidelines:

  • Make sure that the system has adequate ventilation.
  • Always install heaviest equipment as low as possible in the Cisco R-Series Rack to maintain a low center of gravity and prevent the Cisco R-Series Rack from falling over.
  • Use the cable management brackets and straps orderable for use with this system to keep cables organized and out of the way of the exhaust fans.
  • Make sure that cables do not impair access to the fabric extenders and expansion modules or require you to disconnect cables unnecessarily to perform equipment maintenance or upgrades.
  • To prevent device overheating, never install networking devices in a room that is not properly ventilated or air conditioned.

Environment Required

The Cisco R-Series Rack and PDUs are operable well beyond the specifications of the servers or networking equipment you are likely to install in them. Refer to the user documentation of the devices you will install to determine the required environment for those devices.

Cisco PDU specifications are in Table 2-1 :


Table 2-1 Environmental Specifications for the Cisco PDUs


Shipping or storage temperature

–40 to 60° C

Operating temperature

10 to 50° C

Shipping or storage relative humidity

5 to 95% (including condensing) with no droplets of liquid

Operating relative humidity

5 to 90% (including condensing)

Shipping or storage elevation

0 to 50,000 feet (0 to 15,240 meters)

Operating elevation

0 to 10,000 feet (0 to 3048 meters.)


The unit does not produce significant sound.

Most compute and networking equipment is designed to operate within the conditions as specified by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

ASHRAE has published a common set of guidelines for equipment manufacturers and data center designers to standardize on the following issues relating to a data center site:

  • Operating environments for classes of equipment
  • Equipment placement for optimum reliability and airflow
  • Tests of performance and the operational health of the data center
  • Equipment installation evaluations
  • Methodology for reporting power, cooling, and environmental specifications

These guidelines were developed by an industry consortium as part of the ASHRAE Technical Committee 9.9 and are presented in the 2004 report Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environment. These guidelines were updated in 2008 by the ASHRAE Environmental Guidelines for Datacom Equipment.

For information about ASHRAE and the report, refer to the ASHRAE website ( ).

Dust and Particles

Exhaust fans cool power supplies and system fan trays cool equipment by drawing in air and exhausting air out through various openings in the chassis. However, fans also ingest dust and other particles, causing contaminant buildup in the equipment and increased internal chassis temperature. A clean operating environment can greatly reduce the negative effects of dust and other particles, which act as insulators and interfere with the mechanical components in the equipment.


The corrosion of equipment connectors is a gradual process that can eventually lead to intermittent failures of electrical circuits. The oil from your fingers or prolonged exposure to high temperature or humidity can corrode the gold-plated edge connectors and pin connectors on various components in the equipment. To prevent corrosion, avoid touching contacts on modules and protect the equipment from extreme temperatures and moist, salty environments.

Electromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference

To reduce the possibility of EMI and RFI, follow these guidelines:

  • Cover all open slots with a metal filler.
  • Always use shielded cables with metal connector shells for attaching peripherals to the equipment.

Note To predict and prevent strong EMI, you might need to consult experts in radio frequency interference (RFI).


Electronic equipment is sensitive to variations in voltage supplied by the AC-power source. Over-voltage, under voltage, and transients (or spikes) can erase data from the memory or cause components to fail. To protect against these types of problems, you should always make sure that the racks that hold the servers or networking devices are grounded. When the racks are grounded, the equipment installed in them are automatically grounded. Refer to the instructions specific to the products you install in the rack for grounding steps.

Power Source

You should use dedicated power circuits (rather than sharing circuits with other heavy electrical equipment) for each PDU you install in the Cisco R-Series Rack. The circuits must be rated for 30 A or 32 A, 200 to 250 VAC. The receptacles for these circuits should be within 6 feet (1.8 m) of each PDU unit when it is installed in the Cisco R-Series Rack. Check the power at your site before installation and periodically after installation to ensure that you are receiving clean power. Install a power conditioner if necessary.

Power Requirements

Refer to the documentation for the devices you plan to install in the Cisco R-Series Rack.

Site Preparation Checklist

Planning the location and layout of your equipment rack or wiring closet is essential for successful network operation, ventilation, and accessibility. Table 2-2 lists the site planning tasks that we recommend completing before installing a Cisco R-Series Rack or PDU.


Table 2-2 Site Planning Checklist

Task No.
Planning Activity
Verified By


Space evaluation:

  • Space and layout
  • Floor covering
  • Impact and vibration
  • Lighting
  • Maintenance access





Environmental evaluation:

  • Ambient temperature
  • Humidity
  • Altitude
  • Atmospheric contamination
  • Air flow





Power evaluation:

  • Input power type
  • Power receptacles1
  • Receptacle proximity to the equipment
  • Dedicated circuit for power supply
  • Dedicated (separate) circuits for redundant power supplies
  • UPS2 for power failures





Grounding evaluation:

  • Circuit breaker size
  • Ground





Cable and interface equipment evaluation:

  • Cable type
  • Connector type
  • Cable distance limitations
  • Interface equipment (transceivers)





EMI3 evaluation:

  • Distance limitations for signaling
  • Site wiring
  • RFI4 levels




1.Verify that the power supply installed in the chassis has a dedicated AC source circuit.

2.UPS: uninterruptable power supply.

3.EMI: electromagnetic interference.

4.RFI: radio frequency interference.