Chapter 1. Planning the Installation

This chapter contains a checklist of the activities required to prepare for the arrival and installation of an SGI computer system, followed by details of the checklist items.

Some installations are simple enough that it isn't necessary to explicitly go through all the actions in the checklist. In other installations, the checklist can help you to organize the many tasks that need attention. Those responsible for the installation must decide into which category their particular installation fits.

For a detailed discussion of most of the items mentioned in this chapter, refer to Chapter 2, “Site Preparation Concepts”, and to the chassis-specific chapters (chapters 3 through 8).

Organizing Activities

This chapter provides a step-by-step process to help you organize complex installations.

Read this chapter for an overview of site preparation activities, and then use Table 1-1 to track progress for your particular location and system. The rest of this guide provides specific details, many of which are relevant to the installation.

The extent of site preparation tasks depends on the size and complexity of the system. A few small systems are easily installed with little or no modification to the existing site. Large systems, or numerous small systems, require more preparation, with their greater requirements for power, air conditioning, and so on. When installing a system, keep in mind how it fits in with the rest of the equipment installed at that site.

Some sites require that you have specialized knowledge to plan and install services such as power, air conditioning, and safety equipment. Always follow local and regional codes and recommendations while performing activities under regulation. When using consultants, verify that they are licensed and knowledgeable about local regulations.

Site preparation also involves thinking about the future. As configurations grow, site requirements change. While planning a site, consider how and when the site will need modification, and plan accordingly. Make sure the infrastructure being installed (power, air conditioning, and so on) can support future expansion plans.

To minimize mistakes and unforeseen situations for complex sites, assign one person as a coordinator to read this guide and assign tasks. Table 1-1 is only a guideline and cannot cover all circumstances involved in site preparation. Also, many activities are interdependent and involve compromises. After the coordinator evaluates the dependencies and compromises, this guide can be divided among several people so that multiple activities can be performed at the same time.

Start with the activities that take the longest time. Pay particular attention to activities that involve dependency on others, such as having an electrician install power circuits, and to items that are expensive to change in the future.

When you have completed the activities outlined in Table 1-1, the site is prepared and is ready to receive the system. To proceed, refer to the installation instructions provided for the system. See “ Additional Documentation” for the source of additional documents.

Site Preparation Checklist

See “Site Preparation Checklist Details” for details about these items.

Table 1-1. Site Preparation Checklist


Date Completed


Verify intended site






EMI, ESD, vibration, acoustics



Install power and air conditioning



Determine power requirements



Read grounding section (“Chassis Branch Circuit Grounding” in Appendix B




Install power circuits (if required)



Install safety and protection equipment



Determine thermal load



Install air conditioning (if required)



Prepare physical location



System chassis



Terminal, monitor, keyboard, mouse



Prepare to receive shipment



Determine size & weight of items



Locate required tools (see Table 1-2




Arrange assistance to move large items



Prepare for external cabling






Serial terminals and/or video monitors



Keyboards and mice



SCSI devices



External networks



Serial devices



Parallel devices



Site Preparation Checklist Details

This section provides additional details about the items in Table 1-1, and gives references to sources of further information.

Verify Intended Site

  • Make sure the system can be safely transported to the intended site, and that it will fit once it gets there. Refer to “Physical Location” in Chapter 2 and the individual chassis chapters (chapters 3 through 8) for detailed site requirements.

  • Make sure the intended site does not have any unusual EMI or ESD problems. See “Electromagnetic Interference” in Chapter 2 and “Electrostatic Discharge” in Chapter 2 for more information.

  • Make sure that the intended site falls within the vibration limits for the system to be installed. Refer to the tables in the individual chassis chapters (chapters 3 through 8) to determine these limits. If the intended site exceeds these limits, take corrective action.

  • Make sure the acoustic output of the planned installation does not present a problem. Refer to “Acoustics” in Chapter 2 and the individual chassis chapters (chapters 3 through 8) to determine the acoustic output of the planned systems. If these totals present a problem, take corrective action.

Install Power and Air Conditioning

Prepare Physical Location

Prepare to Receive Shipment

  • Consider the size and weight of the shipping cartons listed in the individual chassis chapters (chapters 3 through 8), and make any necessary preparations to receive them. Also read “Physical Location” in Chapter 2.

  • Refer to Table 1-2 to determine the tools needed for each listed activity.

    Table 1-2. Tools Useful for Receiving and Installing Systems



    Tools Required

    Unloading crates


    Pallet jack with 22” fork spacing (up to 200 lb).



    Forklift (can require up to a 1,000-lb capacity).

    Opening shipping cartons or crates


    Knife (to cut strapping bands).



    Gloves (protection from crate splinters).
    Wrench, 7/16” or adjustable.


    Monitor, destination kit

    Knife (to cut packing tape).

    Moving system

    Low-profile dolly that keeps chassis vertical;
    moving blankets or wraps.

    Installing chassis


    Usually no tools are required.
    Addition of optional components may require 7/64” allen wrench or medium slothead and cross-recess screwdrivers.

    Stabilizing chassis (seismic protection)


    Stabilizers to screw into 1/4”-20 UNC threads on chassis underside.



    Stabilizers to replace leveler feet in M12 x 1.75 threads on chassis underside.

    Connecting cables


    Small slothead and cross-recess screwdrivers.

  • Arrange for assistance moving large items. In particular, assistance is recommended when

    • receiving a large shipment

    • uncrating a rack chassis

    • moving a rack chassis.

      Caution: Always use assistance when moving equipment up or down ramps. For rack systems, use a minimum of three individuals. On fully configured systems, up to five people may be required to move the chassis safely. Avoid ramps that exceed a 20° angle.

Prepare for External Cabling

Read the individual chassis chapters (chapters 3 through 8) to determine which local devices may be installed, then make any necessary arrangements. Also see Appendix A, “Site Preparation for External Peripherals”.Appendix A, “Site Preparation for External Peripherals”