The Pipeline

Need a lift?
When we first learned about a new product that mechanically lifts servers for placement into a rack, we were tempted to joke about the physical strength — or perhaps lack of it — of information technology administrators.

But workplace injuries are no laughing matter, and servers are heavy, bulky and often placed in racks taller than most people. People are susceptible to injuries, and the data on a server can be lost if someone drops it.

That’s why Ergonomic Data Solutions International recently introduced an electric server lift, the first and only one on the market today, according to the company. The General Services Administration and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have approved the ServerLift SL500.

“One gentleman dropped an 80-pound server on his foot,” said Derrick Potter, vice president of Ergonomic Data Solutions. “Not only was he injured, but the server was damaged and the company lost a lot of data.”

The lift, which sits on wheels for portability, is a vertical mast with a horizontal shelf attached. The server sits on the shelf, which can be raised as high as eight feet above the floor. Cleverly, the shelf’s surface can move horizontally six inches in either direction to place the server in the rack or retrieve it for removal.

The SL500 can lift a maximum of 500 pounds, but if the platform is shifted to the side, the maximum weight the unsupported end can hold is 300 pounds.

A foot-activated stabilizer brake keeps the lift from moving when in use, and eight corner-bumpers protect it from damage.

A rechargeable deep cycle sealed Absorption Glass Mat battery powers the SL500.

You can also use the SL500 to lift devices including uninterruptible power supplies; keyboard, video and mouse switches; and PBX systems.

GI, phone home
Disaster areas and combat zones are not friendly environments for telephones, but now there’s a phone that can boldly go where no phone has gone before — at least, no IP phone.

The new 7960 EnviroXtreme Rugged Phone from Coleman Technologies is the first rugged IP phone on the market.

The company worked with Cisco Systems to develop the phone, which is a ruggedized version of Cisco’s 7960 IP phone. Both phones have the same functionality and compatibility, but the EnviroXtreme phone can withstand harsh environments.

Cisco’s CallManager call-processing software provides security, and although the EnviroXtreme phone was designed for use with this software, you can use it with any Session Initiation Protocol-enabled IP telephony system.

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