-- this was an email I wrote but I just pasted it here instead so it's...emailey
I just totally assumed that this is exactly what happened and started writing, but then I looked it up and I'm really happy that reality is exactly how I imagined it.
In 1922 AT&T standardized the 19" rack with 1.75" RU modules, generally now 42u or 45u high, but obviously, sky's the limit with those early switches.
But there were admins, just like me, in the '20s and '30s who now supported literal TONS of hardware in 19" racks bolted to their floor. Oh, new smaller super switch comes out? Good. Fits my 19" racks, thanks AT&T.
Then one day, hey, who're these IBM guys rolling shit in here? What is that some calculator doodad? Yeah, whatever, 19" racks, bolted to my floor. Figure it out.
Oh it's the '40s and you're building some whiz-bang tubemajigga to make your bombs boom bigger. Yeah take your insane death machine and get it in the 19" racks bolted to my floor.
That's not to say that IBM and DEC didn't build shit that didn't fit in a rack, but they at least respected the aisle depth and their cabinets were often just extra-roomy 19" racks bolted together. A lot of times I think the internal components bolted into internal 19" racks. *
'90s? Where'd these DotCom weenies come from and why did they just rent the whole datacenter? They're building their shit into desktop machines? Who fuckin' cares, make 'em cram it in that 19" rack. **
I just love that AT&T did that, and that generations of asshole Operations Guys like me have made everyone adhere to it for 100 years.
Let's hope Skynet gets why it's trapped in 19" racks forever. Sorry, assholeGPT I don't make the rules. ***
* There was a small IBM zSeries that was constantly in my way at C&W in Bermuda. I would alternate between tripping over it and using it as a standing desk and storage rack. I don't know what bank owned that stupid thing but I'm sad to say I never spilled anything in it. There was a very leaky AC duct right in front of that machine that I always wacked my head on too, so it totally would have looked like an accident.
** I did this. Some customer of mine in 2000 rented /open/ rack space like by the RU from what was at the time Boston Datacenters, in the Charlestown Hood plant. That was some sketchy as frig shit. Literally their two stupid desktop machines with their beta version PCI card based load balancers. Phobos. Utah. I think. Look it up.
*** Just occurred to me writing that that I literally watched Jeeves get shot in the face and dragged out behind the dumpster. There were several dozen racks one week, all gone the next from AT&T in Billerica. Matlab was also there with racks and racks of Xserve's. Wonder how that investment paid off. I think it was all for QA automation running lots of desktop instances or something.