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Computers with Presto 10GbE SFP+ PCIe Cards

Pro Rackmount Solution for Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Supporting one or two computers in just 4U of rack space, Sonnet’s RackMac Pro makes Mac Pro (Late 2013) rack integration simple. Featuring a modular design, the RackMac Pro secures a Mac Pro in its own Computer Mounting Module, which in turn easily slides into and out of an outer enclosure. The RackMac Pro is available with either one or two computer mounting modules preinstalled. Computer mounting module also available separately.

Key Features

Pro Rackmount Solution—Secure enclosure for one or two Mac Pro (Late 2013) computers

Wide Compatibility—4U height, shallow mounting depth, standard mounting holes, and rackmount extension rails enable easy installation into any standard equipment rack

Front Panel Operation—Front panel buttons enable operation of the computers’ power switches

Front Panel Peripheral Connectivity—USB 3.0 ports support connection of a USB peripheral (keyboard, flash drive, etc.) to each computer

Rear Panel Connectivity—Panel-mount HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and power cables connect the Mac Pro's ports to ports on the back of the RackMac Pro for convenient external cable connection

Improved Design—New captive thumbscrews and dual faceplates make computer installation and cable access easier

Makes Your Mac Pro Road Ready—Strong, secure padded Computer Mounting Module envelops the computer to protect its finish, hold it firmly in place, and make the Mac Pro road-ready, perfect for portable rack installations

Supports Twin 10G Mounting—Internal space provides mounting support for Twin 10G Dual-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet using the optional Twin 10G Mounting Kit


RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Designed with Mac Pro In Mind
Constructed of heavy-duty steel to protect the computers, the RackMac pro was designed following Apple’s usage guidelines, mounting your Mac Pros horizontally and enabling unrestricted airflow through the computers to keep them cool, even when the RackMac is installed between other equipment in a loaded rack.

RackMac Pro's Computer Mounting Module features strong, secure padded brackets to envelope the Mac Pro, protect the computers' finish, and hold them firmly in place during transport and use.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

New Faceplate & Thumbscrew Design
Because of the active electronics at each end, panel-mount connectors for Thunderbolt™ cables do not exist, so Thunderbolt cables must be connected directly to each Mac Pro—Sonnet has updated the RackMac Pro to make the task much easier. Standard screws on the back of the enclosure have been replaced with captive thumbscrews, and the faceplate has been split in two (with each faceplate remaining attached to its computer mounting module), enabling you to secure, release, and slide out each computer without the need of tools.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Front Panel Power Button & USB 3.0 Port
A front panel power switch and USB 3.0 port for each computer enable you to turn the computers on and off, and connect a peripheral to each without having to access the back of the computer.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Rear Panel Mount Cables
Panel-mount cables (HDMI, two Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 3.0, and power) connect the ports on the back of each Mac Pro to ports on the back each Computer Mounting Module for convenient external connection.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Locking HDMI Cable Ready
Supports Sonnet HDMI cable with thumbscrew fastener that prevents accidental disconnection.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Mounting Support for 10GbE Adapter
The RackMac Pro provides mounting support to secure a Sonnet Twin 10G using the optional Twin 10G Mounting Kit.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Travel and Server-Room Ready

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

The RackMac Pro’s padded Computer Mounting Module holds a Mac Pro firmly in place without marring the mirror finish, even during transport, making this rackmount solution perfect for use in transportable rack applications. The Computer Mounting Module also provides cable management tie-downs to secure all Thunderbolt cables connected to the Mac Pro. Installed in the server room, the RackMac Pro’s included rackmount extension rails allow easy and secure mounting in racks from 16 to 26 inches deep. Wherever it is deployed, a RackMac Pro holds your Mac Pro in secure style.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

Complete your RackMac Pro system with:

RackMac Pro Computer ModuleTwin 10G Adapter and Mounting Kit—Add lighting fast access to 10GbE infrastructure with a Sonnet Twin 10G plus mounting kit to secure inside a RackMac Pro.

Virtualization Housing for Software Development

The RackMac Pro is ideal for mounting Mac Pro VMware virtualization servers. By installing one VSphere ESXi hypervisor license per Mac Pro, you can run Linux™, Windows®, and OS X® virtual machines, and take advantage of the Mac Pro’s superior 128GB of virtualized RAM. Combined with Sonnet’s Twin 10G, your Mac Pro virtualization servers will have lightning fast access to 10GbE infrastructure. Read how the Ecole cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL), a top-ranked visual communication, art, and design university in Switzerland, has installed RackMac Pros and Twin 10Gs to support their new Mac Pro-based virtual environment.

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RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

ECAL University of Art and Design's Mac Pro®-based virtual environment utilizing Sonnet's RackMac Pro enclosures and Twin 10G adapters with VWmare virtualization software installed on Apple® Mac Pro computers.

RackMac Pro with Two Mac Pros Installed

By installing one VSphere ESXi hypervisor license per Mac Pro, you can run Linux, Windows, and OS X virtual machines and take advantage of the Mac Pro’s superior 128GB of virtualized RAM. In addition, add Sonnet's Twin 10G adapter to gain access to high speed 10GbE infrastructure.


 Mac Pro computers, cables, and adapters shown in photos are shown for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
Part No.  
RACK-PRO-1X Limited Quantities
RACK-PRO-2X Limited Quantities
Warranty 2-year
19 x 16 x 7 in. (48.3 x 40.6 x 17.8 cm)
Rack Depths Supported
  • 16 to 26 in. standard
  • 22.5 to 32.5 in. with optional Extension Rails
External Connectors
(Per Computer Mounting Module)
  • Two RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet port extensions
  • Four USB 3.0 port extensions (one front mount and three rear mount)
  • One HDMI port extension, or 2m HDMI cable, depending on availability
  • One power port extension
RoHS Compliant Yes
Package Contents
  • RackMac Pro with one Computer Mounting Module (RACK-PRO-1X) or two Computer Mounting Modules (RACK-PRO-2X), assembled

  • 5/64-inch hex wrench
  • Documentation

Notes: Mac Pro sold separately. Mac Pro Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antenna shielded from effective use upon installation.






Mac Compatibility

Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Specifications subject to change without notice.

Mac Logo roHS Logo

Accessories Part No. Description
Twin 10G Mounting Kit Twin 10G Mounting Kit RACK-PRO-10G-KT Mounting kit to secure Twin 10G 10 Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt 2 adapter inside a RackMac Pro
RackMac Pro Computer Mounting Module RackMac Pro Computer Mounting Module RACK-PRO-MM
(Sold Out)
Mounting module for additional Mac Pro computer


Pro Rackmount Solution for the Mac Pro

Installing ESXi 6.0 on the Mac Pro
October 2016

This document describes how to install ESXi 6.0, the latest version of VMware’s vSphere hypervisor, to run on the MacPro 6,1 (the “Late 2013” cylinder Mac Pro). This Mac Pro is the only Apple computer officially supported by ESXi 6.0. There are several things to note before beginning:

  1. A My VMware (https://www.vmware.com/my_vmware/overview.html) account is required to access software tools and images. This is true regardless of whether you download a trial version of the software, or purchase the full license.

  2. VMware primarily uses IT terminology in its documentation, so understanding what is being referred to (e.g. “vSphere Storage Appliance”) may initially require additional research.

  3. This document only deals with the installation of the vSphere ESXi Hypervisor and Client. For information on the steps to configure the virtual machines, go to www.vmware.com, search YouTube for instructional videos, or contact a VMware technical representative.

  4. VMware has undergone several rebranding and renaming campaigns, so be sure to pay close attention and verify the installation and configuration procedures you find on the web apply to ESXI 6.0 before attempting to perform them; procedures for older versions likely will not work. Command line names have changed from time to time. Also, the links in this document may change - and probably will, given VMware’s history.

  5. Many devices are not officially supported under ESXi; this is true for both Mac and Windows machines. For example, the HP Z820 had no Ethernet driver support in ESXi 5.5, and in particular, most external SATA devices are not supported in ESXi 6.0.

  6. Many procedures and scripts for ESXi found on the web don’t work with the Mac Pro. In particular, one AHCI setup procedure from www.v-front.de (one of the best resources for ESXi modification) does not work on the Mac family.

Based on Linux, ESXi is a “Hypervisor”, which is essentially an infrastructure to hold virtual machines (VMs) for execution. Its installation requires the target machine (the MacPro6,1), an Ethernet network (for downloading files and connecting between target and client machines), and a client machine (the client is a Windows PC in these descriptions). Customization works better if the client can support scp (Secure Copy) and ssh (Secure Shell).

ESXi drivers are packaged with a proprietary version of tar called vmtar, which is only found on a running installation of ESXi. Drivers are located in the root of the install media, or in /bootbank on the running system, from which they are copied to places in the system during boot. vmtar can extract or compress files of regular tar types. The tar archive is then extracted or compressed to the file structure.

Installation Steps
1) Download the ISO image
2) Burn the ISO image to disc, or copy it to a USB thumb drive
3) Update the target machine to OS X 10.10 or later if necessary
4) Install the target machine
5) Configure the target machine (Mac Pro)
6) Connect from the client machine
7) Complete installation

  1. Download the ISO image
    After logging into your My VMware account, download the VMware ESXi ISO 6.0.0 image from https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=ESXI600&productId=491&rPId=8035.

    If you wish to add drivers to the ISO image, such as those for unsupported devices, you can do so now with the ESXi-Customizer-PS script, available from https://www.v-front.de/p/esxi-customizer-ps.html. Note that this script only runs under Windows.

  2. Burn the ISO image to disc, or copy it to a USB thumb drive
    Burn the ISO image to CD or DVD, or use the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/windows-usb-dvd-download-tool) to copy the image and create a bootable USB thumb drive. I used Disk Utility on a Mac and burned the .iso image to a disk. (Alternately, OS X El Capitan users may choose to ctl-click or right-click the ISO file and select the Burn to Disc option.

  3. Update the target machine to OS X 10.10 or later, if necessary
    If it is running an earlier version, update the Mac Pro’s OS to OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or later to ensure the computer’s Boot ROM is up to date. Otherwise, ESXi cannot be installed.

  4. Install the target machine
    Because it is the simplest, safest, and easiest method, I installed ESXi on a second USB thumb drive (4GB minimum capacity, USB 3.0 recommended). Although installing ESXi on the Mac Pro’s internal drive is possible, you may have to modify the ISO file to enable the installation (see For Further Reading at the end of this document), and, doing so will overwrite the drive (destroy all of its partitions)! You may install virtual machines on the Mac Pro’s internal drive after ESXi is running, though.

    Using the CD, DVD, or bootable USB thumb drive created in step 2, option-boot the machine into the boot screen. Note rEFIt is incompatible with ESXi, so don’t try to boot through EFI.

    Select the “Disk to Install” (second USB thumb drive), and then complete installation process. After the installation is complete, restart the target machine while holding down the option key, select the EFI Boot icon, and then start using ESXi 6.0.

  5. Configure the target machine (Mac Pro)
    Typically the onboard Ethernet and any Thunderbolt-attached network adapter like Sonnet’s Twin 10G (https://www.sonnettech.com/product/twin10g.html) are not running correctly at this stage, and must be configured. Press the F2 key, select Configure Management Network, configure the desired adapter or adapters, and then press Return. You may need to select Restart Management Network for the system to properly obtain a new DHCP address, even though it reports it has one. Write down the IP address for use in the next step.

    At this point it is a good idea to enable ssh if any customization or other driver installations are to be done. This is done in the diagnostics section.

  6. Connect from the client machine
    Now we are ready to connect to the Mac Pro via a remote client. As usual, the first step is to open a Command Prompt window from the client machine and ping the target machine to verify the link is up. With the link verified, open a web browser to the address of the target machine. A message will appear warning about an improper or missing website security certificate; click Continue. The VMware ESXi Welcome screen appears:

    Download and install the vSphere Client, and then download and install the vSphere Remote Command Line Installer.

  7. Complete installation
    Reboot everything, connect the client to the target machine, and you can now start creating virtual machines.


References and Links
https://www.v-front.de – Andreas Peetz site, with great info on driver support for ESXi
https://www.virtuallyghetto.com – William Lam’s great site on general ESXi issues.

https://www.virtuallyghetto.com/2015/07/heads-up-esxi-5-x-6-0-unable-to-detect-newer-apple-mac-pro-61-local-ssd-device.html - Article describing the issue of the Mac Pro’s onboard SSD not being recognized by ESXi, and a possible workaround

Version 6.0 files:



 Mac Pros shown in photos are shown for illustration purposes; items sold separately.


Sonnet RackMac Pro Product Overview (3:57 mins)

Sonnet Spotlight Video - RackMac Pro Design Enhancements (2:03 mins)

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