How to deal with airflow problems in your network cabinet

How to deal with airflow problems in your network cabinet

The main purpose of a network cabinet is, of course, to house networking hardware and connect it to the servers and networks that need it. But that task is impossible if your networking cabinet is not built to optimize airflow for that networking hardware.

Striking the right balance of RUs in a networking cabinet with airflow needs - not to mention cable management and service access - is what motivates the product engineers and builders at Legrand Cabinets and Containment Business North America to build better networking cabinets. With decades of experience in the industry, we know how important this balance is.

blk_strait_cab_w_fanOptimizing usable space inside and outside a rack

Balancing these competing demands is less straightforward than you’d think, because the networking hardware and cabling that needs to be housed in these cabinets isn’t standardized. Depending on your processing needs, there are an endless variety of servers, switches, and other hardware available to choose from. In addition, the volume of cabling needed to power and network modern servers, switches and storage can contribute to unexpected deployment problems. Your servers may fit, but leave no room for network cabling. Without sufficient clearance, masses of wiring will obstruct airflow and reduce the efficiency and efficacy of your cooling and ventilation systems. And that costs money.

Zooming out from an individual rack, your data center, no matter what the size, needs to function seamlessly as a whole. Whether you’re managing a single room or a whole building, you are ideally using standard rows of racks in order to maximize the use of square footage for computing processing space.

Opting for oversize racks to provide more room for servers or switches alongside their cables, however, can have an impact on aisle containment or airflow duct work plans for your space. How each rack interacts with the others in addition to the overall plan for keeping the space cool is critical. Small differences add up and can cause big problems in a tightly configured data center.

Appropriate accessorizing for better airflow

That’s why the teams at Legrand Cabinets and Containment North America have spent years perfecting a suite of airflow management accessories to optimize our racks so you can fit as much hardware as possible inside them without sacrificing efficient and effective airflow management.

Our EZ blanking and plastic blanking products snap in place with no tools required for installation and have no need for additional mounting hardware. They are designed to conform with EIA standard 19-inch rail spacing and can be used with almost any Legrand CAC racks. Furthermore, they are available to be used in multiple sizes: for example, the EZ Blanking is shipped in six sheets of 10RU panels - a total of 60RU of blanking - that can be broken into smaller panels depending on your needs.

And any configuration will allow you to block heat and funnel cool air as needed to keep racks cooled and functional.

In addition, our suite of cable management accessories can help keep a tangle of wires from mucking up your airflow - not to mention make it easier to access the right cable and the right connection when you need to provide service! We offer:

  • Cable fingers that mount to rails and create horizontal cable management systems to relieve cabinet strain.
  • Front-to-rear cable channels that attach directly to mounting rails and run cables from front to rear of the cabinet.
  • PCM Brackets, designed to manage equipment power cables. Mounted directly to cabinet struts, they don’t consumer RU space and are compatible with a variety of cable management accessories such as “Snap and Twist” D-Rings, Saddle Wraps, and Lobster Claws.

Learn more about Legrand's airflow solutions today


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