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How to decide between a customized or pre-configured cabinet

How to decide between a customized or pre-configured cabinet

Sourcing cabinets to manage airflow can be complicated; there are almost endless factors to consider:

  • What servers and switches are you using?color_airflow_cab
  • Will you house the same servers and switches in every rack?
  • Does that hardware ventilate front to back or side to side?
  • Where do you need access points to a row or to an individual rack?
  • Are you cooling your data center with hot aisle or cold aisle or some other cooling system?
  • What are the power needs for those servers and switches?
  • How will power cables run between cabinets?
  • How will networking cables run within the rack?

Each individual question on this list can be addressed with its own article on the accessories, customizations, or types of cabinets available to solve for airflow challenges. But a larger question to answer when procuring cabinets that are ideal for efficient airflow in cooling is whether you’d like a modular or a pre-configured cabinet.

Customizable cabinets are blank slates - just four posts and an open top and bottom, maybe some adjustable rails included for holding your servers. You can then customize that cabinet with accessories to create exactly the environment you need for your specific application. Having complete control over the cabinet can be a huge benefit, as can the fact that a modular cabinet can be reconfigured later using the same or new accessories whenever you need.

However, that means your cabinets will come in many pieces and need to be assembled on site. That requires having skilled installers on site, potentially coordinating delivery schedules with their availability. It also requires allowing time in a build out timetable for assembly and installation.

Pre-configured cabinets are fully equipped offsite and arrive just needing to be plugged in. These cabinets are often welded completely, which means they can’t be changed around later and must be designed specifically for the equipment you’ll be housing that cabinet. What you lose with flexibility when opting for pre-configured cabinets, however, you gain in specificity - these cabinets are designed by the manufacturer to your exact specifications, so when working with unique build out projects might be the way to go.

A complete airflow management system for any cabinet

When opting for a customizable cabinet system, Legrand Cabinets and Containment Business North America has a suite of accessories available to build the cabinet you need on the spot and adjust its functionality over time. These accessories are all designed with airflow best practices in mind, and to be as flexible as possible to meet your needs.

However, no matter which type of cabinet you choose, our teams have also designed a complete airflow management system that can be installed by our engineers in a pre-configured cabinet, or ordered separately to be installed on site in a modular cabinet.

Cross Breeze rail system is an airflow management system that can be purchased and installed on site in either Legrand’s modular, customizable T-Series cabinets, or ordered as part of an LX cabinet custom build.

This total solution is comprised of cable management rails that accommodate snap-together, tool-less baffle systems. The system are mounted into rails themselves, the non-useable space of the rack, and this helps accommodate side-to-side airflow without cannibalizing any of the valuable RU space in the cabinet.

Whether you want to order customized racks with Cross Breeze installed, or you’re looking to upgrade an existing modular rack with the Cross Breeze system, you can improve the ventilation and cooling of your network switches and cabinets fast. Contact us at Legrand CAC and let us help you get started today.

Learn more about Legrand's airflow solutions today
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