Nervous about putting $250k worth of IT gear in a $1000 rack? You should be...
Servers and network switches are the backbone, bloodline and most valuable, tangible resource in every computer room, data center and mission-critical IT facility. The professionals who manage, service and innovate in these areas have many options to consider when deciding on a rack or cabinet to house, support and protect this critical gear.
There are a few essential things to think about when assessing a server cabinet. What is going in it? Where will it be provisioned? What is the power source? How will cabling enter and leave the rack? What about airflow management to get cool air to the inlets and remove hot exhaust air?
Let’s consider these things. First, what is going inside? The typical width of a server cabinet is 24" wide to accommodate 19" EIA rack mount space mounting. (This can make trying to manage cables a little tight. More on this later.) What kind of mounting hardware is required? Check with your OEM to be sure. Often this is an overlooked detail that can come back to bite you later...
Want to learn how to avoid other commonly occurring mistakes on cabinet installation?
Check out our latest webinar:
"Planning Like a Pro: Handling Surprises During Containment Installation"
Where is the rack being provisioned? Is it in-house at the user location or off-site at a third-party integrator? If it is on-site, be sure to check into logistical details such as loading docks, inside delivery accommodations and elevator space.
It is becoming more common to build the rack off-site using third-party integration services commonly called “Rack 'n' Stack”. In this scenario, the integrator takes delivery of all the equipment and builds the rack to user specifications. Cabling and testing can also be done before final delivery. In this application, you will want to be sure that the cabinet you choose has a load rating sufficient to hold up during shipping. (this is called the DYNAMIC load rating) The acceptable industry minimum is 2000 lbs.
Rack power distribution units or “RPDUs” are usually mounted in the rear of the cabinet. Be sure to check with your vendor of choice to ensure that the appropriate mounting hardware is being provided to securely mount your RPDUS and don’t forget that every piece of equipment that goes in your cabinet is going to have at least one power cord. Power cords are bulky. Be sure to factor in power cable management and think about the “day two” ability to plug things in and out. You can usually identify the members of the team charged with this task by their skinned knuckles!
Network cabling comes in two flavors: Copper and Fiber Optic. Network cabling is usually done in the front of the cabinet. Think about both horizontal and vertical cable management as well as cable access and egress. Take care to design in filament brushes to cover all cable openings because open spaces can be detrimental to the next item for consideration………air flow.
Time and research have proven that most data center “cooling” problems are really airflow problems. It is vital to keep cold supply air separate from hot exhaust air. Your cabinet vendor should be able to evaluate your application and recommend airflow management accessories such as brush kits, blanking plates and airflow baffle systems.
Last, but certainly not least, are you going to be able to get the cabinet you need when you need it?
Legrand Cabinet and Containment has taken these factors into consideration. The solution is the AFCO brand Titan T6 Server Cabinet. Titan T6 is built using a fully- welded, six post tubular steel frame. Using steel tube and six vertical posts instead of the industry standard four posts make the T6 a workhorse with a dynamic (shipping) load rating of 3000 lbs.!
The vertical posts are also configured to provide extra space for power and cable management. The design also creates a bit more “knuckle room” for technicians making moves, adds and changes.
Power and cable management brackets or PCMs are welded into the frame to ensure a sturdy and durable mounting surface for RPDUs and power cables. PCMs are built with a trellis-like design that provides many places to cinch up cable ties.
The T6 is “containment friendly”. All seams are fully-welded to eliminate air leakage and many airflow management accessories are available to meet your needs.
Titan T6 is part of the READY SHIP program. This means that the most common size configurations of the Titan T6 are IN STOCK at our east coast and west coast locations. Cabinets can ship in DAYS as opposed to WEEKS. Since we are a full-service cabinet manufacturer, we can configure the cabinet to meet your needs. Buy only what you need. Why buy two side panels for every cabinet when you only need one at the end of each row? Don’t need doors? Fine. Don’t want top panels? OK. Our customer service teams are all trained cabinet and containment experts. Just tell them what you need and they will make sure you get it.
Legrand Cabinet and Containment has manufacturing and stocking locations on the east and west coasts. Our brands include Ortronics, Electrorack, AFCO, and Minkels as well as Raritan and Servertech for RPDUs. This enables us to offer factory bundled cabinet and power solutions. Give us a call to discuss your applications today.
Let us know what you think of this post! Our primary goal is to promote conversation about data center efficiencies achieved through modern engineering of quality solutions and IT Happiness!
Until next time - feel free to share with your colleagues!