Everything You Need to Know About Seismic Cabinets

Posted by Gaw Technology on 5/28/2013
If a disaster occurred near your company, how safe would your servers be?  Disaster preparedness is important for every business regardless of its size, and companies and businesses need to do whatever they can to ensure that their servers and data will be intact in case of a man-made or natural disaster.  You may not be able to have control over when disasters occur, but you do have control over what kind of protection methods you can use to keep your crucial IT network equipment safe. 

Seismic cabinets are one of the toughest kinds of server cabinets you can buy.  Despite their name, seismic cabinets can protect your servers from a lot more than just earthquakes and the occasional tremors.  Seismic cabinets could keep your servers safe from events as serious as natural disasters and weather events, to something as small as protecting them from damage from the vibrations from airports, railroad tracks, and power facilities.

Who Should Consider Using Seismic Cabinets?

Literally everybody with a computer server can benefit from using a seismic cabinet since they keep servers safe from a lot of outside damages.  Even though everybody can benefit from them, there are some businesses and industries that could benefit more from using them.  Hospitals, government agencies, and fire and police stations should all have their servers contained in seismic cabinets since it's crucial for these agencies to stay operational during an emergency.  Data centers should also use seismic cabinets to protect their servers and their client's data.

What Should I Look for In a Seismic Cabinet

If you want to ensure that you find a seismic cabinet that meets your needs, you need to use the Network Equipment-Building System (NEBS) criteria.  The NEBS is a set of safety, spatial, and environmental design guidelines applied to telecommunications equipment in the United States. You can read more about the NEBS scale here for a more in-depth explaination for the terms, but for this post we'll give you the basics of each NEBS level:

NEBS Level 1: NEBS level 1 cabinets are for a very low threshold of equipment hazards and network degradation. Operability requirements are not enforced for NEBS Level 1 certification, and it's usually used for getting prototypes into lab trials.

"NEBS Level 2: NEBS lever 2 cabinets are ideal for servers that will be in a controlled environment (usually datacenters) that will not be subjected to environmental stress.

"NEBS Level 3" NEBS Level 3 cabinets are ideal for people who want their servers to be protected against almost every threat possible.  NEBS level 3s have strict specifications for:

  • Fire suppression
  • Thermal margin testing
  • Vibration resistance (earthquakes)
  • Airflow patterns
  • Acoustic limits
  • Failover and partial operational requirements (such as chassis fan failures),
  • Failure severity levels
  • RF emissions and tolerances
  • Testing/certification requirements

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