For the average business, the first reaction to realizing more cabinet space is needed for a growing data center is to invest in bigger cabinets. Thankfully, this process seems to have become a trend in recent years, and many cabinet production companies are taking note. Reports indicate that greater depth of units, an increased amount of cabling to contain, cool air flow requirements, and the need to minimize wasted space is inspiring bigger racks and enclosures. Researchers predict that an annual fifteen percent annual growth of cabinets over the next few years.
It isn’t difficult to recognize that the demand for taller data cabinets is due to a desire to draw more floor space out of a data center after the horizontal space has already been maximized. Moving upward becomes the only way to find available real estate. For better or worse, however, there are limits on how high devices can be stacked. Out of interest for safety and regulations Liz Cruz, analyst at IMS Research, states, “The growth may be limited to 45U and 48U racks, given the logistical limitations associated with racks of 51/52U or higher. Transporting and moving in racks of this size is made difficult by truck height restrictions and doorway openings to most data centers.”
Geometric size is not the only concern, as weight also factors into data center layout. Weight limitations aren’t based solely on how much the cabinet can hold when being loaded inside the building, it is integral to take into consideration the weight that can be accommodated when shipped fully loaded. Yet another reason for increased cabinet size might have nothing to do with the increase in server size, however. As more equipment is stuffed into a given area, less air is available to cool the system and trying to make room for cords running between all of the equipment can become extremely problematic.
In the near future it is estimated that shipments of 800mm wide cabinets will increase at almost double the rate of smaller units. As far as depth, the 1100mm category is presently the most commonly used, but 1200mm models are likely to steal that title. As the size of our machines and the number of machines required to operate continue to increase in parallel, the need for improved data cabinets will always be present. It is in the best interest of any company reliant on having a functioning data center to locate a cabinet production business that is easy and convenient to work with.