Server Racks: The Essentials Of Server Housing

Posted by Gaw Technology on 4/11/2013
To protect the servers, equipment and secure information in your data center you need high-quality server racks, cabinets and enclosures. But how do you know what will fit best in your space when there are so many options, product types and accessories available? 

First Thing’s First

Before you make any purchases, make sure your cabinet is big enough to hold everything you intend to house in it, including bezels in the front and cables in the back.

The standard cabinet is 44 rack units (44U) tall with an average external height of 83 inches, average external width of 24 inches and average external depth of 42 inches. However, keep in mind 44U rack external dimensions will vary by manufacturer.

The internal rack dimensions should comply with the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) specifications, which use a 19 rack -- a 19-inch-wide rack enclosure with rack mount rails that are 17.75 inches apart and with heights in 1.75 inch increments -- as its standard.

If you’re working with adjustable rails, make sure to adjust them to the proper dimensions before you install your equipment.

How To Measure For Racks

Internal dimensions should be used as a guide to gauge the size and amount of equipment you can install in your server rack enclosures. The internal vertical measurements you should pay close attention to are as follows 

  • Total internal height: from the tallest point of any side rail to the bottom chassis.
  • Internal depth: from the insides of both front and rear doors.
  • Internal width: from one side panel to the other. 

When assessing rack mount needs, your internal dimension measurements should also take into consideration rack equipment and accessories that normally mount internally to the rear or side of cabinets.

Here’s where going with custom cabinets and racks really pays off: additional space can be modified during rack manufacturing to allow for side, rear and front mounted rack equipment.

Another thing to consider when determining which server racks you should put in your data center is your cooling, airflow and overall data center power consumption strategy. 

Additional Considerations

Select a server rack with sufficient internal space to house your current equipment and ensure you have ample space to accommodate planned future expansion as well as any unplanned equipment purchases.

Be sure the rack's external dimensions can be accommodated in your floor space -- and check that it can be safely moved through all doorways. 

Always use appropriate rack-loading techniques, including placing heavy items at the bottom of the rack to prevent a rack from becoming too top-heavy. And decide what you want to put toward the front of the rack based on how much you will need to access or remove equipment.

Size Does Matter But So Does Quality

Before buying any rack, make sure it is built well and sturdy. It’s necessary for the ever-increasing density of modern data center equipment. Yes, the plastic off-the-shelf stuff is cheaper, but you don’t want to get stuck in the endless cycle of replacing broken cabinets and racks. Not only is this a hassle -- switching out enclosure components is difficult without forcing everything to go offline -- but inferior type shelves are also a risk to the lifespan and security of your equipment.

To learn more about Gaw’s commitment to creative customization and inspiring data center solutions, visit Gaw Technology online.

Gaw Technology’s consultants help you every step of the way as you create a data center that fits your space, needs and budget.

Add Comment