Can you imagine how a data center would look without racks or storage cabinets? How would we arrange all the servers? If we had to arrange all the servers on tables, how many tables would a data center need? Can you imagine the size of a data center in that case? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m thinking too. Thank goodness for data center racks.
Server racks are equipped to hold more than just the servers. They also house network equipments, patch panels, switches, rack-mount PDUs and monitors too. Server racks are indispensible pieces of hardware equipments in a data center. They not only save a significant amount of floor space, they also make a data center look well organized. They allow easy management of any data center and provide security to the equipments.
A typical data center rack, otherwise known as a server rack, has 19 inches, 24 inches and 30 inches wide front panel that can be secured to the rack frame with robust screws. The racks can be as tall as 42 rack units or otherwise referred to as 42U. The space between two shelves in a rack depends on the electronic equipment that has to be housed in the rack. For all practical and uniformity purposes, it is taken to be multiples of 1.75 inches. These can be adjusted to suit the requirement.
Buying a server rack is not as easy as picking out a table. You have to remember that you are buying something for a potentially unstable environment. Cooling is always a major concern. Additional equipments like power and temperature monitoring devices take up space. You should have enough space in the front and the rear of the rack to accommodate these devices. Also, the rack should be capable of withstanding rise in temperature. Oh, of course, it should fit into your data center without having to break down a part of the wall!
There are basically three widely used server racks:
- Cabinet racks- these are the most widely used racks. They have a tendency or rather, a knack to blend into your office décor. That means they come in various sizes and colours. The external frame of the cabinet racks is the same as any other rack. It is sturdy and built to serve its purpose. But, like the name suggests, they look like cabinets. Cooling is an issue that needs special attention in this rack, though.
- Open frame racks- This type of a rack allows you to store multiple types of server equipments in the same unit. You can even store power equipments, monitors and communication equipments in these types of racks. They are ideal for offices with height restrictions.
- Relay racks- these are 2-post aluminium or steel structures with either round mountings or square mountings. It has an open frame structure; hence it can provide maximum cooling. The shelves can be adjusted to fit computer equipment and Telco. They can also mount cantilever shelving for slightly bigger equipments.
You can find all these racks, further information and guidance on American Tech Supply.
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