Are you going to organize a server room? Do you think about how to allocate space efficiently and accommodate equipment? You simply won’t be able to design a data center without a server rack unit.
A server rack is a specialized furniture piece designed to house networking and computing hardware. It is an indispensable piece of furniture in each data center. Its design combines two or four (depending on the model) vertical metal posts with holes for equipment fastening. Standard enclosed models have sidewalls and perforated doors. You can find a wide variety of models on Sysracks.
Why to Choose Server Racks?
The main advantages of server racks are the following:
- A freestanding open-design construction that provides sufficient hardware cooling due to free air circulation through it.
- Easier access for equipment maintenance due to open construction.
- Different fastening and housing options due to holes, shelves, rail sets.
- No need to mount additional ventilation systems.
- Open-frame models optimize the physical space available in the environment and maximize efficiency.
- Provide convenient cable routing.
Enclosed server closets are distinguished by the following features:
- Save space due to multi-layer device allocation.
- Protect from all sorts of contaminants (debris, dust, moisture, etc.).
Buying the Server Rack
Although it may seem easy and obvious, everyone should treat this step responsibly. Picking a suitable server rack is not as easy as it may seem. It is necessary to consider and foresee too many points to avoid mistakes and loss of money. For example, before choosing an appropriate option, a system administrator should clearly define the following points:
- What equipment will be placed in the rack;
- How many devices will be accommodated (and foresee future expansion);
- How the apparatus will be placed so as to achieve the best air circulation.
Judging by these points, the dimensions of the required furniture piece are calculated. Thus, if the administrator overlooks at least one of these points, an unsuitable rack can be chosen, which leads to the waste of money and buying another model.
Things to Consider when Making the Choice
Now, let’s proceed to the list of points that require obligatory consideration. Guide through the below-listed plan to buy the most suitable rack system.
- Number of rack units. You need to decide on what devices (servers, hard drives, patch cords, PCs, etc.) will be housed in the rack. At this stage, you should also clearly understand what the rack unit is. Note that one rack is a unit equal to 1.75 inches or 44.45 mm in height. Also, remember that “1U” stands for one unit. Thus, when you see “2U”, “24U”, etc. in the name of the product, it means its height.
- Rack style. Think about whether you need an open-frame or enclosed model. Each of them has its benefits. To make the right choice, think about where it will be placed. Enclosed cabinets provide extra protection from unauthorized access, dust, moisture, and other contaminants. While open-frame computer server racks are distinguished by better air circulation and hardware cooling and easier access to maintain system components, but poor safety features. Thus, the second type is suitable for installation in closed premises.
- Open-rack product versions usually don’t require additional fan systems since their construction is favorable for natural airflow circulation. While using enclosed servers, you will need to take a few thermal-management measures.
- Shelf adjustability. Keep in mind that fixed shelves afford you the least access to equipment. Besides, open racks make electrical components less exposed all of the time.
- Cable management. Many racks have built-in cable management troughs and cable rings for routing cable. If your rack doesn’t have these, consider adding managers for neatly routing cable. They distinguish vertical and horizontal managers that are designed to connect the unit to other parts of the functioning system.
- Contact a potential supplier and find out whether the company allows for customization.
Choosing a suitable model of server furniture is not an easy task. A bunch of criteria must be taken into account. Thus, monitor available offers on the market and consult skilled system administrators to find the best model for your data center.