As you start looking at a new computer rack to install in your server room, there are a number of details that you need to consider. Even after you have checked to be sure that you have sufficient room for your servers and that there is plenty of room for cool airflow and ventilation, there is one more important detail that must be taken into consideration before you order a new rack and find it is not going to get the job done.
Servers Are Not the Only Thing You Put in Your Computer Rack
While you must be sure that the server rack you are looking at will comfortably fit your servers and keep them cool, take a moment to look at everything else you will be installing in the rack. This includes things like power strips, PDUs, monitors and keyboard trays as well as KVM switches and so forth. If you do not order a rack with the extra space you need, you are likely to end up with a mess on your hands.
There are going to be times when as an IT technician you are going to be called on to install one or more servers in a business that has no room for you to create a server room and where they do not want their servers left out in the open. This is a very common problem in many smaller office complexes and is easily overcome by installing their servers in a wall rack mount.
A Wall Rack Mount Lets You Create All the Space You Need
In the event that you find yourself installing one or more servers in a business such as this where space is at such a premium, something that is happening far more frequently as offices become smaller, using a wall rack mount can help. This type of rack can be mounted high up on the wall, so that you can install their servers without taking up any of their valuable space.
Unless you have been working in the IT field for a while you may have heard someone talking about a KVM switch, but do not have any idea what this type of switch is and what it does. The acronym KVM stands for keyboard, video, mouse as these are the devices that are going to be plugged into it. These switches are designed to allow you to use a single KVM setup to control multiple servers from a single location.
The KVM Switch Is Commonly Used to Monitor and Control a Server Rack
One of the most common locations you will find a KVM switch in use is a server rack where a number of servers are installed. By using this type of switch the IT techs can significantly reduce the amount of clutter in the room. This is because you can connect all of the servers in one rack to the same keyboard, mouse and monitor. All you need to do is switch between servers and you can control everything.
While the average server room is located inside of building and is a permanent fixture, this is not always the cases. You will find that there are many occasions where portable servers are used such as music concerts, conventions and so forth. In these instances it is important to have your servers installed in rackmount cases that make them fully portable and provide them with complete protection from shock and damage.
We Sell SKB Series Rackmount Cases Because They Are Tough
If you need rackmount cases that are indestructible and that are going to provide maximum protection for your servers, you should take a close look at the Roto Shock Rack cases from SKB. These cases have been designed to meet the standards set by the US military regarding durability, protection and rapid deployment capabilities. If they meet these standards, imagine what they will do for your servers.
The first style of powerstrip was little more than a series of outlets that were mounted in a housing with a power cord sticking out of the end. If you spent a little extra money, you could buy one that had a power switch that illuminated when the power was turned on. With the advancement of computer technology the design of the power strip has advanced along with it. These once simple devices are now available in an amazing number of complex designs.
The Powerstrip You Buy for Your Computer Is Designed to Protect
At one time the only protection a powerstrip could offer against power surges was an easy way to unplug multiple items at one time. You can now buy them with built in surge protection and voltage stabilization, intended to keep your expensive computers and peripheral equipment from becoming damaged if there happens to be a power surge on the lines.
When the time comes to start shopping around for new server racks, keep in mind the fact that as you are looking at the different models, size definitely counts. In the IT equipment industry, you will find that the standard height for a server rack is 42U with each U measuring 1.75 inches thus the rack is 73.5 inches tall. You need to try and stick to units that meet industry standards unless you have a very specific reason not to.
Server Racks Offer Two Different Widths and Depths
In the IT industry you are going to find that there are two standard widths for server racks, the narrowest ones measure 19 inches and are more for computer and entertainment industry use. The wider 23 inch racks are intended more to be used in the heavy telecommunications industry usage. For many years the average depth for server racks was 20-25 inches, with the introduction of the blade server in recent years, new racks measuring 35-42 inches deep have become very common.
One of the first things you are going to notice as you start shopping for server rack shelves is that they are available in a variety of configurations. There are fixed shelves as well as those that can be adjusted up to 40 inches deep so that you can adjust them to fit your servers and your rack rails. You can also choose how heavy duty you want your shelves to be to suit the weight of the servers you are planning to use them for.
Slide Out Rack Shelves Make Life Easier
As you are looking at the various rack shelves, you should seriously consider buying the kind that slide out. This type of shelve will make it much easier for you to service your servers. Most shelves are designed to be mounted practically anywhere within the rack so that you can adjust them to meet your specific configuration needs and can be used to support your servers, your switches, KVMs and any other piece of equipment that needs a place to hang out.
If you are building new server racks, this is the perfect time to start thinking about the space you are going to need and deciding if you are going to need rack shelves for things like your networking gear and any smaller equipment that must be stored out of the way. You can’t leave this type equipment lying on top of your servers, or it is bound to cause a number of problems over time.
We Stock Rack Shelves for Many Needs
In our online catalog we carry rack shelves for a variety of different uses including creating more workspace when you need it. One of our most popular styles is our sliding shelf series that you can use to hold your extra equipment or as a place for your keyboard and monitor while you are working on the servers in the rack.
There are a number of very important decisions you will need to make when you are getting ready to buy a new server cabinet. The first one is to find a cabinet is going to be wide enough to fit your servers and will be deep enough to allow for all of the wiring, it must also be and capable of handling the weight of your servers. Beyond physical size, it is vital that the cabinet you choose be able to provide adequate cooling for all of the servers you will be putting in it.
What Happens If There is Not Enough Airflow in Your Server Cabinet
If you end up buying a server cabinet that does not provide for enough cooling airflow for the servers you intend to install in it, you are asking for trouble. This will cause all of your servers to run hot at the very least and shorten their natural lifespan. Depending on how short the airflow is, your servers may overheat and crash causing you to lose all of the data that they contain. The easiest way to avoid this is to buy a cabinet that offers plenty of ventilation.
Of all of the mistakes you can make when you are putting together a new server rack, the worst one is to plug all of your equipment into a power strip that does not provide full surge protection. While you might think that as your entire facility is supposed to be protected from surges and that you do not have anything to worry about, this can be a serious mistake as you can still end up with a surge in the power circuits within the building.
A Power Strip that Does Not Offer Surge Protection Can Destroy Your Servers
While many of today’s servers have been designed to be far less susceptible to damage from a power surge, you still need to be smart and use a surge suppressing power strip to plug in all of the electronic components in your server racks. You can leave the inexpensive, unprotected power strips for things like cooling fans and lights as they are not likely to be affected by any type of power surge.