When you are looking at a new computer rack for your server room, there are so many different details that you have to consider. But even after you have made sure that you have plenty of room for your servers and that there is even more breathing room, there is one more small detail that needs to be taken into consideration before you order a new rack and find out once it arrives that it is not going to do the job.
You Put More Than Your Servers in Your Computer Rack
After making sure the server rack you are looking at is big enough to comfortably fit your servers and keep them cool, you need to look at everything else you will be installing in the rack. This can include power strips, PDUs, monitors and keyboard trays and room for KVM switches and so forth. If you order a rack with the space you need, you are going to end up with a big mess on your hands.
While you have no reason to believe that anyone in your company would ever have a reason to mess with your servers, unless you have a way to lock your IT room, you may want to invest in a server cabinet with locking doors. Unlike server racks, you will find that most server cabinets have doors on the front and full side panels.
Make Sure Your New Server Rack Can Breathe
If you are going to put your servers in a server cabinet instead of rack, you need to keep in mind the fact that your servers need to be able to breathe. Access to cooling air is vital for the life of your servers as they tend to generate a remarkable amount of heat, especially when they are under a heavy load. Read the specs very carefully before you order your new cabinet so that you don’t end up burning down one of your servers.
Many people get the terms computer cabinet and computer rack confused, as they seem to think that they are talking about two completely different items. In certain instances, you could be talking about two different products, but in reality if you are working in the IT field and putting together a new server system, the two terms are for the most part interchangeable, with one major execution
Most Computer Cabinets Are at Least Partially Enclosed
The one main difference you will find between a computer cabinet and a computer rack is that the term cabinet is often used to denote a rack has fully side panels and doors on the front that may or may not be lockable. Depending on the servers you are using and your need for security, these might make a better choice, but you do need to be very aware of being able to provide plenty of cooling air to your servers.
If you are in the market for new server racks, you need to keep in mind that when you are looking at the different models, size definitely counts. In the industry, you will find that the standard height for a server rack is 42U with each U measuring 1.75 inches. It is highly recommended that you try to stick to units that meet industry standards unless you have a very specific reason not to.
Width and Depth Vary with Server Racks
There are two standard widths when it comes to server racks, the narrower ones measure 19 inches and are more for computer and entertainment industry use. The wider 23 inch racks are more for heavy telecommunications industry usage. Up until recently the average depth was 20-25 inches, but thanks to the introduction of the blade server, those measuring 35-42 inches deep are very common. The best way to find out what size racks you need is to measure all of your equipment before you order.
The earliest type of powerstrip was nothing more than a series of outlets mounted in a housing that had a power cord sticking out of the end, if you spent a little extra money, you could get one that had a power switch some of which were illuminated. As computer technology has advanced, so too has the design of the powerstrip. Today you can buy these once simple devices in any number of more complex designs.
The Computer Powerstrip Is Designed to Protect
Where once the only protection a powerstrip could offer you was an easy way to unplug multiple items at one time, today they come with built in surge protection and voltage stabilization intended to keep you expensive computers and peripheral equipment from getting damaged if there happens to be a power surge on the lines. Considering the high cost of today’s electronics, you should never use an unprotected powerstrip.
Not everyone has a big office with plenty of room for a big desk, however this does not mean that you don’t need somewhere to sit down and work with your computer. When space is a bit on the short side, you might find that computer tables make a much better choice as they tend to take up a lot less room. As you look through our catalog, you will find that these tables are available in a wide array of sizes, styles and materials.
Fold Away Computer Tables Offer the Ultimate in Convenience
When you have an office or work area that is too small for a permanent table or desk, you may find that one of our folding computer tables is just what you need. These tables are designed to fold up into a small, flat single piece that measures only 4 1/2 inches thick and are light enough that you can take them with you when you are on the go.
Space is always at a premium in most server rooms as most IT techs can happily attest to. The idea always seems to be to cram as many server racks as possible into the smallest space available. If this sounds familiar, you should consider using rack mount LCD monitors to help you save space and still be able to monitor your servers.
Rack Mount Monitors Come in a Range of Sizes
With space an ongoing concern in your server room, we carry two different sizes of rack mount monitors. Our 8U monitor is a 19 inch LCD monitor that offers a maximum 1280 x 1084 resolution. If you have a little more space, you can opt for our 9U model that is a 20 inch LCD monitor providing you with a maximum 1600 x 1200 resolution, both offer the same side to side viewing as a CRT monitor and come with all necessary mounting hardware.
When you first installed your server rack, you only had a single server to install in it, but now that your business has expanded, you need to install more servers to handle the traffic. Before you simply start bolting your new servers in place, you need to take a very good look at the load carrying capacity of the rack you are currently using.
Your Server Rack Must Be Rated for the Load
If you try and add more weight to your server rack than it was built to handle, you are putting all of your equipment at risk. While that old rack might seem like it is handling the extra weight, you have no way of knowing when, not if, it is going to collapse under the load and drop all of your servers and peripherals on the floor. You can avoid this by making sure you upgrade your racks to units that are made to handle the load.
When you are putting together your server racks, you need to be very conscious of the amount of power that the finished system is going to draw. If you find that the number of amps that all of the combined units are going to require to function at maximum capacity are too high for a standard power strip, you may find that you have to install a PDU in its place.
A PDU Can Handle Heavier Current Loads
One problem that you can end up facing with a simple power strip that cannot handle the loads is that this lack of power can prevent your servers from getting the power they need to run at full capacity. When this happens you could be faced with servers that either slow down to a crawl or overheat, which could lead to a fire. With a PDU you can choose the one that is most suited to handling the maximum load your servers are likely to place on it and leave room to spare, so that you never have to worry about these risks.
One of the worst possible mistakes you can make when you are putting together a new server rack is to plug everything into a power strip that does not offer full surge protection. It can be easy to assume that since your entire facility is supposed to be protected from surges that you do not have anything to worry about. However, this can be a major mistake as there are times when you can still end up with a surge in the power circuits within the building.
A Non-Surge Suppressing Power Strip Can Kill Your Servers
Despite the fact the today’s servers are far less susceptible to damage from a power surge, it is far better to play it smart and use a surge suppressing power strip to plug in all of the electronic components in your server racks and leave the inexpensive power strips for things like cooling fans and lights as they are far less likely to be affected by any type of power surge.