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There are going to be times when you are hired to install a complete network for a client who does not have a room that they can dedicate to being an IT closet, yet at the same time they ask you to design the system so that it is not out in the open. This is the perfect time to use an enclosed server cabinet instead of an open rack.
A Fully Enclosed Server Cabinet Keeps Everything Neatly Out of Sight
When you use a server cabinet instead of a rack, you will find that all of their servers and support equipment will be securely mounted behind closed door. These cabinets not only have doors on the front, they also have full sides. The only open area is the back so that the servers can get sufficient cooling air. This will provide your customer with the out of sight server installation he is looking for and let you build the network he needs.
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.
There are so many different things you need to take into consideration when you set out to buy a new server cabinet. You have to make sure that the cabinet is going to be wide enough to fit your servers, it must also deep enough to allow for all of the wiring and capable of handling the weight of your servers. However the one thing that cannot be stressed enough is that it must provide adequate cooling for all of the servers you will be putting in it.
If Your Server Cabinet Does Not Provide Adequate Cooling
If you make the mistake of buying a server cabinet that does not provide plenty of ventilation for each of the servers you plan to install in it, you are asking for trouble. At the very least your servers are going to run hot, which can significantly affect their lifespan. On the other end of the scale, you can easily end up reaching the point where your servers will overheat and risk losing all of the data stored on them. You can easily avoid this by choosing a cabinet that offers plenty of ventilation.
If you are buying your first sever cabinet or rack, you are going to find that the manufactures all discuss sizes in a particular unit of measurement. This is a unique unit known as the “U” and one “U” is equal to 1.75″. This measurement pertains specifically to the height of anything that will be placed in the cabinet racks and is a fairly easy number to calculate.
Calculating How Many “U”s Your Servers Measure
The easiest way to calculate how tall your servers are so that you make sure you are buying the right server cabinet is to physically measure their height in millimeters. You then divide this measurement by 1.75″ and the resulting answer is the height in “U”s of your servers. You can use this number when shopping for a new cabinet as they are listed with their “U” value included in all of the other measurements to help ensure that you pick the right one.