Enclosed Server Racks: Functionality and Benefits

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Network hardware is sensitive to all sorts of impacts, like accidental or intentional damages, dust accumulation, or whatever. To secure expansive computing equipment enclosed racks and cabinets are used.

An enclosed network rack is metal construction with 4 vertical uprights and removable or non-removable side walls. They are available in a great variety of models and sizes, starting from small, compact boxes to huge cabinets that can accommodate hundreds of components. According to the type of installation, floor-standing and wall-mount models are distinguished.

Benefits of Enclosed Racks

Enclosed models have the following perks:

  1. Hardware protection

A solid body reliably protects the stored equipment from all sorts of external influences. Durable metal panels and lockable doors secure hardware from unauthorized access and intentional damage. A solid design also prevents devices from accumulating dust and other debris.

Thus, enclosed models are recommended for use in public places and open premises, the access to which cannot be limited and controlled.

2. Airflow control

The use of forced ventilation systems allows monitoring the environment inside enclosed server racks and adjusting the temperature and other parameters. This helps create the optimal conditions for hardware operation.

3. Hiding cables

Wires are routed inside cabinets, which allows achieving a better ergonomic and aesthetic appearance. From the functional point of view, routing cords alongside posts of an enclosed server storage cabinet like on the website help avoid tangling.

4. Portability and relocation

It is possible to relocate or move enclosed cabinets without disassembling a functioning unit. If all devices are reliably fastened inside the body, system administrators can freely move cabinets.

Flaws of Enclosed Furniture

Yet, such models have drawbacks. Here is what you’re going to face if you want to buy a solid-construction model.

  1. Weight

Enclosed models are produced from durable metal sheets. Thus, the weight of such products is much more. If you buy a large floor-standing box, it can weigh up to 50-60 kg.

2. Accessibility

Solid designs provide worse accessibility, which can harden maintenance. Since hardware is housed inside solid boxes, and no sidewalls are removable, system administrators have to stop the system and put off devices to reach the needed hardware.

3. Cost

Enclosed furniture is more expensive since more material is used for its production.

What to Choose: Enclosed VS Open-Frame Racks?

When a system administrator develops a draft of a future data center, he faces a simple question “what kind of server furniture to choose: an enclosed or open-frame rack?” When considering this issue, it is necessary to keep in mind the following questions:

  • where will furniture be placed?
  • how many equipment items will be accommodated?
  • how will cooling be organized?

Judging by this information, pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. Protection & Security

In comparison with open-frame models, enclosed bodies provide more safety and look more secure. Thus, if you’re going to locate server furniture in closed premises with limited access, you can use both options (or even open-frame products are preferable) but if you deal with public places, only enclosed models are suitable.

2. Cooling

An enclosed server rack always requires the use of forced ventilation. Perforated doors and walls do not provide sufficient air circulation, while open-frame racks use the airflow to cool down operating devices and exchange hot and warm air.

3. Access to hardware

Sidewalls significantly impede maintenance and harden access to system components. If racks have removable side panels, the task is more achievable. Yet, open-frame constructions have the most favorable position according to this criterion.

4. Cost

Taking into account the production technology, open bodies are cheaper since less material is spent, while enclosed models are more expensive.

5. Functionality & Capacity

This is one of the key factors that influence the cost of furniture. Enclosed products are useful for storing a great number of devices since the size of models can reach up to 48U. Open-frame racks lag in this parameter.

6. Cable routing

Open-frame models allow stretching wires as system administrators need and want to achieve better ergonomics and efficient space allocation. Special accessories can be fastened to vertical uprights to manage cords. Enclosed bodies have special slots for cable routing, which hardens the process of wire organization. System administrators should adjust a layout to fit slots and wire cables compactly.

7. Quality

Both types of furniture are durable and high quality. Racks are produced from quality metal sheets and guarantee the service period for several decades.

The modern IT industry offers a wide range of furniture for server rooms and data centers. When selecting an appropriate model for storing hardware, consider the above-mentioned parameters. If you keep in mind these points, you’ll find the best model.

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