The decision for data centers on whether to use data center racks or a 42 u server rack cabinet is like the classic debate: Which is better ketchup or mustard? There is no answer to this because both are good depending on the situation and the best amount of one in comparison to the other is a variable solution depending on the circumstances.
This is why there aren’t any ketchup or mustard brands that mix mustard and ketchup in certain amounts. It is best to leave those choices to the users. According to BICSI, the most important thing to do is to get the mix exactly right, for each facility, especially for energy-efficiency considerations.
Advantages of Server Rack Cabinets
The 42u server rack cabinet has plenty of excellent reasons for deployment in a data center as a well as excelling when used as a stand-alone unit. Sometimes data center facilities have physical space that is not built out completely. There is no point in placing a few open racks of equipment in a very large room that requires enormous electrical expense to maintain climate control. That is foolish. In stand-alone installations or when less than a few hundred units of space is needed, the 42u server rack cabinet is a better solution than using open racks.
The other issue is security. If a data center provides colocation rental slots for equipment, where a customer has control over their own servers, then the 42 u server rack cabinet is the best solution because it can be locked down to prevent unauthorized access.
Advantages of Open Racks
The biggest advantage of open racks is unrestricted airflow around the equipment. Keeping equipment cool is a major electrical expense. Cooling systems for data centers represent a much greater cost than the cost of operating the equipment itself.
When equipment is in open racks, the heat naturally dissipates away from the equipment. When data centers have raised flooring, the air circulation around the equipment is improved. Without a doubt the most efficient data centers that do not have the need for individual rack security, benefit from open rack design.
Whether to use a series of the 42u server rack cabinet or design a data center on an open rack basis, or in the alternative to mix and match both of these approaches, depends on the needs of the data center and how it works with its customers.