Buying a cabinet for your server racks is probably the most important part of designing your data center, but the process can be mystifying. The main point is to optimize the physical space available in your environment and maximize efficiency. Here is a short guide on factors to consider when choosing your server cabinet.
The Number of Rack Units You Need
When buying a server cabinet, you should first determine the best rack unit usage for your needs. A rack unit is a standard for measuring rack mount equipment. One rack unit is 1.75 inches or 44.45 mm in height. One rack unit is also called “1U.” Server cabinets usually come as 40U, 42U, 44U and 48U enclosures. You can calculate the internal space you need by multiplying the given number of rack units by 1.75. For instance, a 44U enclosure has 77 inches of usable internal space (44 x 1.75 = 77). Now, say that you need to add 20 2U rack servers to your data center. A 44U server cabinet would be ideal, because 2 x 1.75 x 20 = 70 inches of space.
Dimensions and Fit
To determine what dimensions fit your space, figure out the equipment you want to house in your server cabinet. Get extra cabinet space for both the front and rear for future expansions; as a rule, add 10 percent more room, because rack units cannot be adjusted once you buy your server cabinet. Also, keep in mind that the external dimensions should be able to fit through doorways, stairways and meet any other clearance regulations of your building.
Functional Requirements and Aesthetics
There are functional and aesthetic elements that enhance how you use your server cabinet. For instance, good management of a POD server includes good power, cooling and cabling distribution. To determine what power distribution unit your cabinet requires, consider AMP, plug, outlet and redundancy requirements. Proper ventilation is also necessary so your servers function correctly. Blank panels are mostly aesthetic, but they cover unused space giving your cabinet a fuller look that is attractive, especially if you have glass front and rear doors.
This is just a short guide to help you get started selecting your server cabinet. Do some research on your own for more in-depth understanding, and you are bound to be happy with your purchase.