3 Kinds Of Data Center Racks–What You Should Know To Make Informed Choices

Efficient and cost-effective data center management depends heavily on the efficacy of data center racks to consistently support a company’s information center.

With networks needing enhanced security, greater storage capacity and state-of-the-art processing to reinforce their ever-expanding roles, data center rack functionality must go well beyond its basic performance abilities to include addressing capacity issues and high-density apps that produce hot spot problems.

Server room at data center

It’s a Data Center Rack Kind Of World 

International Data Corporation reports that “for every $1 spent on new data center hardware, an additional $0.50 is spent on power and cooling”. Since cooling represents much of a company’s energy costs, having exceptionally designed data center racks is essential to reducing energy consumption as well as general operating costs.

Statements made by ITs responsible for data center management upholds the acknowledgement that it is indeed becoming a world dominated by data center racks. The results of an Uptime Institute survey further emphasizes these insights;

  • Thirty-nine percent of data center managers polled say that the cooling capacity of their centers would expire within in the next two years.
  • Another twenty-one percent believed that their cooling capacity would run out within the next three years.

Data center racks are key to maintaining the kind of remarkable physical infrastructure necessary for power, cool and keep companies securely connected to their network.

In addition, data center management professionals face the challenge of ensuring that ample capacity for continual growth is always available by the planned integration of supplemental racks, the power required to employ extended storage and adequate cooling needed to address mushrooming power demands.

3 Basic Types of Data Center Racks 

Typical data center racks have 19, 24 and 30-inch wide front panels that are secured to rack frames with strong screws. Spacing between rack shelves depends on the size and type of electronic equipment housed in these racks. For uniformity and practical purposes, this space is presented in multiples of one and three-quarters (1.75) inches but can be adjusted when necessary.

Relay racks are two-post, open-frame, steel or aluminum structures with square or round mountings. Because relay racks offer an open-frame design, they provide maximum cooling for particularly active hot spots.

Open frame racks allow for storage of multiple server equipment types within the same unit. These versatile data center racks are great for areas having height restrictions and can accommodate monitors, communication and power equipment as well.

Cabinet racks are the most commonly used data center racks and are made to blend seamlessly with existing décor. Although cabinet racks lack the ability to cool as efficiently as relay or open frame racks, they can be modified to accommodate special cooling issues.

Data Center Management in the 21st Century 

A new technology addressing various problems of data center planning is the Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Suite. By enabling managers to model and monitor all facets of information centers, the DCIM helps to optimize capacity planning strategies and operational support so that appropriate data center racks are implemented.

Cloud storage is also another 21st century option that some managers are exploring. However, reports show that the use of data center racks is still the most popular method of managing a data center and continues to represent a solid portion of most organizational budgets.

Katrina is a leader in the IT industry custom solution and innovative ideas as a product specialist for rack solutions.

Categories: Computers & Tech

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