Server Rack Strategies: Server Rack Cooling and Considerations
Many data centers historically didn't put much more thought into their deployment of server racks beyond basic functionality and the upfront costs of the rack itself.
By: Justin Blumling
But this perception is belied by a few simple facts. Server racks house millions of dollars worth of hardware, safeguarding all processed data, transactions, and intellectual property. They are the definition of “physical”
Server Rack Cooling
The only ASHRAE temperature standard exists at the equipment inlet—the front door of the rack. While the cooling process doesn’t necessarily start there, nowhere is it more important. IT professionals, when considering a rack manufacturer and product, need to understand how that product contributes to productive cooling. Here are some telltale questions and scenarios:
• Does the rack product have proper features for conventional, convective cooling? Server manufacturers recommend a 64% perforation pattern on the front door for optimal airflow
• Does the rack have inherent features that contribute to hot air recirculation?
• Does the rack manufacturer have cooling products that scale? If, through a hardware refresh, a 4kW rack load becomes 12kW, does your rack manufacturer have a supplemental cooling solution? Can you add capacity without a major overhaul?
• Does your rack manufacturer offer next generation cooling technologies (In-Row, In-Rack, Liquid Cooling) for day-one high density loads? A recent study by Emerson states that future data centers will be designed to support between 10-20kW per rack—far beyond the capabilities of conventional cooling designs
Your choice of manufacturer and product today can save you time and heartache in the future. 42U’s sales engineers are server rack and data center power/cooling experts. They will collaborate with you to determine which of the leading rack manufacturers’
Server Rack Considerations
Space utilization, flexibility, and lead time are also important rack talking points. The following recommendations speak to these points.
Install the maximum footprint possible. Servers continually get smaller and more powerful. Meanwhile, the support requirements at the rack level continue to increase: more power circuits, larger whips, more cables to manage. Installing the maximum practical footprint, in terms of width and depth, provides the most flexibility in the future for ever-changing hardware requirements.
The rack footprint, of course, must be weighed alongside real estate policies and costs. Data center floor space is expensive, and larger cabinets will consume more of it.
Make use of “Tool-less”
These tool-less features are not ubiquitous, so please consult 42U for more information on participating manufacturers and products.
Understand all rack features. Each manufacturer’
• Mounting Rails: Most racks have a preset position of 29” from the front to rear EIA rails. But ultimate rail spacing depends on your equipment. Do you need different spacing? Can the rails be preset at the manufacturer to accommodate your needs?
• Cable Management: Are there sufficient openings (either below or above) to accommodate cable ingress and egress? Are wider/deeper cabinets available for networking cabinets?
• Power Distribution:
Understand your manufacturer’
In these cases, your manufacturer can save you time and money on integration.
The 42U Advantage
42U treats your data seriously. We are aligned with the leading server rack and enclosure manufacturers and tailor solutions to address all rackmount requirements. From off-the-shelf for tight deadlines to specialized design for project rollouts, 42U has the enclosure expertise for your data center project.
Page Updated Last on: Jan 10, 2011