Choosing the right IT Racks and Enclosure Cabinets

June 1, 2020

Data center network racks and enclosure cabinets provide a physical infrastructure for mounting mission-critical electrical equipment. Whether you use them to hold servers, switches, A/V equipment, routers or UPS systems, server racks and enclosures provide organization, optimized airflow and support for wires and cables.

Two main types of IT racks you’ll find in data centers include server racks and rack cabinets. Server racks feature open frame designs, while rack cabinets have doors and side panels. IT racks also come in a variety of sizes and styles to meet different needs.

The racks that will work best for you will depend on a number of factors, including your budget, the type of data you store and more. Here are four important things to consider when choosing the right IT racks and enclosure cabinets for your business.

1. Size

Ideally, the racks or cabinets you choose for your data center should provide space for all the equipment you intend to store and leave a little room for future growth. Most IT racks are built to fit standard, 19-inch-wide servers, although other widths are available and sometimes necessary. Server racks and enclosures also come in varying heights and depths.

Calculate how much storage space you’ll need for your current equipment and choose enclosures accordingly. You should note that rack heights are measured in units, with one unit equal to 1.75 inches. Height will influence how much equipment each cabinet can hold and how much power you can distribute to that equipment.

2. Compliance

Some data centers may need to follow certain IT rack guidelines to remain compliant with government regulations or other standards. This consideration is especially important for government contractors and organizations that store sensitive consumer data. For example, if you store cardholder data, you’ll need to choose rack enclosures that meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements.

3. Security

Whether you’re required to secure your servers to maintain compliance or not, you need to choose rack cabinets that provide the level of security you expect. Data center rack enclosures provide more security than open racks, allowing you to lock them and protect servers from tampering, theft and accidental damage. If security is a priority for you, you may want to choose enclosure cabinets, although open racks can also work depending on overall building security and the type of data you store.

4. Location

Finally, make sure your new IT racks or enclosures will work inside your location. Enclosure cabinets can be both heavy and tall, so you should ensure they will fit safely where you want them. Enclosed cabinets work well if you want to keep your working environment neat and tidy, but open racks may work better if you have limited space. You should also keep portability in mind if you plan on moving your racks frequently.

Let Us Help You Find the Perfect IT Racks and Enclosures

With 50 years of experience providing quality data center and server room equipment, DataSpan can help you find IT racks and enclosures that meet your enterprise goals. We offer racks with different dimensions, features, latch options and accessories. To learn more about how we can support your organization, find a representative near you or reach out to us online.