The Role of Server Racks in Your Data Centre Design

server rack

server rack

To a large extent, the number of server racks used by a business depends on two things: the size and business requirements of the company in question and the physical space available to it. The smaller your office space, the fewer server installations it is possible for you to own.

There are other considerations to make as well. For example, if you have sufficient space for a server room how many server racks will you put in there? Enough to do everything you need to do right now, or enough to take the weight of future IT requirements as well?

Modern racks are designed to help keep equipment cool and in some cases to buffer the unacceptable noise levels that can be made by active servers in a populated room. Cooling technology includes racks of fans, which suck the warm air created by the servers away from them and grilles on the sides of the racks allowing air to pass through with ease.

It is advisable to install server racks in a data centre further designed to keep itself cool. One of the most efficient cooling technologies around at the moment is the cold aisle containment method of data centre protection which segregates warm and cool air in the data room by the use of thick plastic curtains.

server rack

server rack

The floor under the server racks is raised and chilled by cooled air passing under it. The cooled floor chills the air in front of the servers, which then vent their hot air as exhaust out of the grilles at the back of the server racks.

The hot air rises as normal and is sucked back into the chilling system, recycled as cooled air being passed once more beneath the cooling floor.

Modern rack design also allows for easy access, either when installing and removing or maintaining a server or other racked device. Normally server racks allow you to extend trays to a number of predetermined lockable points. This means you can work on diagnosing and fixing problems or adding and removing elements to the network, without endangering either the expensive equipment or yourself.

A full on data centre can be an extremely high tech place filled with cables, monitoring equipment and cooling technology. To make such places easier to navigate and, most importantly, to fix or maintain, modern server racks feature cable trays. Normally a cable tray folds up behind the server, when it is in its drawer or tray space and as the server is pulled out, the cable tray unfolds to keep the relevant wires attached and obvious.

A network engineer is frequently required to diagnose problems with a server array. To this end, modern server racks tend to mirror themselves front to back, that is, you can see the same information through an accessible rear panel as you can through an accessible front panel. The upshot of which is that diagnosis can be carried out at the most convenient point, no matter which way around the server is facing.

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