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Open rack vs. enclosed cabinet

By silentsound ·
I'm looking to move my servers to a rack/cabinet in a 7-ft by 5.5-ft room. About 6 tower servers, 1 rack server, 4 rack switches, 3 rack routers/telecom, and 3 non-rack UPS.

Would an enclosed cabinet work in terms of cooling? Any general recommendations of open rack vs. enclosed cabinet? Not much literature on the topic...

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by silentsound In reply to Planning problem

The environment here used to be much the same. This will be the only thing in this room/closet, other than the telco punch down blocks and DMARC (but all this is wall-mounted and takes up very little to no space).

I'll probably center the rack as much as I can in the room, while still allowing access to the punch down blocks for the telco guys. I figure that, since it's on casters, I can move it around when I need more room (given proper cable slack).

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Planning problem

by jdclyde In reply to Access to the back

not a rack problem.

When I took over as the Admin for sys and net, one of the first things I did was to MOVE our three racks, as the imcompetent people that put them in had them pushed too close to the back wall. I at that time had ADVISED moving them out further, but what did I know?

within a week of them being put in, the existing admin found she could not get behind them to work on anything (what a suprise) so you had to lean from the side.

Proper placement, your biggest person should be able to walk completely around the rack to be able to get at anything, at anytime.

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4 post steel floor mount racks

by NI70 In reply to Open rack vs. enclosed ca ...

I'd go with the 4 post steel open floor mount racks, as on aluminum racks the threads tend to strip quite easily. You'll want to put the racks in the center of the room, so that you'll have room in the back to work (as mentioned in previous comments). I don't know your floor plan layout. If possible get a ceiling mount air conditioning unit for the room. Guaranteed your network equipment will generate enough heat to heat your room (closet, as 7x5.5 seems quite small). You'll also want dedicated power circuits specifically to your room. You'll probably want one wall to be plywood for your DEMARC (if this isn't located in another room), your patch panels (unless their rack mounted)and your PBX phone switch, along with associated punch down blocks. You'll also want your ventilation to be filtered.

EDIT: If still in planning stage, I'd also recommend no heat source in the room, as stated above, your equipment will generate enough heat.

How old are your tower servers and who manufactured them? I know newer Dell PowerEdge towers you can get rack kits for.

I researched planning for a new network/telecommunications room a few years ago and really couldn't find any floor plans, but found a lot of usefull information and advise here on TechRepublic. If you'd like to see my CAD drawings send me a private message.

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that reminds me oof

by Jaqui In reply to 4 post steel floor mount ...

the reaction we got from a cable tech one time.
we had just finished putting a new structure together for local pub.
fully installed the electronic entertainment system.
all controlled from one rack / panel behind smoked glass door behind the bar.

the cable service tech was calling the office to say he had a 4 hour job to hook cable service into the system.
he left 15 minutes later with job completed.

our rack was hinged on one side, the whole unit swung out exposing the wiring on the back between units for easy access.
designed like that cause we were making our living installing the electronic systems in local pubs.

it was The Active Pass pub.
( Just for Oz, since he can check it out next time he's in the area )
108th ave and 148th street Surrey

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Not planning from scratch

by silentsound In reply to 4 post steel floor mount ...

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of planning and designing this room (closet, like you said) from scratch. It was already the telco room with DEMARC, punch down blocks, and PBX phone switch (which is a tower PC server, actually). The rest of the space was used by shelves for storage (these have been moved out). This is more of a relocation of existing equipment than the planning of a complete data center.

From the other posts, it seems the concern is not the rack vs. cabinet (other than ease of access), but the cooling in the actual room. There is a dedicated AC vent in that room, although I doubt it can be separated from heat in the winter. I'll check with the building management.

The room is surrounded on all sides by other rooms in use, other than a storage room. The door has a small gap under it, so air can escape there. I can look into adding a fan in the ceiling, but I'm not sure where the air will escape to. A real concern, since this is a small business, is cost. The enclosed rack I'm looking at is a used model, definitely not a new $1,500 item (or $500 for a 4-post rack).

The PowerEdge servers were bought in 2001. I've seen the tower-to-rack conversion kits. has sliding shelves that would probably work just as well.

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