The hidden impact of server rack design
The conversation about data centers, along with data storage density, cloud and edge computing, and other highly technical concepts, is constantly evolving. However, there is a central issue that does not receive equal attention. What we’re not talking about enough are the physical challenges of the data center environment. More specifically, how changes to the server rack and facility designs are impacting data center operations.
Servers and other equipment are denser and heavier than ever. This affects how companies transport, unpack, position, install, and dispose of every piece that enters the data center environment. The servers are also elongating from front to back, so the design of the server rack must be modified, specifically the height and depth of the rack. “It’s an ever-changing environment, especially with technology changes within the server platforms themselves.
Data center temperature and humidity standards have changed, altering budget considerations and further transforming the physical footprint of the data center. Cabling and power supply strategies have done the same, affecting lateral rack spacing, flooring options, and overall space.
Each of these changes in data center construction and deployment has millions of dollar implications for facility owners and managers. They are just as important as the modernization and transformation that occurs in the computer, server, and network systems that take place within these facilities, despite having much less focus.
Smart and secure server rack design:
GCTL Networking highly respected subject matter experts to discuss the evolution of server rack design and its implications. Our discussion began with the main methods to safely support all equipment that goes into the racks. We also dived deep into the popularity of different types of rails and mounts, and how they are used in the modern data center.
Sometimes there can be a gap between how the server manufacturer views handling and installing their equipment, the instructions they provide for doing so, and the physical implementation of those tasks by data center technicians on the floor Server Rack. The reality of securely joining a server and its provided connecting hardware with racks and cabinets in a given installation and configuration is not always as simple or easy as expected. This is why managers like Boyll and Robison must think outside the box. “Custom solutions are something we always have to look at, because there is not yet a perfect solution for every customer’s needs.
A note to clarify the terminology for our purposes: the rack is the framework that supports the server and other equipment within the enclosure. For the first part of our series, we addressed the options and challenges of rack designs (and associated hardware options), not cabinets. We are also focusing exclusively on Server rack, not blade or tower servers, as managing rack servers is the most common physical task in data centers that requires an assisted lifting device.