The Data Cabinet

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The challenge facing many businesses today is how to run data servers and related hardware in an efficient way without overloading thermal capacities of these devices. The amount of power needed to drive storage units, servers, and routing management devices that are used in today’s online business community can become a cost-deficient equation, when combined with the cooling systems needed to keep the data center running trouble-free. Systems that run in an unconnected environment will waste power through excessive cabling, and those systems that attempt to reduce patching by piling devices together in what can be described as a haphazard manner will eventually have overheating issues.

The importance of a sensible, practical, and compact data center cannot be stressed enough. That is where the data cabinet comes into play. This is not a new concept, yet many of the cabinets in use today are outdated as far as their ability to handle newer hardware that is continually needed to keep up with data control needs. Another issue with existing data cabinet designs is their inability to contain upgraded device configurations in an energy-efficient manner that can control thermal conditions to a useable level.

In other words, the data center of today needs a data cabinet that is flexible enough to handle changes in device installations while still allowing for ease of cabling and maintenance, all within a design that can handle the increased heat that is created by those devices.

The first important feature of a well-designed data cabinet is access. Loading a cabinet with hardware is one thing; leaving room for multiple cabling applications and maintenance is another. The best designs will have access doors and panels that will allow the user to open the cabinet in different ways, either to get at the devices themselves or to change patching configurations. A functional front door setup be hinged on both sides of the cabinet, and will be properly vented. Some of the better designs will include the option of a split-door style, much like a closet door that opens in the middle to allow access to the center of the cabinet, while also opening on the edges to allow access to the patch bay.

Of course, the patch bay is critical in any data cabinet. There must be an increased ability to change cabling configurations, allowing for both fiber optic and copper ports. This will be best addressed by having the central patch bay directly in the center, so that cables from routers, servers, and mapping and analyzing devices can be connected in one spot. Patching flexibility should also allow for both vertical and horizontal port configurations so that system devices can be changed out or relocated as the need arises.

Other important features of an effective data cabinet include access door designs that are thermally-minded, drawing in cool air while removing heated air; rack-mount designs that allow flexibility and room for growth; and blanket panels that not only fill in any empty spaces between devices, but also maintain interior temperatures to a safe operating level.

write by Keisha

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