Werner Gropp, Marketing Director of Racks and Integrated Cabinets at Emerson Network Power, explores the options for safe and flexible racks whilst maintaining airflow for smooth running data centres.
The design and science of building racks for data centres is more complex than creating simple tin boxes. A rack must not only be compatible with every kind of IT component - servers, storage elements, switches and cables - but also provide the most suitable physical environment taking into account space, power supply, cooling and integration into the infrastructure management.
No two data centres are the same, so racks and enclosures need to be customised and adjustable for different requirements. A modular box is the proven solution to be fast, cost-effective and future-proof.
The challenge a data centre infrastructure manager faces is to source optimised and harmonised standard components that can be selected, set-up and changed as required, and that therefore make the data centre expandable.
As a result of these demands, networked infrastructures that can support every kind of IT component in the most suitable physical environment are required to meet business needs.
Standard modules for space, power, cooling and infrastructure management are available that can be synchronised and adjusted to diverse network infrastructure needs. Such solutions include, for example, Emerson Network Power's Knürr DCM 19' Server Rack Platform.
The aluminium extrusion structure for this enclosure has been improved so that only one depth, vertical and horizontal extrusion is now required to ensure further stability and comfortable rack handling. This new feature is supported by an optimised lightweight construction with the sheet metal parts, which provides lower rack weights and simplifies transport, installation and adjustments in the data centre.
A T-slot system on the rack's aluminium extrusions also ensures a high-level of flexibility with accessory installation, cable routing and step-less adjustments in the 19' level - air containment measures included.
In addition, the rack provides extra space: the structure is configured so that depth braces distributed over the rack height are no longer required to guarantee the rack's stability.
Customised for data centre needs
The area between the 19' level and the side panel can be optimally used over the entire height. The 600mm wide racks are particularly suitable for housing high performance Power Distribution Units (PDU) in this area. With high-density applications, this space can also be used for cabling.
The 19' level is hung on the top rack frame with stable cross supports, which leaves the base area free for mounting modular bottom covers or for adding plinths for housing pipes for thermal management.
In the mobile version, the new DCM Rack is fitted with stable castors and castor carriers, to ensure safe roll-off from transport palettes or rolling onto a raised floor. Another new and interesting feature is the tool-less use of the doors or the earth cable on the new network rack. Torx screws are used with fixed connections for safe and comfortable handling.
Air control is a vital element of running a data centre. Any engineer understands reliable power distribution and efficient management of current flow will extend the lifetime and reliability of your technology.
Racks such as these that offer precision cooling, and surge protection technology are ideal in order to keep the air flowing through the data centre continually. This is in accordance with the cold aisle/warm aisle principle; as well as maintaining the right temperature for the equipment it hosts.
Such Solutions reduce obstructions to airflow, with a logical cable management system, reducing the adverse effects of heat on the rack-mounted computer equipment.
The rack's perforation level of 83 percent - which is production relevant also ensures that the installed components can take in the required airflow without obstruction from the cold aisle. The cold/hot separation for air supply is provided in the 19' level area.
The rack is prepared for applications in combination with side-attachable cooling units and for connection points for cold aisle containments.
Power Distribution Units (PDUs) that offer engineers the ability to address their specific requirements and performance needs are extremely beneficial in these environments; giving IT managers better visibility and control over all relevant infrastructure in server rooms and data centres.
Rack PDUs are easily integrated into new or existing management platforms and offer customisable power supply and power management options to meet diverse business demands.
The latest server rack technology sets a new standard in customised and mobile data centre design ensuring safety and flexibility.