A rack cabinet is designed for the installation of computer systems such as routers, switches, servers, UPS and all the necessary cabling that these teams need. They come prepared to easily and quickly install (rack) the different equipment, in case of having equipment that is not rackable, absolutely nothing happens because we can buy fixed or mobile trays to place this equipment inside the rack.
The most common thing in an office is that all the workstations (desktops) are wired with Ethernet network cable, and those Ethernet network cables reach the main managed switch from where they are provided access to the local network and the Internet. Somewhere we have had to put the main router and also the switch that distributes the Internet connection throughout the office, in addition, it is very possible that we have a server or a NAS, and even a UPS to protect all the previous equipment from uploads power outages or power outages.
In this type of scenario, the rack cabinet that you have to buy is the floor rack, a type of cabinet that is placed directly on the floor, has wheels to be able to move it from one side to another depending on the needs of the company, and They are the ones that provide us with the greatest versatility due to the different dimensions that we have available.
What models of floor rack cabinets exist today?
All the floor rack cabinets that we can buy in stores such as Qloudea, RackMatic and other stores, comply with all current regulations. To buy the ideal floor cabinet for you, you should look at the following specifications:
- Cabinet height or U number of the rack: the U is the unit of measurement of the racks, in each U we are going to install a router, a manageable switch or a server. There are servers that can occupy 2 or 3 U, one U is 4.5 cm high, therefore, the more U has a certain rack, the higher it will be. The effective height of the rack is the U, the real height of the entire cabinet is the number of U multiplied by 4.5cm and we add an additional 15cm for the height of the wheels, the cooling unit and the thickness of the cabinet. Normally floor cabinets range from 22U to 47U, that is, from 115cm to 225cm in actual height approximately.
- Cabinet width: although the width of all rack cabinets is standardized at 19 ”(48.26cm), logically on the sides there must be a space to pass all the network and fiber cabling. The width of the 19 ”cabinets is normally 600mm real, however, there are also 800mm cabinets, this allows us to have an additional 10cm on each side to correctly manage all the wiring.
- Closet bottom: floor-standing rack cabinets are normally 600mm deep, and this is enough for the installation of routers, manageable switches and even servers. However, it is possible that in your company you have equipment with more depth, in this case, there are also 800mm, 1000mm and even 1,200mm deep rack cabinets.
Once you know what type of floor rack cabinets exist, depending on your needs, you will have to buy one model and another.
What model should I buy?
Next, we are going to offer you the typical questions that we all ask ourselves when buying a rack cabinet, and the answer to all of them.
- How many teams are you going to put inside the closet? Depending on the number of equipment and how many U are going to occupy, you should buy a cabinet with more or less U. If you plan to buy a 22U rack cabinet and you are going to occupy a total of 20U, our recommendation is that you buy a cabinet with more U , like 32U. We should never buy a closet to fill it up, because you have no possibility of expansion in the future. It is always advisable to leave approximately 25% free space.
- Do I need an extra width in the closet for the wiring? If you are going to run a large amount of network cables or fibers through the sides of the rack, it may be advisable to buy a cabinet that is 800mm wide, to have an additional 10cm on each side for good cable management. However, you should assess this yourself and see if you can fit a 600mm wide or 800mm wide wardrobe.
- Do I have teams with a lot of depth? There are teams that have a lot of depth, for example, the most normal thing in a manageable switch is that it is about 20 or 25 cm deep, but the higher-end ones or the servers could be 50 cm or more, in this case, it would be good buy rack cabinets of 800mm or higher, to make a correct cable management. We must remember that, if our closet is 600mm deep, the equipment with the deepest depth should be about 450mm to leave about 15cm of space.
Depending on your needs you should buy one or the other, a very important detail is that it is recommended to leave about 15cm between the equipment and the bottom of the closet for the passage of the wiring, therefore, if you have a equipment with a 50cm depth, it would be advisable to go go for the 800mm deep instead of the 600mm because it could be something just.
Any recommended accessory to install it in the rack?
For business environments, the essential accessories to install in a rack cabinet are the following:
- Patch panel: we need a patch panel to properly wire the different equipment that we have in the company, in this way, we can document correctly and not touch the network cabling from the RJ-45 jack of the station to the patch panel.
- Cable guide: If we have a lot of cables, a good idea would be to buy a cable gland guide with rings to organize it properly.
- Cable gland with brush: if we have to pass cables from the front of the rack to the back, a good idea would be to buy a cable gland with a brush, this will allow us to hide everything behind and have a good cooling of the components.
- Ventilation unit: normally they are already included in the rack cabinets, but you should look closely at the cabinet’s specifications to see if they are included or not.
- Rack strips: these types of strips are designed to be placed in the rack, they will be necessary to power all the equipment that you are going to connect.
As you have seen, depending on the needs of the office or the company, we will have to choose a rack with more U (height), more plug and depth, or one with smaller dimensions. In addition, it is very important that you buy different accessories for the rack that will allow us to carry out a correct cable management.