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How to Choose the Right Electronics Cabinet

Choosing the right electronic cabinet for your data center and data racks can be a challenge. Storage is always an issue for any company, as demonstrated by the fact that 25% of respondents to a recent survey said that if they can only move one application to the cloud it would certainly be storage. More than 65% of equipment failure can be directly blamed on poorly maintained or inadequate thermal containment systems, cold aisle containment solutions, electronic cabinet designs, or other issues with the cooling of data racks. Here are some things to consider when choosing an electronic cabinet.

What is the Load Capacity?

You need to consider how much of a load your electrical cabinet is designed to hold. Underestimating the load requirements is a serious issue, and it is important to remember that while you may be planning to put the heaviest equipment at the bottom of the cabinet your engineers may in the end not be able to do that as they design the rack. Don’t forget to include in your estimations absolutely everything that could be included in the electronic cabinet including not only hard drives, but also things like proprietary equipment and battery banks.

What are the Cabinet Dimensions?

Standard electronic cabinets are 19 inches wide which generally is sufficient for most equipment. However, it is important to consider the height of the unit. Each unit of height corresponds to the industry standard of 44.45 mm. Don’t forget to consider cabinet depth as well.

What Protection Does it Offer?

There two types of important protection features to consider: seismic and vibratory. Electronic cabinets rated for seismic protection have been tested, fully loaded, in all the directions that the typical earthquake might move it. Vibration tests are also used to determine how a cabinet might perform in something like a train car or if installed near a piece of equipment that generates some vibration.

What is the Electromagnetic Compatibility?

This is a serious issue for both data centers and the manufacturers of compatible data center equipment. Computers and their related equipment are becoming faster and issues with electromagnetic compatibility are becoming increasingly serious. Look for cabinets that have undergone tests to ensure that they have the highest EMI protection and gasket integration.

Which Design Standards Does it Meet?

Most electronic cabinets will be designed to a particular standard and it’s important to know which standard your data center needs. Some of the common standards include RoHs, or Restriction of Hazardous Substances, which was developed in the European Union; MIL-S-901D, which is a military standard designed for ship applications and combat readiness; and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards which are for standardizing electronics and their use across the world.

What Environmental Protection Does it Offer?

The last thing to consider when choosing an electronic cabinet is the protection it provides against water and dust. The IP codes of the cabinet will tell you how a cabinet rates in this respect and electronic cabinets will come with two separate IP numbers. One refers to dust protection and the other to water protection, and it’s important to know which type of protection is most important for your needs when choosing electronic cabinets. The higher the number, the higher the rating.

The first step to having the right electronics rack is having electronic cabinets. Make sure the cabin is that you buy are designed and rated for the use you need to get out of them.

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