Published on: April 13, 2016 by Blair Haas
One of the most common phone calls that we receive here at Bud Industries is requesting help in selecting the best 19” cabinet rack for the intended solution. As Bud offers many families of enclosure ranging from the Economizer Series to the stylish BRP series to the full featured SRP Server Rack Series, some customers find the selection process to be daunting. We help them unravel the task and have decided to share the relatively simple approach in five steps.
CABINET SIZE MATTERS
Of course, most know that the “u” (1.75”) is the industry standard of measuring the available vertical panel space in a rack. But there are many other features that need to be considered. Will you need extra width or depth for cables to flow outside of the equipment to be mounted? Are you thinking about the future realistically so that you plan for potential expansion and purchase a cabinet that has enough extra panel height to allow for that? On the flip side, are you buying a 42u rack because you always have, but for this application, you only need something shorter? These decisions have significant cost as well as functional impact since the cost of the metal is a major component of the rack’s price.
KNOW HOW COOL YOU NEED TO BE
If you are mounting components that are likely to generate significant heat, does the rack have louvers or perforations in all major surfaces to allow for heat dissipation? Does it have the preparation for an exhaust fan? Are you installing an air conditioner or water cooling system that will require a more closed system?
IMPORTANCE OF WEIGHT
How much weight do you need to install in the rack and how will you distribute that weight? All cabinet racks come with suggested weight load limits, but what is often not mentioned is that it can vary based on whether the weight will be evenly distributed or will be loaded near the top or bottom. Also, will the components be stable or will they need to slide out for service or other purposes
DO YOU NEED ACCESSORIES WITH THAT?
Much like a fast food chain asks about fries with your burger, you need to think about what else you need to go with that rack and if the vendor can provide it. These can range from the simple (extra mounting rails for additional support, cable mounting brackets, or casters) to the more complex (ventilated slide out shelving, power outlet strips, or internal lighting). Also be sure to consider that even if you do not buy those accessories from your enclosure manufacturer, is the cabinet rack equipped to accept them.
Sometimes, you just need something extra and it is important to consider that with enough advance notice to allow for the proper delivery. Customization can be as simple as populating the rack with the required accessories in a specific location to speed installation. More complex and time consuming options can include non-standard heights or other dimensions, special colors, specific types of mounting provisions or even extra welds to allow for heavier loads. These all take extra time.
Selecting a cabinet rack is fairly basic as long as you have given thought to your application and installation process as well as your future needs. As always, a quick call to your local distributor can provide you with all of the tools you need to make your selection with confidence. Or click on Bud’s product selector to assist you in your process.