4 Best Practices for Network Rack Organization

Effective management of the IT infrastructure starts with well-organized server and network racks. When IT equipment is installed haphazardly, administrators waste valuable time tracing problems and accessing resources. Poor cable management restricts airflow and further complicates troubleshooting and maintenance.

How to Organize Your Network Rack

Proper network rack organization begins with selecting the right racks and cabinets. Although most data centers and server rooms use 19-inch-wide racks, a wide range of heights and depths is available. Network racks should be tall enough to maximize data center space, with consideration for the amount of power and cooling available. High-performance servers and blade chassis will require racks deep enough to accommodate the equipment and ensure access and airflow.

The next step is to plan the layout of the rack or cabinet and install the equipment and cabling, with consideration for future moves, adds, and changes. Here are four best practices to follow.

Determine Which Components Will Be Located in the Network Rack

In today’s high-density environments, it’s crucial to determine which components will be housed in a particular rack. Often, racks are organized by workload, but that’s not always a one-to-one relationship. One rack may be able to accommodate multiple small workloads, while multiple racks may be required to support larger workloads.

Map Out Where Each Component Will Be Installed

Equipment should be mounted in a way that maximizes available space and allows easy access. Generally, heavier equipment is installed at the bottom of the rack. It’s also important to plan for “nonstandard” components such as PCs, laptops, and A/V equipment that may require shelving. Developing a detailed plan for where each component will be mounted helps avoid the hassle of moving the equipment later.

Plan for Proper Cable Management

Horizontal and vertical cable managers and cable ties ensure that cords stay neat and tidy and prevent damage due to bending and twisting. Power cords and network cables should be separated to reduce the risk of electromagnetic interference. Patch panels are valuable tools that allow for higher port utilization and the use of larger switches. Fiber enclosures save space and create modular connections for fiber-optic cables.

Ensure Adequate Cooling

Proper cooling is one of the most critical considerations when organizing server racks and network cabinets. Today’s equipment consumes a lot of power and thus generates a lot of heat. Blanking panels should be used to cover empty spaces, and the space between the rails and sides sealed to reduce the mixing of chilled intake air with hot exhaust air. Perforated doors allow chilled air to enter enclosed cabinets. Better yet, in-rack cooling systems create the perfect environment for equipment.

The EdgeRack from Enconnex

The Enconnex EdgeRack micro data center has the features you need to organize your equipment properly and to keep it cool. Available in 42U, 45U, and 48U heights, it allows computing, storage, and networking components to be housed in one cabinet that works in branch offices, retail stores, medical facilities, and schools as well as traditional IT spaces.

Two solutions are available:

  • The EdgeRack 5M Series has sound-dampening panels for use in areas where high noise levels might be a concern and an efficient, in-rack cooling system with up to 5kW of cooling power. Plexiglass doors with front and rear door key locks help secure equipment while allowing IT access. Everything you need is fully integrated for rapid deployment.
  • The EdgeRack 3P Series has an integrated, HMI touch screen monitoring system for precise environmental and power management along with an efficient, in-rack cooling system with up to 3.5kW of cooling capacity. Magnetic temperature, humidity, and smoke detectors, a power control module with breaker panel, and a leak detection cord help to protect equipment. Enjoy maximum security with biometric smart locking functionality.

Contact Enconnex to learn how EdgeRack can simplify rack organization in your environment.

Posted by Robert Faulkner on October 12, 2021

Robert Faulkner is the Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Enconnex. He comes from a strong background in product management with over 20 years in the IT industry. He currently holds an MSME and CDCD certification. He earned his MS degree in Mechanical Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno.

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