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Rack Cabinets and Enclosure FAQ

What is a 19-inch Rack Cabinet?

A 19-inch rack cabinet is a standardized size frame or enclosure for mounting equipment.  Each piece of equipment has a front panel that is 19 inches wide.  To determine if your rack cabinet  is a 19″ rack, measure the hole to hole spacing and it will measure 18.31 inches.

What are the types of rack cabinets available?

The most common types are:

  • Rack cabinets or Server Racks
  • Open Frame racks  - 4post racks
  • Relay racks - 2Post  racks
  • Portable rack cabinets
  • Wall Mount enclosures

What is a Rack Unit (U or RU)?

The Rack Unit is a unit of measurement used for defining the vertical space available in an equipment rack cabinet.   A 'U' equals 1.75 inches or4.45cm. Rack-mountable equipment is usually designed to occupy an integer number of U.  This dimension has been standardized by the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA).

What are some common or standard heights for rack cabinets?

Server racks come in a wide variety of heights anywhere from 1U to 50U and above. To see the range of rack cabinets and enclosure sizes Gaw Technology offers, please click here: Any customer defined sizes also available.

When are Four- post racks used?

Four-post racks allow for mounting rails to support equipment at the front and rear. These racks may be open in construction or enclosed by front and/or rear doors, side panels, or tops.  Four-post racks can provide both robust support and security.

When are Two- post racks used?

Two-post racks provide just two vertical posts. Equipment can be mounted either via its front panel holes, or close to its center of gravity, depending on the design of the rack. Two-post racks are most often used for telecommunication installations.

What are the Applicable Standards for rack cabinets/ enclosures design and manufacturing?

-The EIA-310

It is standardizing features like the Rack Unit, vertical & horizontal hole spacing, rack cabinet openings and front panel width.

-IEC Standards

IEC 60297 (IEC 60297-3-100, -101, -102, -104, -105 and IEC 60297-5) standardize the dimensions and the mechanical structure of the 19 inch rack cabinets.

What is the significance of the Rack Cabinet Depth?

Rack cabinet depth is important not only because it has to allow room for the depth of the particular equipment to be rack-mounted (deep servers vs.  routers or switches), but also it has to allow sufficient room for cables as well as airflow indispensable in cooling  rack cabinets and enclosures.

What rack cabinet options for front and rear doors are available?

Front as well as Rear doors are available in many different materials, sizes and with various ventilation options. Locking systems are also available on most doors. Choosing a ventilated front and rear door is key in air circulation by creating a front to back flow pattern within the rack cabinet.

What Side Panel options are available for rack cabinets and enclosures?

The typical types of rack cabinet side panels are: solid removable, solid fixed and louvered removable and fixed.

What is the most economical rack cabinet cooling technique?

Our approach to efficient cooling of datacenter rack cabinets begins with a sealed separation between the cold isle in front of the equipment row and the hot isle in the back of the equipment.  The sealing between hot and cold is done at the front rail level of the enclosure.  We implemented this solution, for instance, for a wide variety of Cisco routers: 2821, 7613, 3560E, 3845, 2911, 6509E, 4507R, 4510R, 4510E, 4900M. 

Since the router is designed to intake cold air from the side, which is now left by our separation in the hot isle, we needed to create a duct that would connect the router's intake to the cold isle in front of the cabinet.  We accomplished the whole task by designing a cold air intake plenum mounted under the router, and connecting this plenum through a duct to the intake on the side of the router.

 Please call us with your specific requirements for rack cabinets or enclosure solutions.


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