Smaller Has Its Own Issues
The good news: as manufacturers build smaller routers and servers, more can fit into racks. The bad news: issues around density and weight are beginning to crop up. As a result, data centers are starting to take a closer look at the stability of their current inventory, as well as what they need to consider for their future needs.
“I’m seeing the writing on the wall. They keep putting more weight into the cabinets, so we’ve been putting our racks through higher levels of testing,” said Chuck Gaw, vice president and co-owner of Gaw Technology.
While most other cabinets for Zone 4 are tested with 1,000 pound loads, Gaw seismic racks have been tested with 2,000 pounds.
A New Trend Towards Seismic Cabinets
Businesses with facilities in earthquake or heavy vibration-prone areas have always needed seismic racks for those Zone 4 locations. Due to changing weights and the need for versatility however, Gaw said his company is fielding more requests for seismic racks in general, regardless of zone. Some of their clients are starting to use seismic racks in all their facilities. This practice ensures across-the-board stability for their equipment. It also provides more versatility because the facilities can ship their current inventory wherever they are needed, avoiding logistical headaches.
“This practice gives our global clients the ability to capitalize quickly on new markets that they may not have considered, due to lack of equipment on hand,” Gaw said.
Is The Building Seismic-Stable?
Earthquake-ready cabinets are tested for their abilities during a seismic event, such as an earthquake, in heavy vibration areas like airports, or sways that occur in skyscraper buildings. Gaw’s NEBS GR63-core certified Zone 4 server rack cabinets are designed and tested simulating these conditions. But what about the buildings they are kept in?
A long-time designer and producer of server racks, Gaw said if businesses are considering this option, they must also understand the stability of the physical structure in which they our housed.
A successful seismic cabinet installation hinges on the building’s stability, as well as its flooring. Additionally, proper installation of a seismic cabinet to the floor is essential to its performance.
As more data centers prioritize the efficient use of space, producers and installers will need to constantly evaluate their testing criteria and best practices.
Gaw Technology is a leader in server rack cabinet solutions. For more information on the capabilities of seismic racks and other products, contact Chuck Gaw or visit www.gawtechnology.com.