Data Center IT Enclosures: The Most Important Features
Are you under the impression that all data center IT enclosures are created equal? Think again.
While the dimensions and general functionality of many enclosures may be somewhat similar, some “rise to the top,” with distinct and beneficial differences that every Facility Manager and IT Manager should be aware of. These differences can help reduce risk of equipment failure, translating to reduced downtime, reduced cost, reduced labor and improved efficiencies.
Let’s look at key characteristics critical to the capabilities of an IT enclosure, how they benefit the data center’s facility team, and help protect mission critical appliances and your enterprise data.
The three most important features of an IT enclosure are:
We call them “the -ity words”:
- Flexibility. When your enclosure is essentially an intelligently designed building block onto which you can add different components, you’ve achieved a high level of data center future proofing. At any time you can remove and swap out components quickly and easily to solve for changing needs. In many cases with Rittal enclosures, you can even accomplish this without tools. These flexible enclosures become a framework for you to achieve whatever you need, today and in the future.
- Modularity. Rittal enclosures are “assemble-to-order” (ATO)…if that’s what you prefer. We can also deliver the parts and accessories for you to assemble at your facility. ATO enclosures eliminate the need for facility staff to spend time putting in rails and cabling and PDUs. Everything you need to get your enclosure up and running is added before that enclosure reaches your floor – all you do is place it where you want it.
- Scalability. Closely related to modularity is scalability: the ability to effortlessly add more enclosures to expand the data center’s capacity. Rittal’s modular enclosure options come with the most common accessories pre-installed, making it possible to rapidly scale to meet specifications. Cooling, cable management and PDU solutions are already “built in,” making these a smart, cost-effective and efficient way for data centers to grow.
And one last critical factor – Space. While not an “-ity” word, having the maximum amount of internal volume (width x depth x height) enhances the capabilities of the enclosure. Having the room to support installed appliances and ALL cables associated with them takes full advantage of the features described above.
The investment in an enclosure, while a very small percentage of the overall cost of the equipment and data housed within it, nevertheless warrants thoughtful consideration. In fact, it’s because what is inside an enclosure is so important that the choice of enclosure is highly critical. Evaluate your options carefully, and focus on the three “ITY” words as a guide to selecting the best for your needs – today and in the future. The ongoing performance of your equipment, and the safety of the data within it, in other words – your business success, depend on it.
-Herb Villa, Rittal Sr. Applications Engineer