The similarities of the buying process for an IT Enclosure can be as frustrating as buying a car. Ford people will never be caught owning a Chevy and Chevy folks would rather walk than drive a Ford. It seems that purchasing enclosures fall into the same scenario.
Even though there is comfort in staying with what is familiar, it’s time to change… because times have changed. Over again I hear “my Ford started every morning, even on the coldest winter days” or “my racks worked well for that deployment last time.” Innovation and technology now allow one to shift perspective to a new option when selecting enclosures. Enter the Arctic Enclosure Rack / Cabinet Systems by Subzero Engineering.
The Arctic Enclosure was created with these changes in mind. The way legacy data centers were designed 20 years ago is not necessarily how most are designed today. I rarely see a Greenfield data center designed with a raised floor and perimeter CRACs, and almost all leverage the use of airflow management and containment solutions. Why? Because these strategies have essentially been the core of 30% energy reductions and PUEs approaching closer to 1.0 than ever before. So the early adopters have paved a successful public awareness of these successes. One interesting thing that escapes me during many site visits is how many enclosures do not meet the most rudimentary airflow integrity parameters? I am consistently asked to assist in sealing up deployed racks at these sites.
Enclosures (cabinets / racks) can encompass more than 60% of the surface area in a contained aisle. Five primary areas of focus affect airflow leakage within the enclosure:
1. Left of Rails
2. Right of Rails
3. Above the U space
4. Below the U space
5. Under the enclosure system itself
When designing the Arctic Enclosure, all five areas of leakage were addressed, creating a solution with solid airflow integrity. In most cases enclosure manufacturers trick the consumer by pulling the front rails as far forward as possible to hide the airflow integrity flaws. Think of it this way: if your airflow management and containment strategies were designed to operate and deployed to not exceed 3% leakage at a given IWC and the enclosure system is performing at 16%+ leakage at the same IWC that could degrade the air integrity of the entire pod down to 10%+ overall.
Two ideas come to mind how to overcome the emotional slant that can affect the decision of enclosure systems. First of all, keep in mind that enclosure systems can occupy 60% of the overall containment system performance. One of the best methods to ensure the overall performance is to have the enclosures considered a key part of the design. Second, consider that millions of dollars in IT equipment may reside in the enclosure systems. Therefore, the potential added expense of selecting an enclosure system that includes enhanced airflow management considerations seems like an acceptable and reasonable trade-off. The efficiency gains alone may be outweighed by the improved ROI. A comprehensive evaluation of enclosure systems’ features, outside of airflow, should be employed before any decision is finalized. Start by researching how the Arctic Enclosure might be the right choice for your data center.
Protecting your investment should be more about solving ALL of the IT needs while supporting energy efficient practices that help pay for themselves rather than just doing what you’ve always done.