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A Closer Look at Why Open Racks Matter

July 16, 2012

Here in the European IT infrastructure storage market, the use of open racks has continued to gain popularity. Thanks to the ability to manage a high volume of cables in a reduced footprint, allowance for trouble-free maintenance and nearly 360-degree access to the patch panel interface, open racks provide some clear differentiators over traditional enclosed cabinets.

CPI Universal RackAt Chatsworth Products (CPI), open racks are available in either a Two- or Four-Post configuration. Typically, Two-Post Racks such as CPI’s Universal Rack (seen at right) and Standard Rack are used for connecting hardware such as copper and fibre patch panels and also light active equipment. Due to the relatively low power requirements of such equipment, managing heat is less of a concern than it might be for high density devices enclosed in a cabinet.

CPI Four-Post RacksFour-Post Racks, such as CPI’s Adjustable ServerRack, allow hardware to be connected to the front and rear of the rack, with some customers using the front side for copper connections and the rear for fibre. The second advantage of using Four-Post is that they allow for deeper and heavier IT equipment to be installed (surpassing the capacity threshold for a typical Two-Post).

In my experience, while the proper selection for open racks often comes down to preference of the product features, it is critical to remember that all racks should be secured to the concrete floor below to ensure safety.

When dealing with overhead Cable Runway, it’s also important to ensure that it’s fastened to either the racks below, ceiling or adjacent walls, which all act as additional anchor points for stability and safety. Additionally, you should ensure that bayed cable managers are sized correctly to allow an effortless fit for all installed cables, bearing in mind of course that international ISO standards state that all cable management should be populated to a maximum fill ratio of 60%.

To determine all maximum fill ratios of CPI products, be sure to use our Cable Fill Tables.

For more information on all of CPI’s Rack Systems, click here. Ian Cathcart, CPI Technical & Sales Manager – Europe

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