Modern manufacturers of data center furniture offer different models to satisfy the demand of all consumers and provide a wide range of products for any purpose. Products differ in multiple parameters, such as size, construction, type, etc. A body type (open vs. closed) comes as one of the most distinctive features.
When setting up a server system, it is vital to find the most appropriate type of furniture to accommodate components. The duration and smoothness of operation depend on the correctly chosen model. Improper cabinet selection will lead to quick deterioration of hardware and frequent malfunctions.
Each type of furniture has its features, pros, and cons. Below, we’re going to consider both types and outline their main peculiarities and differences.
It is one of the two most popular server rack solutions. This class of models features the absence of side metal panels, that is, the construction consists of the base and vertical uprights only. Depending on the model, racks can have 2 or 4 vertical supports. Posts are incredibly durable due to metal thickness; holes for equipment attachment are made in them. There are models for installation on the floor and fastening to vertical surfaces. Wall-mount models have a limited carrying capacity.
Advantages of Open Frames
Due to construction peculiarities, they point out the next benefits of open racks:
- Enhanced cooling without the need to install fans and other ventilation tools. Natural airflow provides sufficient cooling by passing through system components.
- Easy and unhindered access to devices. System maintenance is simplified since the staff does not have to reassemble it to replace some components or examine their condition. Access from all sides accelerates work and makes it more convenient.
- Different fastening solutions are possible. It is possible to fasten hardware to rails, posts, or install shelves additionally.
- Easy cabling. Hundreds of wires stretch through racks to connect units and enable their stable communication. When dealing with open frames, technicians decide how and where to route cables more conveniently.
Enclosed cabinets come as the second most popular type of server furniture. Such constructions are closed from all sides and have side panels. This feature serves as a pro and con at the same time. Enclosed models have 4 uprights. According to the type of fastening, they differ in wall-mount and floor-standing options.
Benefits of Solid Enclosures
They point out the following advantages of closed racks:
- High security and protection against all sorts of external impacts. Solid enclosures are made from thick durable metal sheets that protect hardware from intentional and accidental damage, environmental influences, pollution, etc.
- Easy transportation without the need to disassemble the system. It is possible to relocate the system quickly and comfortably. Handles and casters are usually attached.
- Easy climate control creation due to enclosed space. It is possible to install fans and direct the airflow correctly to reduce the temperature inside the cage effectively.
So, now, let’s get down to rack type comparison. Once we identified the strong sides of both models, let’s compare both types of furniture models.
Open Frames VS Enclosed Bodies: Comparison
Below, we offer a comparison of open rack vs. closed rack. First of all, note that both options are perfect for IT infrastructure solutions. The difference is that they are suitable for different occasions and purposes.
For example, open frames are ideal for mounting in closed premises, access to which is limited since racks cannot protect equipment from outside impacts. Thus, they should be placed away from unauthorized people. At the same time, enclosures are appropriate for installation in public places, where it is impossible to isolate equipment from third-party people. For example, enclosures are perfect for stores, banks, and other institutions. So, server rack usage scenarios differ due to their construction peculiarities, making both models highly valuable in the sphere.
When comparing the cons of both models, open frames have a low protective barrier, while enclosures feature difficulties in access and maintenance.
How to Select Appropriate Server Furniture Models?
Finally, let’s make a guide on choosing the right server rack. Below, you’ll find obligatory criteria to keep in mind when selecting server rack types.
- Consider the room, in which it will be installed.
- Assess the system size. How many components does it have?
- Think about ventilation strategies.
- Foresee future expansion and addition of new devices to an existing system.
- Remember to design a layout and place hardware loosely to avoid heat exchange.
- Judging by the layout, select a preferable model (open or closed) and size.
Here are some practical examples of rack selection. If you have a small network system consisting of a dozen devices, it is enough to buy a compact desktop or wall-mount rack. Open frames are preferable for closed DCs. If you plan frequent relocation, give preference to enclosed cabinets.
The modern industry offers a wide range of models. Producers manufacture different types of furniture to satisfy the needs of all customers and their infrastructures. Thus, you’ll definitely find an appropriate model for your case.