Have you tried on a coat or a pair of jeans that you have had for a while only to find that they don’t fit? More than likely they didn’t shrink, you expanded.
In the same way today, we are seeing larger equipment going into smaller cabinets and network managers are re-using cabinets for this larger equipment. Have you seen the newer, deeper servers lately? While this may have a positive result on the budget, it can create long term reliability and operational issues.
Just five short years ago, cabinets were smaller because electronics were smaller, power usage was less, and floor space was not at the premium it is today. As equipment gets larger, rails must be pushedto their extremes in cabinets to accommodate the larger foot print. The negative effect is that the space in the front of cabinets needed for data and power cable routing and air flow is taken away.
It’s important to remember that you will need space behind the server for cables. Fiber optic cables require ~152mm (6”) while standard ethernet and power cables need at least 112mm (4”) of clearance. Room for unrestricted flow of cooling air is critical as well. Going back to our big guy in a little coat comparison, movement and airflow is critical to operational excellence.
Make sure that consideration is given to everything that will go into the cabinets, not just the electronics.
Remember – just because a smaller size is available doesn’t mean you have to wear it.
What’s in your closet?