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Our guide to choosing the right Server Rack Panels for your data center

The increasing number of data centers coming up around the world to cater to the rising demand for technology services is spurring the growth of the data center rack market. In fact, the global Data Center Rack market size, which was USD 2.338 Billion two years ago, is forecast to reach USD 3.325 billion in five years (see full report here).

Racks play a critical role in reducing both operational and capital spending, which makes them vital to the data center. And that is why choosing the right Rack Panels for your data center server racks is very important.

First, let’s look at what is available in terms of rack panels.

Side Panels

These come in three options — fixed, removable, and louvered. There are advantages to all three types.

Fixed Solid Side Panels

These panels are permanently attached to the server rack and maintain the original dimensions. The advantages are that they are:

  1. Economical for those who do not need side access to their equipment

  2. Perfect for those not planning to expand or gang rack enclosures

Removable solid side panels

These panels open like doors and give access to the side of the cabinet. They are recommended when you:

  1. Need occasional side access to your equipment

  2. Intend to bundle rack enclosures together

Blanking Panels

These are pieces of plastic or metal used to fill a spot in a rack that is not in use. Blanking panels help improve the aesthetics of the server rack and help to manage airflow within. 

Advantages include:

  1. Better aesthetics as they cover unused rack space in the front of a rack

  2. They allow proper airflow and help to quickly dissipate heat thereby reducing internal hot-air recirculation within the rack

  3. Give you a cleaner rack with less dust

Hardy Racks recommends installing Blanking Panels at least every 8U Spaces (17.5″) for racks over 12 U.

Patch Panels

This is a piece of hardware with multiple ports that helps organize a group of cables. They are used when you need:

  1. Scalability as you can easily add new devices without having to install cables end-to-end

  2. Clutter reduction as patch panels are typically located closer to the actual equipment

  3. Economics as you can use shorter cables, which also leads to easier maintenance

Brush Panels

Also known as grommets, these panels come with brush strips that can be retrofitted onto server racks. The advantages are:

  1. Airflow management as they promote proper airflow within the data center’s hot/cold aisle containment setup

  2. Better cable management as they allow for easy entryways for cables, cords, and wires

  3. Prevent the accumulation of dust thus keeping the environment contaminant-free

We hope you found our guide on choosing panels for your racks information. In the end, it’s all about increasing performance, better security and keeping the racks easy to maintain. For more details and to ensure you are making the right choice, get in touch today.

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