for the UK and Europe.
Coming Soon Data Centre World 2019 !
Computer Relocations specialise in Data Centre relocation and it’s why we attend exhibitions, such as Data Centre World 2018 at the London Excel Exhibition Centre. It is something we would definitely recommend visiting to anyone working in the Data Centre environment. Also IT managers responsible for their own company’s server rooms would find this event really beneficial.
Computer Relocations is primarily involved in moving servers and relocating Data Centres but we have to keep up to date with latest products and services. The products that interest us range from the obvious, such as server racks, cables, cable management and items like sophisticated labelling printers. There are less obvious products and services such as fibre optic connector cleaning products and Data destruction services that you would think that we would have little or no interest in, but you would be surprised at our wide range of services and what they encompass. We will cover some of these in future posts so look out for them.
Attending Data Centre related exhibitions does not only give us the latest knowledge to be able to converse with our customer base. It also enables us to provide good levels of advice on the purchase of new Data Centre and Server related products when planning their Data Centre relocation.
Data Centre and Server Room Racks.
Data Centre World Exhibition 2014 was worth visiting just to see the great range racks for server rooms and data centres alone. The exhibitors included all the main rack manufacturers such as Rittal, Prism Enclosures, Excel Networking Solutions, Dataracks and Chatsworth Products.
Blowing Hot and Cold
Rittal were showing their range of racks but had set up an Aisle containment configuration. Some of our customers have this and it’s great for use in server rooms that haven’t been designed as data centres. In server rooms, the mixing of cold and hot air leads to ‘Hotspots’ which can cause efficiency issues and in some extreme cases, premature hardware failure. Aisle containment effectively separates the intake (Cold air) and the waste (Hot air).
There are two different methods.
Firstly, ‘Cold Aisle’ where the aisle is fed cold air, which the servers intake, exhausting the waste hot air into the server room which is extracted. An advantage is that it is nice and cool when working in the aisle.
Secondly, ‘Hot Aisle’ which is best suited where high heat loss is required. The air intake is from the ambient or cooled server room and exhausted into the contained hot aisle, which is extracted where it is created, very efficiently.
It is a fantastic way of creating your own bespoke data centre and best of all, if you move, just dismantle it and rebuild it at your new destination.
It’s was great to have the advantages of both methods explained in detail straight from the manufacturer, which is why attending shows like Data Centre World is such an invaluable and economical resource of information.
Excel Networking Solutions had a very prominent stand and some great racks and rack accessories on display. Paul Collins and his cheerful colleagues from Excel were on hand to show us all the latest equipment.
We really liked their ‘ENVIRON’ range of racks all displayed in black (Apparently the preference is for Cream coloured racks at the moment though).
Their model number range is easy to understand and remember. ‘CR’ range for Comms racks, ‘ER’ for equipment racks, ‘SR’ for Server racks, ’OR’ for Open racks and ‘WR’ for wall racks. For Computer Relocation companies, it is really easy for us to quickly understand what we are dealing with when a customer asks if we can also move some Environ ‘SR’ racks for example. Easily identifiable which range we are being asked to relocate.
The ranges of racks are really well engineered by this Birmingham based company. The breadth of design, make them ideal for a whole range of applications in the enterprise, data centre, security and professional audio visual markets.
One of the features we liked about their range of racks was that they all came with castors, which for our organisation can be a lovely site to behold. Also, if the data centre or server room needs re-arranging slightly then this enables movement of the racks without to much bother.
We would always recommend power down and the removal of servers before attempting even small rack movements or adjustments.
It’s not going to be pleasant having a rack castor run over a toe but even less pleasant if the rack is full of kit! Oh, then there’s the loose fibre cable or worse, power cable that you managed to crush. Also the server that’s decided to drop out of one of it’s rails and the heart stopping, rails dropping out of rack with server attached. The consequences reaching escalating catastrophic realms with beads of sweat running off the end of your nose and conveniently dripping straight through a tiny ventilation hole, causing a short, (both brief and electrically) sweet ‘pop’. Followed by that eerie change in noise level caused by a few less fans suddenly running than there once were.
Hence why you should always use a specialist IT relocation company when planning even the smallest of server moves. The thing is, when its your own kit and you attempt ‘Do It Yourself’ moves, you will probably end up being under resourced and that will mean taking short cuts and risks.
Then there is the fact that your business or your customer’s business, is going to expect their servers to still be working after the ‘slight adjustments’ you’ve made. They probably won’t have much sympathy with the fact that you’ve only got four toes remaining, if their organisation has tens or hundreds of staff sat there with no access to their servers.
Employ a specialist Computer relocation company, they will have the correct equipment, resources, insurance cover and will provide project managed moves with a method statement and risk analysis. (If you come across a company that doesn’t offer all of this, then don’t use them) All our engineers for example are completely aware of the health and safety issues in moving heavy equipment around the work place and always wear PPE (Personal Protection Equipment), when carrying out any data centre relocation or server move.
So remember, if moving a single sever or organising a complete Data Centre relocation, there are going to be health and safety issues. Use an IT relocation specialist company, who have experienced project managers and IT engineers and can help with risk analysis and method statements.
Other things to consider when purchasing a rack.
The Excel racks all come with a 25 year guarantee when installed as part of a total Excel solution by accredited partners. Check what guarantees are being offered by the manufacturer and what they cover.
We liked the clear labelling of the Excel racks. If there is one thing you should always specify, it’s the labelling of the ‘U’ positioning no matter which manufacturer you go with. Its so important for rack layout during a server move or data centre relocation and really important with support issues. Watching field support engineers trying to count the U on un-labelled racks and saying ‘I think that’s U31, the one they want powering off.’ Gulp!
The wave design of the Excel mesh doors which help give rigidity to the door which has an enormous 70% ventilation. More air than metal! The rack doors have function. Glass doors for equipment that doesn’t require air intake at the front but does offer protection and allows you to view equipment status or connections. Mesh doors for either air intake or exhaust waste air. Doors also give a bit of rigidity to the rack.
The main thing is, that if the right sized rack has been bought, all your equipment should fit easily and the doors should be closed front and back. Don’t end up with all the doors being removed because you can’t close them, and then stored over in the corner of the server room.
We also liked the plug in PDUs offered by Excel. They are plugged in mechanically and electrically. If you need to quickly move one up or down or to the other side, just pull it out of the socket and position it where you want. Really neat idea.
Power Distribution Units deserve a whole article to themselves which will come up in the future. Another fundamental part of any Data Centre or Server room
If racks are your thing, then these Excel racks have to be on your shopping list. Certainly from the point of view of de-racking, re-racking and re-cabling they are positively dreamy. You just know that you’re going to end up with a smart, easy to maintain rack even when fully populated.
These racks will make the dullest of data centres or shabbiest of server rooms look bright, modern and impressive.
Cream or black? The general consensus at Computer Relocations is Cream. Maybe it’s just because it brightens up what is usually a poorly lit environment, although rows of blacks racks can look quite cool.
Rack choice is an important purchase decision. They will probably be with your organisation for a long time to come and will out live the servers that are installed in them two or three times over.
Spend a little time checking out the manufacturers and even go and see some before buying them. Choose the correct size (most important), the correct options and have it delivered and built to your specification. It may cost a little more initially, but in the long run, spending a few more pounds now will be totally worth it.
Think of it this way, if you’ve got let’s say fifteen servers worth £100’000 pounds. Trying to save a couple of hundred pounds on the rack, that they’re all going to be mounted and maintained in for the next five, ten or more years seems more than a bit petty.
If your business is thinking of relocating your data centre or server room, why not choose this time to look at those old racks, replacing any that are no longer suitable or faulty. Get the communications equipment into ‘Comms Racks’ and get the servers that have ended up in ‘Comms racks’ out of there and into proper ‘Server Racks’. You may not get this chance for a long time to come.
Contact us and speak to one of our project managers, who can provide a free site survey and offer great advice for your data centre relocation or server migration. We can assist you in choosing and correctly specifying your rack, from a wide range of manufacturers. Helping to make sure your data centre or server room will be efficient, easy to maintain and look good. So, cream or black?