Rack or Cabinet?

Trent Piepho xyzzy at speakeasy.org
Tue Jun 17 16:25:05 EDT 2003


We're planning on buying a few rackmount systems, probably not so many
that they take more than one rack, and I'm trying to decide between an open
rack or a cabinet to house the systems+ups+switch+etc in.

I don't have much experience with rackmount systems, so I'm wondering if
anyone here has any experiences to share.  The noise of the computer room is
annoying the people near it, so I'd like to get a cabinet if they're quieter,
but I'm concerned about the cooling issues.  Does the enclosed space cause
cabinets to overheat?  I see some come with a few fans on the top, but is that
really enough?  We have a cooled computer room, but no fancy underfloor AC
ducts. 

>From what I've gathered about the pro/cons of the two.

Rack
pros:
  cheaper, usually < $500
  open design probably results in better cooling

cons:
  noisy
  doesn't look as nice, with exposed rat's nests of wires, etc.

Cabinet
pros:
  Looks nice, with plexyglass doors and hidden wires, making non-techie types
    more impressed with how their computer dollars were spent
  dampens sound
cons:
  expensive, typical > $1500
  lack of airflow may result in poor cooling

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