Technical Questions

1. What is a KVM Switch?
A KVM Switch is a device that allows someone to use more than 1 computer from only 1 keyboard, monitor and mouse. Anyone can literally manage all of the computers in their office/server room from their desk without getting up. The limits to what you can do with KVM Switches are few. You can manage anywhere from 2 computers to thousands of servers using a KVM Switch.

2. What is a console server?
The console server is software which can be run on a UNIX box with lots of serial ports. You plug consoles of other machines into the serial ports, and the software allows you to access these consoles from anywhere on the network.

3. What is Rack?
Racks organize IT equipment into standardized assemblies that make efficient use of space and other resources. At the most basic level, a rack consists of two or four vertical mounting rails and the supporting framework required to keep the rails in place. The rails and framework are typically made of steel or aluminum to support hundreds or even thousands of pounds of equipment. The rails have square or round holes that allow you to mount rack equipment to them with screws. (In the case of the square mounting holes, the screws connect to removable cage nuts placed in the required locations.) Some equipment includes horizontal rails or shelves that you mount in the rack to provide extra support.

4. How do you choose the right rack size?
The key to data center rack planning is to think about flexibility and adaptability. Needs will continue to evolve, and racking solutions must be able to evolve with them. The data center must be able to adapt to each individual rack environment and rack zone. Similarly, the rack must adapt to the room. Planning with flexibility in mind allows a data center to quickly and easily respond to changing business needs. Considerations include:

Weight capacity: Racks should be chosen to meet the capability of required loads. 1U servers weigh approximately 35 lbs. Given the number of servers, cables, rack power distribution units, overhead cable mounts and containment support points on a typical rack application today, a rack with a 2,400 lbs. capacity should be considered. Racks are available in up to 3,000 lbs. capacities for heavy-duty applications.

19 inch rails: Each of the four rails in a rack should be easy to adjust relative to the needs of the supported equipment. Proper alignment ensures that rails are properly positioned without the need to measure. Front rails should also be flexible to allow for cables in a networking application. Rails that utilize cage nuts eliminate the need for tapping and drilling out stripped screw holes. Stripping out a hole is easy; repairing it is time consuming, and therefore expensive. Cage nuts are available in a variety of sizes, attach to the rail wherever necessary, and provide an economical, fast and flexible method of mounting.

Doors: Most equipment requires that security doors provide at least 64 percent perforation for proper air flow (higher perforation levels are available). The doors should also be easily reversible; lift-off hinges require no tools to change the door’s configuration to open from either the right or left. Doors that can be easily removed from their hinges simplify equipment loading. Some doors offer the ability to open 135 degrees, which also eases equipment loading. A variety of handle options include key locks, combination, electronic or biometric locks, all of which are built into the handle.

Side panels: Side panels have traditionally been a single piece held on with screws that wer not simple to attach or remove. The trend is toward split-locking side panels - two independent side panels which are lighter and easier to install because the installer works with two smaller panels as opposed to a one large panel. The panels may be locked using the same security key as the rack’s front door.

Roof : The roof top should be ready for cabling and accept a minimum of 1,500 Category 5 (Cat 5) cables; many racks today carry that capacity, and higher capacities can reach 2,500. Custom cable entry can also be achieved through the base of the rack, if necessary, but the trend is primarily overhead, as many data centers may not have the raised floor necessary for base entry, or in many cases, raised floors may not be utilized because they impede rack airflow. Roof hole covers should be used to prevent debris from entering and to reduce airflow loss. Modular Busway systems and cable management support systems should fit easily on the roof as well.

Support Questions

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