We live in the age of information and technology. There is simply no getting around that fact. Just about everywhere we go, we can find access to a digital device of some kind. Most of our important records, data, documents and information are stored almost entirely online or in a digital system, as opposed to the forests of hard copies that there once were. And where does all that information get stored? Where does it sleep when it is not being accessed? In a computer rack, of course. Computer racks vary in size and type, depending on the size of the system it is meant to hold, and the needs of the company that is doing the storing.
What exactly is a computer rack?
A standard single rack will generally be either 19 inches (the more common size) or 23 inches. Each one of these can provide for as few as 42 servers all the way up to servers numbering in the hundreds. One rack unit is equivalent to 1.75 inches, and equipment and parts built for use with these racks are measured in multiples of “U” (or sometimes “RU” for rack unit). To get an idea of perspective and how these units are used, the different racks used for a desktop server, for example, could have a range of 5U to 20U. The rows and rows of big data center racks that you sometimes see in the movies are comprised of the much larger 42U server rack cabinets.
Protecting the precious data within
Very little is more important these days than keeping crucial information protected and safely out of the wrong hands or harm’s way. So when you think of so much information in one place, doesn’t it make you start thinking about what would be lost if something went wrong? Is it wise to put all of that sensitive material in one place? No doubt developed through trial and error over the years as technology has grown and evolved, there are safety measures featured on racks. In order to keep the wrong hands from wandering onto information they shouldn’t, there are lockable cabinet racks that are much more secure than those that sit open or on a sliding drawer for easy access. In addition, the majority of data centers are monitored closely for the right temperature, usually falling
between a comfortable 68 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, in order to avoid dangerous overheating that could lead to loss of information.
The manufacturing industry of computer servers churns out approximately $14 billion every year in revenue. Between 2005 and 2010, the energy use within data centers in the United States grew by 36%. All signs are pointing to the continue of increased use of computer racks.