How do Seismic Rack Cabinets Work?

A server cabinet or rack can become a place of accommodation for thousands of dollars worth of equipment. IT hardware costs a lot and it stores important datum. Thus, the issue of security plays a crucial role here. When arranging a network system, technicians want to be sure that equipment is reliably protected and won’t get damaged under the influence of some environmental factors.

However, data centers are scattered around the world. Some infrastructures are located in high-risk areas, which raises the need to use seismic rack cabinetsfor system assembly and setup. Although arranging a data center in an area prone to earthquakes is not the best idea, some facilities do not have a choice.

Seismic server cabinets and racks are specialized furniture with reinforced bodies that reliably support and protect hardware during high shakes. Such models are made from thick metal panels, as well as have stabilizing brackets and other elements that guarantee better stability on a surface during shakes.

Why do Earthquakes Pose a Threat to Server Equipment?

An earthquake brings destruction anyway, regardless of its level. When considering the impact of the disaster on network hardware and server rooms, there are several common problems:

  • equipment is vulnerable to vibration and other external influences. As a consequence, it can work improperly or break;
  • devices can get physically damaged, which will lead to money losses and extra expenses;
  • cabinets can lose their integrity as a result of shocks.

If you need a high-quality durable server cabinet, visit the website SysRacks. Here, a wide selection of products is offered. The catalog of models totals several dozen products, and managers help pick suitable ones.

However, problems with hardware and racks are half of the issue. Another more important risk is associated with the effect caused on consumers who use the data center.

The main value of data centers is the provided uptime and computing power. Businesses use data center capacities to process and store large amounts of data that can get lost as a result of sudden shocks and equipment malfunction. If information is not backed up, businesses will lose money and strategic data.

NEBS Seismic Zone 4 Requirement Standards: Concept & Essence

According to this requirement, it is a level of how particular products behave under the influence of extreme conditions. The standard was introduced in 1970. The thing is that land areas are divided into 4 groups. The 4th area is characterized by the highest level of seismic risk. It is not recommended to place server rooms in such areas. Yet, if you still dare to set up your data center in such areas, make sure to secure cabinets, premises, and entire infrastructures.

The NEBS standard has a many-page document where all provisions for rooms are described in detail. Server cabinets are just a tiny part of it. Other important aspects deserve particular attention of manufacturers who operated in seismic-active areas:

  • humidity and temperature levels;
  • fire resistance solutions and alarms;
  • acoustic barriers;
  • shock and vibration protection;
  • lighting options;
  • altitude;
  • floor space allocation (spatial and physical requirements).

4-level areas have the highest risk of damaging property. If it is impossible to relocate your data center, pay particular attention to the above-mentioned points and design rooms in strict compliance with these terms.

Server Rack VS Seismic Cabinets: Difference and Rates

The main difference between the two types of furniture is in their body constructions and the material used. Standard cabinets are made of thinner metal sheets, while the enclosure of seismic products is reinforced by thicker metal panels to reduce a damaging effect.

How does Furniture Become Seismic Rated?

Let’s explain how server cabinets are tested for seismic resistance. A set of tests is conducted:

  1. First of all, enclosures are filled in with the loaded capacity as if all servers and other hardware would be installed.
  2. Then, the cabinet is mounted on a special seismic shake table that imitates an earthquake.
  3. The table shakes the enclosure in three directions (one direction at a time). So resistance to all sorts of movements is tested, which allows for identifying construction weaknesses.
  4. 4 speeds of shaking are applied, starting from the least intense and reaching the most intense imitation. Each speed corresponds to a particular level of earthquake. Thus, the level of earthquake resistance is identified.

Note that it is possible to make a simple server cabinet more resistant to shakes by adding stabilizing brackets. They improve furniture stability. Yet, it is not enough for high-intense earthquakes.

When comparing both types of furniture, note that the quality of your cabinet directly depends on the sum of money you’re ready to invest in it. The more material is used, the more expensive the model will be. Usually, earthquake-resistant models are custom products manufactured for an individual client’s demand. In this case, when purchasing individual-design products, he can select the desired thickness of metal, size, construction, etc. If you choose fabricated models, they cost cheaper but they are not as durable as custom products.

Placing data centers in seismic areas is a bad idea. Yet, if you have no choice, you need to foresee all hazards and prevent hardware damage. The modern market offers a great variety of models (both classic and seismic). Businesses can select the needed model and improve hardware protection against natural disasters.


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