From their modest origins in railroad signaling, rack enclosures have evolved to house critical equipment in cutting-edge data centers worldwide. They follow a common standard, but if you think they’re all the same you may be missing out on the benefits that thoughtfully designed enclosures provide to modern IT installations. The humble rack enclosure holds the key to security and regulatory compliance, configurability, cooling and efficiency, system availability, and saving precious space. Today, I’ll discuss the first two benefits that make the rack enclosure the essential data center building block you can’t afford to overlook.

Top 5 Benefits Every Rack Cabinet Should Provide

1. Security and Regulatory Compliance

Just a few decades ago, security was at your discretion. If you didn’t want someone messing with your servers, you locked them up. But now there’s an alphabet soup of government and industry regulations that absolutely require physical equipment security, from HIPAA to PCI-DSS to SOX. Whether you’re handling patient records, credit card information, or company financial data, you risk severe penalties if you don’t secure your equipment. Well designed Rack Enclosures should be made to easily secure the access points, including locking doors and side panels. Other security options include combination locks, multiple access levels, and remote intrusion detection.

2. Configurability

When you’re doing something over and over, you appreciate whether a product pays attention to the details that make repetitive tasks less painful. With that said, Rack Cabinets should be designed with the IT guy in mind. Smart features like toolless mounting for PDUs and cable managers, easy-view rail depth indexing, and modular side panels should be included and will make every task a little quicker and easier. That really adds up when you’re configuring a roomful of racks, and each one is packed with equipment.