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  1. #1
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    1/8 and 1/6 cabinet colocation

    Hello All

    Just wondering your thoughts on cabinet enclosures which are subdivided into 4, 6, and 8 privately locked cabinet compartments. As an IT company with different customers colocating their gear, this can be useful for separating IT customers' equipment more securely than sharing a rack.

    Has anyone used these and can they comment regarding working in such small spaces? 1/4 private locking cabinets are already a bit small, but does anyone have experience with 1/6 and 1/8 colocation private locked cabinet enclosures? Is the 1/6 or 1/8 cabinets too tiny and cramped to functionally use for a long period of time? Some have felt that there is not much room for the hands at a glance or manipulating gear inside in a 1/6th let alone a 1/8th.

  2. #2
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    I've never heard of 1/6th or 1/8th racks, and I'd think it's be fairly pointless...generally if you need the security of an enclosed colocation space, you're also doing something that will allow you to afford the cost of a quarter cabinet, and I'd imagine the cost difference would be extremely negligible anyway. If you've ever compared the price of a few individual rack units of colocation space with a quarter cabinet of colocation space, you'll see what I mean. There would probably be enough room for modifying your gear (and equipment is often unracked prior to work anyway), but there isn't much practical reason to lease space that small.

    If you need some additional security in a shared colocation environment, you might consider one of those chassis enclosures that have a lock on the front (the security mechanism itself is usually pretty terrible and unlockable with any of the same sort of key, but it'd probably be just fine to discourage any of your fellow rackmates from touching your gear).

  3. #3
    Just remember that each partition consumes 1U to 2U physically.
    Also, unless you have over a hundred racks and have some spares for this purpose, I think it is not a good way.
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  4. #4
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    You can try talking with "Rob T" on these forums. I know they have the quarter cubes at Fiberhub and they're pretty funky.

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  5. #5
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    I've never seen 1/6 cabinets, but the same vendor we use for 1/4 cabinets does make a 1/8 cab:

    http://www.dsiwholesalers.com/item.c...-%20DSI%201842

    I never thought they'd be particularly useful - it would be tough to work out how to share power and run network in a manner that could be isolated on a per-customer basis, which is a large part of the benefit of a private locking cabinet as opposed to shared rack space.
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  6. #6
    Cool Rob T, right after DeltaAnime suggested you.
    Yes, power Bar may be an issue here.
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  7. #7
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    I've never seen 1/6 racks to but 1/8 exists (5U each, 5x8=40, 1U loss per partition).

  8. #8
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    JGoldman makes a good point about cost, but in some markets like Manhattan where power and space is premium, the difference between 1/8 and 1/4 rack could be $250 MRC which is a fairly large cost difference for customers. The funny thing is we have 1/4 cubes and customers think they are too expensive, they are looking somewhere in between 1-2U and 10U but they typically have so many forms of foreign diverse mixed gear that the rack space can get messy quick, and they require escorted access often.
    Last edited by mr fixit; 12-31-2013 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr fixit View Post
    JGoldman makes a good point about cost, but in some markets like Manhattan where power and space is premium, the difference between 1/8 and 1/4 rack could be $250 MRC which is a fairly large cost difference for customers.
    Very true, but then again, if you're colocating in NYC, price probably shouldn't be much of a factor for you because you're going to be paying through the nose to begin with

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGoldman View Post
    I've never heard of 1/6th or 1/8th racks, and I'd think it's be fairly pointless...generally if you need the security of an enclosed colocation space, you're also doing something that will allow you to afford the cost of a quarter cabinet, and I'd imagine the cost difference would be extremely negligible anyway.
    They're actually not pointless, and they are quite popular. Its enough space for someone to put in a couple of servers, a firewall, and a switch. Its secured in its own environment from the rest of the data center, and clients can get a badge to come and go as they please.

    The major drawback is if they need to expand beyond that, its either take another cabinet partition and cross connect to it, or move their gear to a larger partition or cabinet.

  11. #11
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    I'm sure there are some colo's that make good use of them, where floor space costs a premium. Obviously there's a market for them, since at least a couple of companies are offering them.

    The main drawback for us, and the reason we don't use anything smaller than 1/4 cabs, is power isolation. Running 8 power circuits into a single cabinet would be a nightmare, so customers would be stuck sharing power circuits. Just wait until Customer A pulls too much power and trips the breaker that also provides power to Customer B, C, and D. I wouldn't ever put critical production gear on a shared power circuit.
    Rob Tyree
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob T View Post
    I'm sure there are some colo's that make good use of them, where floor space costs a premium. Obviously there's a market for them, since at least a couple of companies are offering them.

    The main drawback for us, and the reason we don't use anything smaller than 1/4 cabs, is power isolation. Running 8 power circuits into a single cabinet would be a nightmare, so customers would be stuck sharing power circuits. Just wait until Customer A pulls too much power and trips the breaker that also provides power to Customer B, C, and D. I wouldn't ever put critical production gear on a shared power circuit.
    I did some work for a client that had colocated their equipment with a provider that gave them a 1/8 private locking cab. They ran into the same issues with other people in the cab pulling too much power with their power hungry 6 year old ebay cheapo servers. I found the space to be too small, considering it was only under $100 a month more to upgrade to a 1/4 private locking cab I personally would have gone for the larger space. No room to work in the 1/8 space to provide efficient configurations.

    Anything smaller then 1/4 is just a waste for a locking cab.

  13. #13
    We used to use and offer 5U and 10U compartments. 5U lockers are getting quite popular. I have always thought that most of the biggest, data centers and facilities (not to mention names) would be more flexible in the their colo offerings by adding various types of compartments (not just half racks).
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HostColor View Post
    We used to use and offer 5U and 10U compartments. 5U lockers are getting quite popular. I have always thought that most of the biggest, data centers and facilities (not to mention names) would be more flexible in the their colo offerings by adding various types of compartments (not just half racks).
    I'm actually thankful larger providers work this way, it means more business for us.
    Last edited by FastServ; 01-01-2014 at 11:09 AM.
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  15. #15
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    5U does not make much sense in the vast majority of spaces. With 2x redundant switches, and space for spare parts, you're realistically looking at 2U's worth for actual servers. The customer would be better off just renting 2U or 2x1U in a shared cabinet, or just using dedicated servers instead altogether. At the data centres I've seen that offer octals, very few of them sell.

    Realistically, co-location doesn't really make sense until a 1/2 cabinet, possibly 1/4 in some rare cases where there's unusual hardware requirements.
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  16. #16
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    Thank you all for the excellent feedback

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