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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Cage layout question

    Assuming that weird zoning requirements don't come into play, how far off the cage sides to you like to put racks? Is 18" in the rear enough with a 36" aisle in front? I'd appreciate any input.

    These will be 4-post open racks.

  2. #2
    18" is tight. You would either have to have no rear doors or the split rear doors. I think standard is closer to 24-30" in a cage with a 48" aisle. With 3' you might leave yourself without the ability to lift any floor tiles. It really comes down to the provider and the specific cage. Also, it depends on how deep your cabinets are. I have seen 6 4-post racks in a 7x10 cage.

    You want to ask the provider about power capabilities. One provider in Dallas only allows 8 20 amp feeds to a 200sf cage (roughly 75watt/ft). Doesn't help much to cram in cabinets only to find that you wont have enough power for expansion. Everyone gets caught up in price per foot then later realize that you have to buy 2-3x the amount of space to meet the power requirements you have.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    I have seen our cage customer that has 18" in the rear and he made it work with Dell KVM or KVM/IP, so he can work from the front of the cabinet without having to go to the back of the cabinet often. So, I will recommend a KVM to allow you to manage your server from the front if you have a tight space in the back of the cabinet.

    Also, with private cage you can remove both front and back door to allow more airflow and give you even more space.

    36" in front is also tight for deep servers, but I am sure you can make it work.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Mississauga, ON
    With 4-post open racks, as long as there aren't any kind of panels or doors on any side (what the "open" part implies), you can make do with 18". It's *just barely* enough for a person to squeeze in to do power/networking/attach KVM cables. You'd need to make sure your KVM cables are long enough to reach from the front though, as you'd have a hell of a time squeezing a KVM cart and a person into the back. I'd do 24" if possible (we do 24 or 26" at the back on our own 4-post open rack cage setup). At the front, 36", as rey mentioned, might give you problems with some servers, but there's ways you can make that work (if your racks aren't chock-full when such a server comes in).

    What you could do for the KVM problem: get a few really long KVM cables (PS/2 keyboard and mouse, get a USB male-female extender for potential USB keyboard/mouse use as well). By really long, I mean 10-12 feet or more. You'd ziptie one cable to each rack right in the middle, have one end with connectors be right at the front, and have enough slack on the back end to comfortably reach servers both at the very top and very bottom. Voila, easy-KVM.
    Last edited by gypsy; 08-29-2009 at 04:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    San Diego
    18-inch is pushing it but doable as floor space is expensive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Southfield, MI
    It really depends on your server configurations. You may have systems which do not require much back access or any back access at all. You may decide to place all your components on the front of the rack or reverse mount it for easy access.

    It really depends on what you are comfortable with. However, if you need to get back access 18" can be very tight and very uncomfortable to work with.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I think I settled on 24" rear space and 48" aisles. Servers are mostly Dells which seem to grow in length each year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    If the datacenter is raised floor you want 48 inches in the cold. 24 in the hot will work just fine. 18 inches is really REALLY pushing it.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    18" is getting a bit on the small side, although I have seen something similar in the past.
    Its really all personal preference and budget restrictions.
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