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How to choose the right acoustic cabinet for your needs?

Published by Lee Kelly on 16 March 2020

For acoustic cabinets, it may seem that it would be the same as choosing a normal server rack but there are a couple of key differences which we will be going through in this article. Hopefully, you can order more confidently with this article and get the right cabinet for your requirements.

We will go over some of the basics that you need to know first off.

Rack height or U space

This is one of the more important specifications that you need to take into account when choosing your acoustic cabinet. The U space is how you slot any switches, servers, UPS, or cooling equipment in this is an industry-standard (1U is around 1 ¼ inch or 44.45mm).

Servers are usually 1U, 2U or 4U these are general sizes but they can vary depending on use case and requirements. Some servers or computing solutions like edge servers require space of 10U or more depending on use cases. Acoustic racks can come in from small units that are 12U all the way up to 42U and even more depending on the manufacture.

Critical Power Supplies - Diagram of Rack Space and U sections

The above example is of a APC Lithium-Ion UPS with battery pack.

Depth

With the depth of the acoustic cabinet, it really depends on what type of server and equipment you are installing and the length or bend radius of any cabling (AC, Data or Fibre). Some server and networking equipment is not too deep but others are thin but very long. An acoustic cabinet usually come in depths from around 930mm all the way up to 1200 or even 1300mm depending on the manufacture. The most typical rack depth is around 1070mm this also allows the cost for this size of the rack to be more cost-effective if you don’t have extremely long servers.

Critical Power Supplies - NetShelter CX 18U in colour Black Intl.

Power Distribution

Acoustic cabinets and servers need appropriate power distribution and choosing the correct PDU for your needs and that it is suitable for the cabinet that you have chosen. The mounting type needs to be considered to ensure proper fit. You have the options of vertical or horizontal mounting distribution and each has its own positives and negatives and you can find out more about this on our article how to select a PDU.

Delivery Weight

This could increase the cost of getting your product to your desired location and also where you could install your acoustic cabinet. A lot of acoustic cabinets are very heavy a NetShelter CX 18U from APC weighs 157Kg in shipping packaging and 131Kg net. This could be an issue if you have a limit on your elevators and if it has to go upstairs and the stairs have width restrictions, also you may need specialist delivery equipment or a specialist courier to deliver it undamaged... Taking a look at a bigger NetShelter CX 38U this weighs 230Kg in shipping packaging and 202Kg net.

Delivery and install is a really big concern that you have to take into consideration when buying these acoustic cabinets.

Installation

Points which can sometimes be overlooked include the following:

  • Cable entry and exit point to the Rack, typically front or rear at the bottom.
  • Closet floor tile for data, power routes.
  • Front, Rear and Side Panel Access
  • Vent exit ports and the direction a low level of noise dissipates in.

Notes:

  • The front and rear doors are typically wardrobe doors.
  • Certain acoustic racks have air inlet and outlet hoses for moving cool air in and out, please ask for a site survey if in any doubt.

How we could help

It can be quite tricky to get the right cabinet that you need and there are many many different suppliers and manufacturers. Such as APC, Eaton, U systems and Excel. You can view some of the ranges we offer here.

If you are having issues finding the best acoustic cabinet you can always give our team of experts a call on 0800 978 8988 or drop them an email here.