The capacity of a spacious server cabinet can house several dozens of diverse hardware. The cost of accommodated equipment can reach (or even exceed) hundreds of thousands of dollars. Thus, rack reliability is the main concern for every system administrator. Some regions are extremely dangerous due to earthquakes. On such territories, the environment can pose significant threat to data center security. For such regions, enhanced seismic rack cabinets of increase rigidity are designed.
Although arranging data centers in earthquake prone areas is a bad idea, sometimes there is no other way out. In such circumstances, metal server cabinets gain popularity and are widely produced.
What Threat Do Earthquakes Pose for Server Rooms?
First, devices can be damaged during earthquakes or other natural disaster. However, damaging hardware is just a half of the problem. What is more deplorably is that such breaks affect customers. The thing is that data centers provide ultimate customers with uptime and compute power. If a client uses hardware to store datum, failure in operation can mean complete loss of data.
Requirement Standards of NEBS Seismic Zone 4
The NEBS is a set of requirements that determine to which safety class products are related. Manufacturers access their goods and set the degree of how well their product can hold up in extreme conditions. These standards were developed in 1970 by the RBOC.
The Earth is divided into 4 seismic zones. The forth one is the riskiest one. These are territories with the most unstable tectonic plates. Such regions create the highest threat to property.
If the server cabinet is placed in a high-risk area, the use of improved furniture with metal enclosure is not enough to prevent damages. The whole infrastructure should be adjusted to withstand the natural phenomenon. NEBS provides a set of requirements for such facilities. This document lists all the requirements and rules to be met to ensure safe data center placing.
Among the most important factors to keep in mind are:
- Humidity level;
- Vibration and shock;
- Floor loading.
Server Cabinet VS Seismic Cabinet: What is the Difference?
To find out the difference, you should understand how an ordinary server furniture piece become seismic. The quality of a seismic rack is proportioned to it price. The more rigid the construction is, the higher its cost will be. Yet, there is a set of minimum requirements for products that can be called “seismic”:
- Cabinets are tested using Clark’s Tri-axial seismic shaker table. Furniture is loaded to its maximum capacity and mounted on the table. According to the Zones, there are 4 levels with the 4th one is the most intense one.
- It’s obvious that a thicker material is used for seismic product manufacturing. The thinker the enclosure is, the more stable and rigid the construction will be and the higher its price will be.
Note that to make the cabinet more stable, developers should just add stabilizing brackets.
If you plan to organize the data center in a seismic-active area, the choice of appropriate furniture requires particular attention. Note that seismic cabinets are highly stable furniture with rigid enclosures made of think materials to ensure proper equipment protection. When purchasing such models, the price will depend on the quality, so do not try to save money.
NEBS is a set of conditions to be satisfied to protect and manage devices during earthquakes. Thus, all seismic products must be tested taking into account the NEBS standards. However, it is advisable to avoid high-risk geographic zones since the natural phenomenon may affect not only your hardware but also customers’ data.