Custom Server Racks: Facts vs. Fiction

February 8, 2022

The custom server rack — the unsung hero of modern data centers. What began as a standard metal box has become an essential building block for hyperscale, cryptocurrency mining, colocation and enterprise data centers. Custom server racks can streamline data center standardization and build-outs and allow for greater equipment access, creative cable management and more. 

Why isn’t every organization investing in custom racks with benefits like that? 

Simply put, myths and misconceptions about the cost and complication of adopting custom server rack solutions.  

We’re here to bust those myths and show you that custom server racks can be a major asset for your business. 

MYTH: “Custom server cabinets have a MUCH longer lead time than a catalog rack.”  

TRUTH: Custom cabinets can compete with standard server cabinet lead time 

Standard racks don’t fit your infrastructure perfectly or support your growing footprint, but you have a tight construction deadline, so the choice — and trade-off — seems simple.  

The truth is custom server rack lead time is highly dependent on your manufacturer, especially with today’s supply chain challenges. Where is your supplier located? How quickly can they react to changes in material availability? A standard rack stuck on a shipping container doesn’t help your timeline. 

Plus, experience pays off. If you are working with a server rack manufacturer that does not have much experience with custom racks, it will almost certainly cause timeline delays. Partnering with a manufacturer with an extensive engineering library that includes various rack sizes, variations, cable management options and static and rolling weight capacities, puts you in a much better position. Their library can serve as a jumping off point for your cabinet that can expedite lead time. 

MYTH: “Custom server racks are too expensive.” 

TRUTH: Custom server rack prices can fit in your budget 

You don’t have to break the bank to get a custom server rack solution. You might be surprised at how the cost of a custom rack compares to catalog rack options. Have the conversation up-front with manufacturers you’re considering partnering with to understand if your expectations for a custom cabinet can work with your budget. Remember, things that affect the cost of custom racks, such as raw material costs, wet powder coat paint and freight, also impact catalog products. 

When looking at the server rack price, consider the savings that come from a cabinet that grows with your data center. Custom racks provide long-term cost savings by cutting operational expenses around initiatives such as cooling and airflow. Custom racks that can grow with your operations offer a better total cost of ownership and a higher overall value across the equipment’s lifespan. 

You can find the right custom cabinet for your data center and get the most value for your investment with the right partner. 

MYTH: “A custom server rack isn’t secure.” 

TRUTH: A custom rack can be every bit as secure as a catalog product 

Honestly, we aren’t quite sure why this myth persists, but we’re excited to bust it. A custom rack is engineered and built to your specific needs and nobody else’s. This means it fits your requirements for rack level security needs. You can configure your cabinet security to include electronic locking systems, smart locks or biometrics. When you think about it that way, you can see how a custom rack can be even more secure than a standard catalog product.  

MYTH: “I don’t need a custom server cabinet – I can just use a standard server cabinet.” 

TRUTH: While using a standard cabinet may be an option, it likely won’t meet all your needs 

You absolutely can. But before you do, think about the last time in your life a one-size-fits-all solution actually fit the way you hoped it would. A custom server rack takes the guesswork out of building out your data center. It can be made to accommodate any size or shape of equipment, while a standard cabinet is limited in its design. Creating a configuration that best suits your needs, rather than being restricted by the dimensions of a prefabricated cabinet, gives you a distinct edge above your competitors. 

All in All 

Custom server racks and cabinets provide numerous benefits that standard cabinets simply cannot, including improved airflow and cabling management. A custom solution is the best option if you are looking for a cabinet that can meet your specific needs and grow along with your operations.   

Ready to explore custom server cabinets? Contact our team to get started!

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