What is a Data Cabinet and do I Need One?
Updated: Apr 26
A Data Cabinet (also known as a Server or Comms Cabinet) is designed to house and organise a business’s IT, Communication and Security equipment such as Servers, Switches, Patch Panels, Routers, Firewalls and UPS’s. Data Cabinets are a necessity if you want your equipment well organised, easily accessible and manageable.
All of these pieces of equipment are critical to an organisations day to day operation but it is amazing how many companies are still stacking their expensive and essential IT infrastructure equipment on shelves, under desks or in broom cupboards risking damage, and hoping it will just continue working.
The size and nature of your business will dictate the type and size of cabinet you will require. It is essential that you spend time with your IT Manager or an IT Consultant to ascertain what equipment you will need in the cabinet and also take into consideration growth and additional equipment that may be required to allow some future proofing.
Equipment housed in data cabinets is normally running continuously and will therefore generate a lot of heat and noise, so choosing the right location is very important. Ideally cabinets should be located in their own dust free and temperature controlled secure area. For many businesses this isn’t possible and they have to be located where there is available space.
Cabinets are designed to disperse heat efficiently and some even come with their own cooling fans but if you do not have a server room, they should always be located away from direct sunlight. Overheating of your equipment can lead to temporary malfunctioning or worse, complete and/or terminal failure, which could have a catastrophic effect on your business.
Most of the equipment you find in a data cabinet will have its own cooling fans which when running constantly generate a lot of noise. Locating them near employees is not advisable, noise from IT equipment has been proven to increase stress and have a negative impact on staff productivity. If it is unavoidable, sound proof or acoustic cabinets are available. For example a foam lined sound proof server cabinet can reduce noise by between 15dB – 30dB.
Modern businesses have so many IT requirements and therefore need to house a multitude of equipment in one or more Data Cabinets so it is vital you choose wisely. Spend time looking at your IT requirements now and into the future and always speak to professional or company that can advise you before deciding which cabinet to purchase.