IT Management

Questions to Determine Whether You Need Self-Contained IT Equipment Enclosures

As I mentioned in a previous post, I came to Schneider Electric about two years ago via its acquisition of Kell Systems, which makes the Netshelter CX self-contained enclosure, known as a “server room in a box.” I’ve seen the enclosures used in lots of different ways so in this post thought I’d provide a series of questions that you can ask yourself to determine whether the CX may make sense for you.

At the most basic level, do you have dedicated space for a server room or wiring closet? I’m not just talking about headquarters here. Many large organizations with lots of locations – retailers, financial organizations such as banks and the like – often do not have dedicated rooms in all of their facilities. Ditto for SMBs that have only one site. If you have any locations with no dedicated IT space, the CX may make sense.

If you do have lots of remote sites that house IT gear, do you have a way to remotely manage that equipment? If not, you may want to look into not only the CX but also a managed UPS such as SmartUPS, that enables remote monitoring and management. It enables you to remotely restart stalled servers and networking equipment, for example.

Perhaps you know you need a dedicated server room but face roadblocks, such as cost or lack of available space. The Netshelter CX takes up relatively little room, can be installed pretty much anywhere and doesn’t require any special cooling or power, making it a lot more affordable than building a server room from scratch.

Are you in a hurry to install IT equipment to meet business demands, but are concerned that the solution be scalable and flexible? The Netshelter CX fits the bill, as it can be deployed in a matter of days and comes in various sizes, from 12U to 38U. And you can always add additional units as needed.

Is your digital footprint shrinking as a result of a heavy focus on server virtualization? If so, you are likely spending more on power and cooling than you need to (as this post explains in detail). Depending on how much equipment is left, you may be a candidate for the Netshelter CX, which would provide a way to free up lots of data center space for some other business requirement.

Or perhaps you have the opposite problem: too much IT equipment in a crowded space that’s not properly cooled. Here again the Netshelter CX can help, as it gives order to the madness and is fan-cooled, meaning it uses the existing room cooling system, so no changes to the room cooling system are required.

Another situation I see quite often is lots of IT equipment out in the open in an office. All of that gear makes noise, of course, which likely bothers nearby employees. The Netshelter CX muffles about 90% of the sound from the equipment it houses, so it can peacefully coexist in an office full of employees.

Having equipment out in the open may also be a compliance issue, especially for companies in fields such as healthcare and finance. With the Netshelter CX, you can get the equipment under lock and key.

Finally, when IT equipment is out in the open it’s exposed to dust, which can shorten its life and lead to increased maintenance costs. Dust filters are an option with the Netshelter CX that will address that issue.

You can learn more about the Netshelter CX here. I think you’ll find it’s quite a flexible product that can keep your IT gear safe and sound in lots of different situations.

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