The trend in small to medium size server installations is to use a soundproof 42u server rack cabinet instead of building a dedicated server room. There is plenty of space in a 42u server rack.
Having one or two soundproof racks is much more cost-effective when compared to the costs of a dedicated server room. The savings come from not needing to pay an architect, get building permits, pay construction costs and the decreased air-conditioning expense.
Cooling the equipment inside each server rack is more efficient. Companies are trying to reduce energy costs and lower their carbon footprint. It is wasteful to cool a big dedicated server room, when cooling inside the rack containing the equipment is better. Additionally, companies are reducing the need for servers due to many of the applications moving from company locations to server clouds.
These soundproof racks reduce noise, are lockable to keep equipment secure, maintain equipment at the proper temperature and provide a low-dust environment. The server cabinets are easy to setup, easy to move from one location to another, and are expandable. When there is a need for extra capacity, another server rack cabinet of the appropriate size is easy to add.
Tips for soundproof server racks include:
- Make effective use of anti-vibration products such as soft silicone polymer, which serves to isolate the equipment from contact that causes vibrations.
- Soundproofing materials need strong noise-reduction abilities. Nothing provides 100% silence, but the noise levels should be minimal. Materials used need to meet standards for fire safety. Phase cancellation is appropriate if necessary to provide the opposite sound wave of any serious noise to cancel it out. The noise level needs only be quiet enough to be below the general level of ambient noise when the room is actively used. Noise, which is below ambient noise levels has no impact on anyone in the space. The background noise overwhelms it.
- Any fans used for passive cooling should run quietly and continue to do so for an extended period of use.
- Dust proofing is helpful to extend the life of equipment and prevent any noise from fans contaminated by dust.
- Airflow from active cooling systems needs to reach all the components. Test the interior temperatures in various areas after equipment is operating for a while, to make sure the proper temperatures exist. It is important to use a server rack cabinet with the specifications of the correct thermal load. Thermal load is the maximum capacity of total heat output from the equipment it houses. Allowing some leeway in the maximum thermal load expected, is a good idea for seasonal temperature differences and future expansion.
- Plenty of access for cable entry and routing to the equipment is desirable. It is important to know where the cables will enter, how many cables of what size are necessary, and if additional internal space is a requirement to have room for all the cables, so they do not impede airflow.
Computer network and server equipment continues to improve in terms of lower energy use, less heat produced and less sound created. The most cost-efficient solution for many small to medium companies or organizations, is a soundproof server rack cabinet. This saves tens of thousands of dollars when compared to the costs of a dedicated server room.