Kendall Howard Performance Plus™ Heavy Duty LAN Racks

kendall-howard-performance-plusThey may call the items in the Kendall Howard Performance Plus™ Series “LAN racks,” but in layman’s terms, they’re really just the ultimate in workstations. These heavy duty modular workstations are designed to be positively loaded with computer equipment, while still giving you a flat work surface to sit at for writing and typing. These bring you the best of both worlds – they give you the benefits of both a desk and an ultra-sturdy server rack.

Performance Plus™ LAN racks come in a standard 80″ height (well, that actually changes to 84″ if you choose to use the optional casters), and can have either a 24″ or 30″ depth (your choice). You can also choose from 4 different widths that range from 36″ to 72″ inches. All of these sizing choices give you great flexibility to find the exact fit for your needs and work environment – there’s even a corner model available for situations where space is tight and there isn’t much real estate available along the walls.

But no matter which option you choose, the one thing that doesn’t change is the incredible weight capacity – each shelf on a Performance Plus™ workstation can handle up to 850 lbs of equipment! With this type of capability, there’s not much reason to keep purchasing desks and server racks separately (unless you really need an enclosure, that is). These LAN racks make ideal work spaces in data centers and IT labs, but they’re not limited to computer applications – with their rugged design and high weight capacity, they also make terrific work benches and shipping stations in factories and warehouses.

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Great Lakes Lake Effect Enclosure

lake-effect-enclosure-smIn server rooms and data centers, one of the most important aspects of managing computer equipment is keeping it cool. When servers and other network components run, they produce heat, and when you have a whole room full of electronics, things can get toasty pretty fast. And here’s the problem: despite the fact that computers can really crank out the BTUs, heat can actually cause a lot of damage. Overheated components, in a best-case scenario, don’t run as efficiently as they should. But it can get a lot worse – when running too hot, computer equipment can be irreversibly damaged, completely shut down, and force you to foot the bill for both new equipment and network downtime. Needless to say, that can turn into a very expensive situation.

The moral of this story is that you should never skimp on thermal management – no good can come of it. But there are so many choices out there for server room thermal management – how is one to decide? In addition to having a great air conditioning system in place for the entire room, you need to consider how you’ll tackle the excess heat issue server enclosure by server enclosure. When you have components rack mounted in cabinets, they’re more prone to heat build-up because everything is confined. So, you can opt for rack fans, vented doors and side panels, or get really sophisticated with a liquid-based cooling system that pumps coolant through a system of pipes to absord and carry away heat. Or, if you want a complete solution that will cause you the least amount of hassle, you could always just go with a Lake Effect enclosure from Great Lakes.

The Lake Effect server enclosure is built for cooling; in fact, we like to think of it as the ultimate cooling enclosure. From the outside, it looks like any other cabinet, but it’s the patented thermal technology hidden inside that makes it so special. The key is the Lake Effect’s pressurized front plenum chamber, which lines the entire front panel of the enclosure top to bottom. It uses vanaxial fans, which were originally invented for use in the aerospace industry, to maintain a constant 65° temperature inside the front plenum. This keeps the ambient temperature of the entire enclosure at a safe level, and protects your equipment from the malfunctions that occur from overheating. The Lake Effect uses absolutely no liquid coolants and refrigerants, and doesn’t require any wall, ceiling, or raised-floor penetrations – just set it directly on the floor, and you’re ready to go.

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The SOHO Compact Server Rack

kendall-howard-soho-racksToday we’ll be breaking new ground and taking a look at server racks… compact ones, that is. One of the best lines of small-scale server racks I know of is the SOHO series by Kendall Howard. If you have a small business with scaled-down network equipment that you’d like to mount inside an enclosure, then these are the racks for you.

Generally speaking, Kendall Howard’s products have great designs that are not only utilitarian, but aesthetically pleasing as well. And these little racks are no exception. Front and rear mesh doors don’t only give the cabinet a sleek look, but also provide tons of ventilation to keep your server equipment cool and running smoothly. To increase the cooling factor, Kendall Howard also pre-installs one of their Ultra Quiet Fans in each SOHO enclosure, which makes set up much easier on your end – just plug it in.

Considering that these server enclosures are only 8U (14 inches) and 12U (21 inches) tall (not including casters), they have a very impressive weight capacity: 400 lbs! Believe me, that’s far more than you’ll actually need. And speaking of the casters I just mentioned, I shouldn’t forget to tell you that this rack is mobile, which makes it perfect if you frequently move things around in your office, or ever need to transport equipment to and around a trade show facility.

To keep things secure, the rack’s doors are lockable, but they can be easily removed when you need fast access to the network components within. And compatibility isn’t an issue: just about any 19-inch rack accessory can be mounted inside a SOHO cabinet.

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Neat Patch, Neato!

front-view-neat-patch-s1If you’re an IT professional who feels anxiety and tears welling up whenever you have to troubleshoot amidst the waterfalls of tangled patch cords hanging off your server, take heart. One of our favorite rack-mount cable managers, the Neat Patch, does away with network cable insanity and leaves you with rows of neatly ordered patch cords, none of which stick out beyond the edge of your server rack. I’ve seen the Neat Patch in action on our own servers, and the end results are really amazing. So what sets this cable manager apart from the rest?

To begin with, it does away with excess. The folks at Neat Patch had the epiphany that you don’t actually need 6 feet of cable to make a connection between patch panel ports that are only 1 foot apart! As a matter of fact, a 2-foot patch cable does the trick — not only does it achieve the connection, but leaves you with enough cable to form a single bend-radius-protecting loop, which is tucked into Neat Patch’s storage compartment, a recessed, rackmounted trough that’s installed between the two patch panels being connected.

But that’s not all. As a finishing touch, cover panels snap into place to cover the patch cord loops, and you’re left with beautifully organized, perfectly traceable connections — not to mention lower blood pressure.

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