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Pros and cons of pre-integrated racks

Written by Mon 24 Jan 2022

Rack integration is the process of getting data centre equipment working once it arrives on site. This is often broken down into a five-step process: design, procurement, build, shipping and receiving, and programming.

Any multi-stage process is open to disruption. Supply chain issues, hardware issues, human error, staffing problems, and more can interrupt rack integration and require additional investment of time and resources to correct. This leaves data centre projects vulnerable to delay and puts successful delivery at risk.

Pre-integrated racks are one way to reduce the number of steps in this process and thereby de-risk the ‘racking’ of equipment. Pre-integrated racks can be enormous: weighing up to a ton, and containing up to $1 million of equipment.


Time savings.

The alternative to ordering a pre-integrated, pre-tested rack solution is to receive all of the parts and pieces packaged separately. In this case the IT solution provider will face hours of unpacking, assembly, testing and commissioning.  If multiple racks of systems are shipped, the process could take weeks with overall rollout times being severely impacted. Systems integrators are better equipped to handle such tasks over a much shorter period of time and with a higher degree or reliability.

Labor shortage.

Does your team have the capacity to manage proper racking? If not, are skilled workers available in your area to bridge the gap between the people you have and the people you need to manage racking with your internal team?

Pre-integrated racks shift the burden of building and programming to the supplier: so that when they arrive at a data centre, they are simply wheeled into place and connected to power and to the network. Fewer resources are needed at the data centre, helping businesses to cope with the ongoing technical labor shortage.


Trusted partner.

A data centre ordering pre-integrated racks must have a great deal of confidence in the competence of their supplier. The issues attendant to ordering and receiving hardware separately are multiplied when that equipment must be assembled, tested and integrated by the supplier. Any error on their part can be costly to identify and to remedy, so it is critical that the supplier is reliable and provides high-quality services.

The main reason for considering pre-integrated racks, though, is the question of resource management. Does your business prefer to maintain control over the racking process, getting each piece of equipment separately and testing and integrating internally? Or would you prefer to channel limited human resources to higher-level objectives, like strategy, customer service, or innovation? Depending on the best estimate of your employee’s skills, abilities, and capacity, pre-integrated racks may be a more efficient and effective solution for your data centre.





Written by Mon 24 Jan 2022

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