Rack/Enclosure Purchasing Guide

Questions and Answers with Middle Atlantic Products' Mark Tracy

Tracy: The rapid change in rack systems over the past few years has been driven not only by changes in technology, but also by changes in security system topology – both of which are the result of advances in computers and the advent of IP-based systems. These changes have required rack systems for security to function more like network enclosures, while still maintaining the ability to effectively manage large amounts of coax cable.

ST&D: How important is keeping individual units cooled when using a rack/console system? What's the best way to accomplish it?

Tracy : Maintaining the temperature inside racks is critical to the proper functioning and survival of the electronic components operating within them. The Uptime Institute states, “For every 18 ° F increase above 70 ° F, long-term reliability is reduced by 50 percent”. The best way to control this temperature is to take an integrated approach to thermal management, and ensure the entire rack system is properly cooled. For additional info, download “Best Practices for Thermal Management of Security Installations” at http://www.middleatlantic.com/support.htm

ST&D: What are some of the changes to rack systems you see coming in the next few years?

Tracy : Rack systems will continue to evolve and change as technology and user requirements change. Continued migration to IP-based systems will require deeper enclosures, while increased processor density will necessitate increased attention to thermal and cable management facilities and techniques, as well as place greater demands on power distribution.