Seismic Server Rack Protection – Preventing the Shake, Rattle & Roll

seismic_map_zonesMany data centers are located in regions where earthquakes are common. At an average cost of nearly $8,000 per minute of downtime, companies need their equipment to remain operational one-hundred percent of the time, even when the world around them is shaking. To insure the safety of that equipment, it’s critical for a seismic server rack or cabinet to comply with at least one of the two industry standards for seismic protection: Telcordia Technologies GR-63-CORE Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) or International Building Code (IBC).

Telcordia Technologies GR-63-CORE Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS)

NEBS was originally developed to protect telecommunications equipment during a seismic event. In order to obtain compliance for a seismic zone, server racks and cabinets must be tested by an independent third party. Using a shaker table, equipment is shaken in a variety of directions and intensity levels that match the force level of UBC (Universal Building Code) Seismic Zones 1 to 4, with 4 being the most intense.

International Building Code (IBC)

Unlike the NEBS standards, IBC compliance does not require third party testing, making achieving it far less expensive for the manufacturer. IBC standards also don’t measure the enclosure alone, they test the ability of the enclosure and its contents to adhere to an entire building system. Manufacturers have three choices to gain IBC compliance.

  • A shaker table test that’s less rigorous than the NEBS standard.
  • A mathematical equation comparing potential seismic effects to objects mounted in a building. The IBC equation includes all of the factors that could potentially affect an enclosure, giving it a distinct advantage.
  • A mathematical equation that uses experience data.

Since NEBS compliance testing is more stringent, all GR-63 compliant enclosures are also IBC compliant.

Nebs_Cabinet_Front_250Seismic NEBS Zone 4 Server Rack

Solidly built of heavy-duty American steel and designed to withstand harsh conditions, these server racks are NEBS compliant and certified with Telcordia Bellcore GR-63-CORE requirements for zone 4 seismic environments. They are available either as fully enclosed cabinets with 36 inches of usable depth space and 27 inches between the front and rear rackrails, or open frame racks in four different depths. When configured as a cabinet, the steel side panels are externally removable, and the steel perforated doors have lockable swing handles, corner gussets and three-way catches. They also have a heavy-duty solid top panel. Two sets of L-shaped, adjustable 10-32 tapped vertical mounting rails are included centered in the frame. No assembly is required, and numerous colors are available. Most accessories are compatible with Seismic Racks, and their bases are easily bolted down to the floor if desired.

Are you located in a seismic zone and have a data center or server room? Contact us today for a free quote on a Seismic NEBS Zone 4 Server Rack.


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