Blank Your Rack

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on Monday, May 19, 2014 8:01:00 AM

If you have ever used or sold a server rack, you’ve probably heard the terms spacer blanks, filler panels, and blank panels. Different names for the same product. These products are made of steel, aluminum or plastic, and are available in vented, solid, flat, flanged, and tool-less styles. With all these possible styles, let’s review why they’re used.

Spacer blanks do more than just provide a complete, professional look for your server cabinet. They can be used to help manage air flow, add strength to the frame, and cover terminations to prevent unwanted use or tampering. Kendall Howard offers a variety of flat and flanged spacer blanks that are tool-less or can be mounted with rack screws.

Let’s start with discussing how blank panels can promote better air flow within a cabinet. In any racking situation when temperature or hot spots are a concern, we recommend installing fans to help establish air flow and remove ambient heat from within the rack. Spacer blanks/filler panels work with the fans to help direct the air flow.

To the right, is a side view of our 22U LINIER® Server Cabinet with two vented doors, also featuring our tool-less spacer blanks, and a few rack mounted devices to represent servers and UPS’s. In the diagram, the spacer blanks are placed within previously vacant U spaces, therefore blocking air from entering the rack in those areas. These spacer blanks also help create an air flow pattern from the front of the unit to the back, making air exit through the back door or up through the fan. This established air flow pattern helps maintain an optimum operating temperature for your installed equipment.

Air flow is key and a prime use for spacer blanks, but that’s not all they offer.

Spacer blanks also help add strength to the frame of your rack. Some racks become loaded with weight depending on what’s installed. To help ensure a rock solid rack, attach spacer blanks to fill in unused space and shore up the frame.

Now that you’ve added strength to your rack, it’s time to protect your connections. To prevent unwanted use or tampering of your rack system, spacer blanks act as a great cover and concealer for your cable termination points. Once you install the spacer blanks, you will conceal the terminations and prevent unauthorized users from accessing the equipment.

That’s quite a lot of features for just one product! If that’s not enough, just remember the spacer blanks/filler panels/blank panels create a completed look for your rack. It shows customers that you take pride in your work by creating a finished look. Another option is to add your name and information to the spacer blank and it now also acts as an easy point of contact for your customers.

There you have it – air flow, added strength, equipment protection, and branding – all from Kendall Howard’s spacer blanks. Gain a lot for your rack with a small, but very useful accessory.

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