What came first - the product or the standard?

on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 9:45:00 AM

Technology and IT infrastructures rapidly continue to change and advance over time. At times it’s even difficult to stay in sync with what’s new or what’s the latest and greatest. And it’s not just the products that change – it’s the standards and certifications too! But even with so many products and standards to keep up with, there are some standards that have stood the test of time and have been around for years. I’m talking about the EIA 310 standard.

Before we dive into that, first let’s step back and ask ourselves, “Why was EIA developed?” Let’s step back even further and ask, “Why are any standards developed? Is it because of existing products and we need to mandate levels of consistency? Or are standards first implemented and then products must be manufactured accordingly?”

It’s just like the age-old question – what came first, the chicken or the egg?

While we might not be able to answer that one, we can talk about why EIA standards are imperative to our industry. You’ll notice that the majority of Kendall Howard’s products are EIA 310 compliant. What does this mean? Electronics Industries Alliance (EIA) standards are designed for electronics manufacturers in the United States and were developed to ensure that the equipment in different manufacturing locations are both compatible and interchangeable. This is crucial to Kendall Howard and our products because whether we load up your rack and deploy you a complete solution or send you multiple cabinets for you to integrate and install yourself, we need to make sure everything fits – literally!

How do we accomplish this? That’s where the “310” in EIA 310 comes in! EIA 310 focuses on what is commonly known as the “standard rack”. A standard, or 19” wide rack, is a uniform frame or enclosure for mounting rackmount and IT equipment. EIA-310 focuses on specifying the rack unit space (U space), vertical hole spacing, horizontal hole spacing, rack opening, and front panel width for these racks. Adhering to these specifications ensures that our products will be the right size and will properly hold your components. Seems simple enough, but we shouldn’t overlook how crucial standards are to the industry.

Without standards and a base for consistency, there’s no way we could continually produce top notch products the way we do. Especially as technology and the industry continues to evolve and advance – this is just one way we keep up! But what do you think? Will EIA continue to remain a staple standard in our industry? Will the “standard” rack change from 19” wide to something else? Something bigger or smaller? We invite you to share your thoughts on this by posting below or sending us an email at sales@kendallhoward.com. And yes, if you have documentation on which came first, the chicken or the egg, please share that with us. We are eager to know! :)


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