A reinforced IT rack able to accommodate up to 4,500lbs (more than 2 metric tonnes) of hardware – even in transit – has been built by contract manufacturer Sanmina.
That's about three times more weight than a standard server stack. The latest entry in the Rack IQ series is also certified with NEMA 4, which means it is available in a watertight configuration, and with NEBS Zone 4 for seismic stability.
Besides IT equipment, Rack IQ HD (that's heavy-duty, not high definition) can also house telecoms equipment, industrial controllers, and any other gear that will fit into a standard 19-inch frame.
It should find plenty of applications – people have been using the 19-inch rack since around 1922.
Heavy-duty server enclosures are becoming more important as the industry moves towards higher IT density, ostensibly to keep up with increasing demand without having to pay extortionate amounts for more data centre space.
However, this presents new challenges: higher density equipment usually runs hotter, and requires more cooling per square foot.
Sanmina is primarily an electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider, making the hardware that is then sold by OEMs. It turned over $7.11bn in fiscal 2018 and is one of the world's largest independent makers of printed circuit boards and backplanes. It's responsible for products carrying the Viking Technology brand – including SSDs, RAM and persistent memory.
A standard Rack IQ HD offers 45U of space, but the enclosure can also be built to custom sizes.
Technically, the rack has been certified by Underwriters Labs to support static loads of up to 10,750 lbs. 4,500lbs of dynamic load means the frame can be abused in a "rack and roll" configuration beloved by hyperscalers – where the rack is populated and wired up before it arrives to the data hall, rather than on the spot. It complies with requirements from the International Safe Transit Association for the very same reason. ®