Leave spaces between rack mount equipment?

Ok, so I have a 24u cabinet with say 15-18u of equipment, some of which will eventually move somewhere else.  Would you mount it all together, or would you spread it out with spaces in between, or does it matter?
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dempsedmAsked:
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DifladermausCommented:
I would keep it together. You never say never to having more equipment needed in that rack. As soon as you try to spread it out, they will come.

Dif
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wjesterCommented:
With that much equipment in a rack, I would leave a space between the components. Anything you can do to help airflow through the rack will help with cooling. Since you don't have a full rack's worth of equipment, I would leave some space.
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bhnmiCommented:
Together. You dont want to have to re-rack 10 serves to make room for one more cause you left gaps.
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bhnmiCommented:
Or get all one u servers :)
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DifladermausCommented:
It depends on euipment too. Do you have a set of blades in there producing heat. My room is 65F with plenty of air flow, so worrying about heat is not much of a problem.

Dif
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dempsedmAuthor Commented:
Ok, so I have about 16u going into a 24u cabinet.  There are 3 2u servers, which all will probably be relocated to a new location in a few months, but I may add one more server to this location after the fact.  I think both sides are right, maybe I will put all the routers, switches, and patch panels in together, and just leave spaces between the servers.
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wjesterCommented:
I've always had problems with heat in a rack. Unless you have really good air circulation in the room, I'd leave the space between components. And it's not like you'd have to move every component to consolidate if you need the extra space.
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sifueditionCommented:
We have been all over the place and I don't think any of the answers are "wrong".  I think the most important consideration is the current cooling and airflow.  If you have management software running and your ambient temperatures have remained stable with all of the equipment together like it has been, you should be perfectly ok to install it all together.  If you already know that you can spread it out and still have room for some unexpected additions, I would think you are only adding a little "protection" by spacing it out.  The systems may be better able to survive an a/c failure if they are spread out.
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Aaron StreetInfrastructure ManagerCommented:
I have found that theres not much to be gained from leaving a space. jsut make sure there is good air flow frount to rear.. or rear to frount. (depending which way the fans push air through your servers.. )

most of the heat from your servers is going to be lost through the air flowing through them and over the internal heat sinks.. much less is lost through the casing.. and a small incress in airflow through the systems will have much more of an inpact that a bigger air flow flowing over the case..

So unless you really have heat issuses when monitering your servers. i would keeop them all togather. IF you are sure you can space them out and wont be adding any more, or have to move them around them for peace of mind space them out. but we run racks fulls of servers jamed togather and never have heat problems.
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synergiqCommented:
So-long as you have sufficient air flow around your cabinet (IE, huge fans on the top) and no air holes (IE, on the top of the server) being blocked you should be fine to mount it all together.

But I'd leave a few U at the top to allow extra switches if needed.
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andyalderCommented:
You should never leave spaces, and if you have to leave a space for a future server you must fill it with blanks. If not the air may go out the back of a server, through the space you left and back in the front again without going through the air-con.
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dempsedmAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys, I am going to consolodate things.  I'm not clear on if there is any validity to spaces making airflow not go the way it is meant to go.  Regardless, thanks for your input.
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