• A slide’s profile, side-space, and placement are key factors.
  • Consider drawer height, total weight, travel, and side-space with your chassis slide.
  • Slides can come in standard or custom mounting arrangements.

Data drives our world.

Countless networks connect people across the globe instantly, and databases stationed throughout the world are responsible for housing these precious networks. In turn, it’s up to IT technicians to access, maintain, and monitor databases at a moment’s notice.

That’s why incorporating movement into server rack design is critical for data centers to operate smoothly. For the benefit of engineers and technicians, we’ve created this short guide to help professionals select the right sliding hardware for network databases.

Figure Out These Details Beforehand

Always consider your enclosure’s overall design and function before choosing its sliding hardware.

  • What is the purpose and capacity of each chassis?
  • How frequent is scheduled maintenance?
  • How crucial is portability or extended access for that maintenance?

Find the measurements and characteristics of your enclosure frame and chassis. Use those metrics as your starting point to select the following:

  • Slides
  • Brackets
  • Cable Carriers

You want all these components to work well together for a cohesive configuration.

A slide’s profile, side-space, and placement are key factors before settling on the right movement solution for your server rack.

A slide’s profile, side-space, and placement are key factors before settling on the right movement solution for your server rack.

Enclosure frames and casings differ by manufacturer and project. Because of this, it’s important to consider the following when determining the proper slide model:

  • Side-Space
  • Profile
  • Placement

These factors are crucial for server rack success. Because sliding hardware attaches directly to your enclosure’s rail, everything must fit perfectly!

The Different Types of Enclosure Rails

Which slide you choose will depend on the type of chassis rails inside the enclosure. An enclosure can have the following types:

  • Non-Adjustable Rail
  • Adjustable Rail
  • Mid-Rail

Non-adjustable rails support a fixed distance between front and rear.

Rails can be adjustable or non-adjustable. The above example is non-adjustable.

Rails can be adjustable or non-adjustable. The above example is non-adjustable.

Adjustable rails let you alter the distance between front and rear.

An adjustable rail gives you more flexibility when it comes to chassis fittings.

An adjustable rail gives you more flexibility when it comes to chassis fittings.

Mid-rails allow you to mount alternate distances for short or deep slides and varying chassis depths. These can be adjustable or non-adjustable.

A mid-rail supports less common mounting points, such as those found in custom enclosures.

A mid-rail supports less common mounting points, such as those found in custom enclosures.

Five Specs to Know Before Choosing the Right Slide

There are five specifications you need to know before choosing a slide for your enclosure:

  1. Drawer Height
  2. Total Weight
  3. Travel
  4. Slide Thickness

Drawer Height

Engineers and manufacturers use a standard unit of height (U) for a server chassis.

1U, the standard unit of chassis height, equals 1.75

1U, the standard unit of chassis height, equals 1.75″ or 44.45 MM.

One unit (1U) equals 1.75″, or 44.45 mm; hence, 2U equals 3.50″, or 88.90 mm.

Total Weight

The weight of a chassis and its load capacity is the next factor in slide selection. Will this be a light-, medium-, or heavy-duty drawer?

Data center slides come in partial, full, and over-travel.

Data center slides come in partial, full, and over-travel.

If your chassis carries a tall and heavy load, then a slide like the Accuride 3507 will be the best fit. The 3507 can handle up to 8U chassis and support loads up to 200 lbs.

Travel

Travel refers to the relationship between the back of a chassis and the front of an enclosure. This differs from overall depth, which measures the entire enclosure from front to rear. This also differs from the measurement between rack rails.

Installers should factor in the distance an application must travel to access and install when choosing their slide.

Installers should factor in the distance an application must travel to access and install when choosing their slide.

The length of travel factors into whether you need a two- or three-member slide.

A chassis with a two-member slide extends 75% of the slide’s extended length. For example, A two-member slide at 20 in. long will extend 15 in.

A chassis with a three-member slide extends 100% or more of the slide’s extended length. For example, A three-member slide at 20 in. long will extend 20 in.

Brackets help adapt a slide to an electronic enclosure.

Brackets help adapt a slide to an electronic enclosure.

Additionally, attachable brackets can adapt a slide to fit inside an enclosure.

If you’re with an enterprise in need of a custom slide for your data center, Accuride is a renowned designer and manufacturer of custom-made sliding hardware.

Slide Thickness

Lastly, it’s important to factor the thickness of the slide (and any attached brackets).

First, find out your functional space. This is the space between the side of a chassis and the slide (and bracket, if applicable).

Functional space lies between the side of a chassis and a slide.

Functional space lies between the side of a chassis and a slide.

Then, find out the available space inside your enclosure. This distance lies between the mounting point and the slide (and any installed bracket).

Available space is lies between the mounting point and the slide.

Available space is lies between the mounting point and the slide.

Configuration determines how you tally your chassis width and slide thickness.

The table below will help you identify key metrics:

Use This To Find
Slide Thickness + Enclosure Opening Chassis Width
Chassis Width + Enclosure Opening Slide Thickness
Enclosure Opening Chassis Width + Slide Thickness

Hopefully, this abbreviated guide helps you choose the right slide for your server racks and data center!

For more details, specifications, and other factors to consider for your electronic enclosure installation, download our comprehensive design guide.

And for everything movement, stay connected with Accuride!

Was this post helpful?
Let us know if you liked the post. That’s the only way we can improve.
Yes0
No0
Powered by Helpful

Melissa McElhose

Melissa McElhose is a freelance online writer based in Los Angeles. Her topics cover digital marketing, popular media, DIY, and home design.