Cannon Technologies’ MD Matt Goulding claims that 2012 will be the year when the 19” cabinet and the racks it contains become the key component for thousands of new data centres.

“What was once a straightforward steel structure is now a sophisticated device that is the critical element in delivering the needs of today’s advanced data centres,” said Goulding.

The vast increase in demand for online information and transactional services is forcing companies to pack the maximum possible processing and memory capacity into every data centre cabinet.

“Multi-U servers, which were once standard, are now being replaced by 1U pizza box servers, and even these are giving way to power hungry blade servers, providing an effective density of many servers per U,” Goulding continued.

This has made heat dissipation rise to the extent that it is an issue that will dominate cabinet and rack design for data centres throughout 2012 and beyond. More sophisticated processes like aisle cocooning will be needed, as will the need to install cabinets whose cooling capacity can be easily upgraded over a data centre’s lifetime.

Other key factors for data centre cabinets and their racks in 2012 will be access and security, and much more advanced software control of the cabinet’s functions.

The coming year will see cabinets installed that are powerful processing centres in their own right, so controlling their functionality with advanced software management tools will be crucial.