This paper focuses on quantifying the impacts of a Cable Management Arm and the doors of an IT equipment rack on the airflow through a 1U server.

While Dell as historically tested rack-mounted servers and storage equipment in an IT rack, the results were used as a pass/fail criteria for qualifying the thermal design of the server. The impact of individual components of the rack deployment (Doors, CMA, Cabling, etc.) was not, however, individually documented.

A combination of customer inquiries, a desire to validate design standards, and a limited body of readily available literature on the topic sparked interest in a methodical approach to documenting these effects.

The analysis that follows is based on a Dell™ PowerEdge™ 1950III server, a 1U server that uses front-to-back cooling, housed in a Dell PowerEdge 4210 rack. The empirical data collected by Dell in this study to illustrate the interactions between the rack infrastructure and the server showed that the effects of the rack doors and CMA individually were very similar, each in the 3% range, and did not have a concerning impact on the performance of the server being studied.