A rack unit, often abbreviated as U or RU, is the unit of measure defined as 1.75 inches that is commonly used as the measurement of the vertical height of 19-inch and 23-inch rack frames and the server equipment that mounts in these frames. The height of frames or servers is expressed as multiples as rack units. For example, a typical server cabinet is 42U high and the servers are 1U, 2U, 3U, or 4U high.
For data center asset and capacity management, Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software is used to track how many RUs are available to deploy equipment and how many RUs each asset consumes.
Rack units fragmentation is a metric tracked in DCIM software that lets you see at a glance how many “big chunks” are available to install items or how fragmented your data center may be. This chart shows the number of items that can be installed in a selected location if all the items had an RU height as indicated by the bar label along the x-axis. Each bar represents a specific RU size, and the y-axis lets you know how many assets can be installed of that size to fill it to capacity. As the size of the equipment increases, your capacity for it decreases. Ideally, you want the bar graphs to decline smoothly. Otherwise, as the equipment gets larger, you may run out of space because the space that you have is fragmented into smaller RUs.
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