Procuring a quality product

QPC Security has partner status with Chatsworth Products (CPI), a global manufacturer of racks and cabinets that help protect your company’s technological assets. Chatsworth offers a wide variety of customization for their products to meet each company or site’s individual needs.

While ordering from CPI directly is possible, it is not recommended. A company can go to their website, scroll through their thousands of options for parts, accessories, and addons, and they will still have to contact Chatsworth to get pricing. CPI would supply the cabinet, but it would be based upon whatever the purchaser comes up with in terms of parts list. Ordering this way means that the purchaser must take the time to design it, call and order, will likely pay more for parts than necessary, and end up having to do all the labor for configuration when it arrives.

Alternatively, a company could work with a Chatsworth partner like QPC Security. QPC can send Chatsworth a list of the parts we design for the rack package instead of the standard default parts. QPC also defines what we think is a “complete” cabinet or rack. This avoids having extra unnecessary parts and saves labor. For example, the default configuration of the cabinets is screw hole rails with only two rails instead of the needed four. Default screw holes are more prone to failure when compared to cage nut rails. By having QPC put together a custom spec, it also means that the labor for the configuration and setup of the cabinet is done at the Chatsworth facility, not by QPC or by your company.

For some examples of Chatsworth products, see their website at

How does QPC procure the cabinets/racks?

QPC specs and procures cabinets and racks in a cost-effective manner after determining each individual company or site’s needs.

QPC’s knowledge of the parts available and experience spec’ing out cabinets and racks saves your company money. You benefit from our experience, and you do not have to do the design and procurement of the cabinet/rack.

  • QPC shifts the installation of the proper parts onto Chatsworth in the factory, saving you labor.
  • You do not pay for any parts you do not need because you do not have to go through the process of procuring and substituting the proper parts after spec. The default parts are never ordered, so there is no substitution required.
  • Projects are able to stay on schedule because the misordering of parts is avoided. Client IT staff would be experimenting with configurations, whereas QPC uses known good, vetted configurations.
  • Someone must engineer the design for the location, workloads, purpose, and serviceability. The personnel who engineer that design are either going to be QPC or client internal IT. QPC has historically had more experience than internal IT in fulfilling these needs. Internal IT can still review designs and have input.

Chatsworth creates custom part numbers for QPC based upon the QPC defined specifications. This means that attempts to get a competitive bid (if required) will not be successful because getting an exact spec duplication would be either impossible or extremely time-consuming and burdensome for another supplier. This is a minor downside to an otherwise excellent procurement process. In the event that a client was required by a grant condition to obtain competitive bid, they obtained a quote for a different system from an ecommerce supplier’s website and specified that the QPC‑engineered custom cabinet met their needs better, which is why the customer was purchasing through QPC.

QPC also performs the procurement order tracking and distribution management, so you do not have to worry about it. QPC provides value add in both pre and post procurement.

QPC experience

The QPC engineering team has thousands of combined hours of design, spec, installation, maintenance, use, and servicing of cabinets and racks. QPC has designed everything from full datacenters for healthcare facilities to basement network locations in residential buildings. QPC is very thoughtful to the support model and servicing of the cabinet and contained equipment.

Cost factors to consider

Cabinet/rack selection, design, and configuration can either save or cost you time and money repeatedly. We have seen many instances where internal IT at a client specified a cabinet or rack based upon the perception of acquisition cost being the real cost factor. The real costs are servicing, use, access, maintenance of the rack/cabinet and contained equipment by IT and other staff for the duration of the location. Remember that cabinets do not die. QPC has some cabinets that were recovered from an old datacenter, and those cabinets were manufactured in the 1950s. Those cabinets are still good.

Focusing on acquisition cost is an extremely short-sighted approach. QPC standardly provides procurement justification statements to clients to meet their procurement requirements. Procurement justification statements ensure that all decision‑makers, accounting, audit, and IT are on the same page regarding strategic acquisition, TCO, value proposition, and any associated standards. QPC often drafts the standards for client environments regarding racks/cabinets/network closet locations in order to improve operational maturity of the client business.

QPC must often provide remote support for the access and maintenance of equipment in cabinets via email or phone. IT departments frequently must do this same thing with their remote offices. In both cases, the setup of the cabinet makes all the difference in the world regarding the time involved and efficacy of that interaction. When a cabinet is not setup properly, it can be impossible to get an office manager to be able to do something effectively remotely via written or phone instructions. Overall, when QPC designs cabinets and racks, we are very thoughtful to these factors which reduce cost and time to problem resolution. It is quite standard for a remote office manager to need to be able to work with authorized IT personnel in this manner, so it is imperative that the network rack/cabinet be standardized and highly supportable.

Longevity or transferability factors

QPC has witnessed clients making poor decisions over the years due to inaccurate perceptions about investing in cabinet and related hardware or cabling projects. This section is intended to counteract those inaccurate perceptions.

  • Cabinets are transferrable from one location to another. Do not fail to properly invest in the infrastructure of business because of a forecasted location or office move.
  • Do not let leased space hamper your decision‑making. We have seen businesses severely restrict their ability to accomplish many projects because the owners were paralyzed for years under the thinking that they might move buildings. What was originally a $14,000 project became a $40,000 project due to delays. Estimates for downstream impact was over $300,000 in additional expense due to downstream impacted projects and business initiatives that were adversely affected.
  • If the cabinet and network closet design was properly done, a cabinet move can be accomplished without cutting any of the infrastructure cabling. This matters because in a leased space, the business may be reticent to invest in a decent cabinet under the false idea that they cannot take their cabinet with them during a move. If the landlord provided the cabinet and data cabling, then it is the landlord’s property. Rarely is that the case. Instead, the tenant can install a proper backer board, proper cabinet, and all the proper items to go with it while keeping the landlord happy. By using keystone jacks, and a bit of QPC secret sauce, the tenant can leave the landlord with pre-terminated jacks for the next tenant that can be installed into the next tenant’s keystone panel.

How do I know if the cabinet/rack QPC selected is right for me?

QPC considers many factors when choosing a network cabinet/rack for a client, including but not limited to:

  • Size and height as necessary to allow adequate space for equipment (uninterruptible power supply (UPS), patch panel, fiber tray, switch, network security equipment, shelf for other necessary equipment that is not bolted in).
  • Futureproofing, or ensuring the cabinet/rack has room for expansion if necessary and the ability to be relocated as needed.
  • Weight capacity restrictions, based on what type of equipment and how much is going into the cabinet/rack.
  • Predictions of workflows for migrations and sustained uptime for services delivered via the equipment in the cabinet.
  • Space availability at office/site location.
  • Cabinet/rack design color options available (a lighter color dramatically improves visibility inside the cabinet, reducing installation time, troubleshooting, and maintaining the cabinet and contents therein).
  • Cost differential between equipment models. It is quite often the case that a model that has slightly larger capacity is nominally more expensive. Nominally meaning $300 or less.
  • Security needs. It is imperative that only authorized personnel be able to access the equipment or disconnect power. Lockable cabinets are almost always a better choice than open racks. Even in the event of a dedicated datacenter room, there will always be personnel who can access that room which are not authorized to modify connectivity or configurations of the contained technology equipment.
  • Air quality of the location and other environmental factors such as proximity to vibration, humidity, or dirt sources.
  • Cabling ingress/egress as related to the cabinet/rack.
  • Cabling routing and support inside the rack/cabinet.
  • Backer board attachment needs and options along with vertical weight supports.
  • Cabinet mobility requirements such as wheels and the implications that has on safety and loading.
  • Jack standards such as keystone jacks rather than embedded 110 blocks.
  • Jack types such as Belden RevConnect instead of lower quality side or back terminated blocks which are prone to higher signal noise or pull-out.
  • Shipping time availability and customer expectations (depending on selection, some options may be on backorder at the time of ordering).

An example of one of the cabinets QPC orders is shown below. Please note that this is the default configuration, not the final customized version that QPC ultimately orders.

How long will my cabinet/rack last?

Enclosed cabinets tend to last longer than open racks. However, the life cycle of most network cabinets/racks is decades (barring intentional physical abuse or tampering). Depending on the type of wall-mounted cabinet procured, additional guidelines must be followed to support the specified safe installation and load rating. For example, a wall-mounted cabinet must be installed on a minimum ¾” plywood mounting board that is attached to the wall via the wall studs. Many fire rated plywood sources only stock 5/8” thick plywood which would not result in adequate strength backer. QPC can provide specific installation requirements depending on the type of cabinet/rack selected. Some locations may require fire rated plywood.

Failure to install the product and associated equipment correctly can lead to shortened life cycle of the product, up to and including failure of product and/or equipment. Examples of failure of product and/or equipment are:

  • Rack/cabinet falling off wall, causing damage to surrounding area or injury/death to personnel
  • Rack/cabinet tipping over, causing damage to surrounding area or injury/death to personnel
  • Equipment in rack/cabinet falling, which may lead to damage to other equipment in the rack depending on the scenario
  • Equipment tampering/intentional abuse, in scenarios where the cabinet/rack is not physically secured as required
  • Preventable outages which adversely affect profitability

Client responsibilities

While QPC can place the order for the correct parts, cabinets and supplies are shipped direct from the manufacturer to the client site location. Clients are responsible for opening the shipment right away and verifying that all the expected parts are there. QPC provides more than adequate detail on invoices for the client to verify that all the parts received are those that were designated for delivery by QPC. For example, if QPC specifies dual rail system, the client must verify that four rails are installed in the cabinet.

QPC can mount cabinets and racks for clients if desired. If the client has their own personnel or another vendor mount cabinets or racks, QPC expects the personnel doing the mounting to adhere to the mounting requirements specified by QPC. It is the client’s responsibility to hold their mounting personnel accountable for that deliverable. If the client does not designate QPC as the responsible party with QPC in charge of standards and installation, then the client is responsible for dispute resolution. Drama is toxic to productivity.

The client is responsible for hiring a qualified electrician to install proper dedicated electrical circuits to the rack or cabinet as specified by QPC. QPC can provide a written request for electrical service that the client can provide to their selected electrician.

Clients are responsible for adhering to OSHA and BICSI standards. QPC has seen many instances where internal IT does not mount floor standing two-post racks properly. Failure to properly secure those resources to the floor, ceiling, or wall is a safety issue for personnel. Low voltage standards are covered in BICSI. In the BICSI ITSIMM it states "Floor-mounted cabinets and racks must be securely attached with code compliant anchors and bolts with both flat and lock washers. This will require a concrete bit with hammer drill and a vacuum to clear the hole for the anchoring device. It generally will require the use of a socket set and screwdrivers to complete the assembly and setup."

The client must define who is in charge of defining the standards. Without that clarity, there can be disputes which arise between internal IT and QPC. We advise that internal IT has input into the standards, but is not designated as being in charge of defining the standards. The CISO or CTO should be the personnel who define the standards, and generally that will be QPC’s vCISO or vCTO providing services to the client.

Ramifications of improper cabinets

When cabinets are selected and procured by other IT personnel or vendors, QPC often finds that the cabinets do not fit the required equipment. That finding may be immediate or within a few years. The end result of the financial impact to the client is often 5x more expensive than having procured the correct cabinet with the correct planning the first time.

What if I still have questions?

For more information on cabinet/rack procurement, or if you are looking to purchase and are ready for a quote, contact us today at 262‑553‑6510 or by visiting