How to Answer 5 Tough Customer Questions about NetShelter CX Rack Enclosures

Being a Subject Matter Expert for the CX for 14 years I wanted to share some tips for getting a conversation started that can lead to the sale of a NetShelter CX rack enclosure – or even many sales.  Let’s look at how to respond to some of the questions we often receive from customers who are considering the CX.

The NetShelter CX, is basically “a server room in a box.” It’s a portable, secure, soundproof enclosure that’s great for branch offices, small offices or anywhere that customers need IT equipment but don’t have dedicated space for it. You can learn all about it at the CX web site.

Now that we’re all on the same page of what the CX is, let’s review some of the top questions you’ll hear and how you can address them.

1. Why is it so expensive? 

This is probably the top question you will hear because the CX does cost more than a typical bare bones rack that goes for $1000 or maybe $1,500. The CX, by comparison, retails for $2,000 to $5,000, depending on the model, but it saves money in a number of ways that other enclosures simply don’t.

First, it’s a fan-cooled rack enclosure, so customers don’t have to provide any additional air conditioning or any special venting in the room where it sits. That means you save on operating expenses over its lifetime as compared to traditional enclosures that require extra AC.

And because it’s so quiet, it provides a level of comfortable noise near which to work. Employees can work without fear of its causing disruption and being inconspicuous which adds another layer of security. Its noise reduction capabilities, coupled with the fact that it’s fan-cooled, means you can place the CX pretty much anywhere – in an office with employees, in a reception area, a classroom, wherever. So you save on space, which is always a big expense. In some instances, it may even obviate the need for a customer to spend $15,000 or more constructing a server room.

2. What if the AC in my building is shut off in the evenings and on weekends? Won’t our equipment get too hot? 

Servers typically run with significantly less load when the office is closed, so they don’t get as hot to begin with. If the temperature in the room is 80° F or less, you’ll have no problem.

Keep in mind, too, that server manufacturers as well as the industry group ASHRAE have been providing new guidance around the temperatures at which IT equipment can safely run – and those temperatures are rising. As for certain classes of data centers, ASHRAE says temperatures as high as 113° F and humidity as high as 90 percent are OK for at least short periods of time.

3. If the CX Rack Enclosure is portable, what’s to stop someone from rolling it right out of the room? 

For customers who are concerned about someone making off with the enclosure and everything inside it, or who simply don’t want to take the chance that the enclosure gets moved – whether inadvertently or not – we offer a bolt-down kit. With the kit, customers can bolt the CX securely to the floor. This is good for companies that require tight security as well as for areas prone to earthquakes. In fact, we came up with the kit mainly to address building codes in California, which requires that certain equipment be bolted down to prevent injury during an earthquake.

4. The CX Rack Enclosure looks like a piece of furniture. Is it really secure? 

The CX locks completely; all sides are lockable including the back fan modules.  We have an adapter so you can set a code lock (instead of using a key) or use a proximity card lock, where you swipe an ID card to unlock the handle. This is an important option for companies that must comply with laws such as HIPAA that require such protections for privacy reasons.

5. What if there’s a fire in or near the enclosure? 

The CX is made from materials that are fire-resistant inside and out.

6. Our most unusual question yet… you can’t make this stuff up.

Finally, here’s a little story that you may find an opportunity to bring up from time to time.  A few years ago, I got a call from a reseller who had an issue with a customer in southern Florida who had an IT cabinet in a warehouse. Rodents and snakes apparently liked to make themselves at home in the cabinet.

At one point, I got a call from the customer himself, who was pretty much distraught. “I can’t open my rack one more time and pull out a snake thinking it’s a wire,” he says. “I just can’t do it!” He wanted to know how quickly I could get a CX rack enclosure to him. I told him a couple days, and he put the order in on the spot, without even checking back with the reseller.  I helped place the order with the reseller.

The CX does have vents on the bottom on both sides, but we put a washable dust filter over it and apparently that did the trick. We haven’t heard any complaints from the customer since. So, if you have a customer who needs to keep rodents and snakes out of his or her IT equipment, tell him the CX has experience with that.

If you have any locations with no dedicated IT space, the CX Rack Enclosure may make sense. Do you have dedicated space for a server room or wiring closet?  I’m not just talking about headquarters. Many large organizations with lots of locations – retailers, financial organizations such as banks and the like – often do not have dedicated rooms in all of their facilities. For these customers and for SMBs that have only one site, we have a solution. Explore the CX web site today for more information.

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