Discover more about computer crash carts for Data Centres & IT rooms

What is a computer crash cart or computer trolley?

A computer crash cart or computer trolley is a mobile console unit that is fitted with either a laptop or a PC along with a monitor, keyboard and mouse and provides a mobile workstation that can be used to connect directly to a server or other piece of IT equipment directly at the rack.

How does a computer crash cart help provide IT support when working in a Data Centre?

A computer crash cart takes its terminology from a medical crash cart and is predominately used in the Data Centre to provide IT support to failing equipment. However, the flexible design of a computer crash cart enables them to be used for more tasks than just providing IT support to failing equipment. As a computer crash cart provides a stable mobile workstation it allows them to be used by technicians in the Data Centre to install and configure new servers, switches and other pieces of IT equipment directly at the rack rather than having to rely on a remote network connection. Their highly manoeuvrable design allows them to be quickly moved into location so that they can be connected to the IT equipment requiring support.

How do computer carts vary? What features should you look for?

Computer carts vary in design with some designed for use with laptop computers, while others utilise desktop PCs with a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Commonly they feature multi-directional castors of which some will be lockable. These multi-directional castors enable the computer carts to have a high degree of manoeuvrability whilst locking them in place then provides a stable platform from which to work from. Many computer carts are capable of being used in either a seated or standing position, with some computer carts being easier to perform this function than others. Some computer carts also offer lockable storage drawers or compartments, while others offer a host of accessories or additional options including self-power. EDP Europe offers its own computer cart as well as various Ergotron mobile computer carts.

  • EDP Computer Crash Cart – The EDP computer crash cart is designed to carry a desktop PC which straps to a specially designed bracket. A height adjustable keyboard tray and mounting plate for a monitor attach to the central aluminium pole and locked in place with thumb screws, enabling both to be independently adjusted for seated or standing working positions. Five wheels, of which three are lockable, provides a mobile and solid platform from which to work.
  • Ergotron Neoflex – The Ergotron Neoflex is a low cost, height adjustable computer cart that features a fully adjustable LCD monitor arm and a large worksurface area on which to place a keyboard, tablet, laptop or other items. From the worksurface there is a pull-out mouse tray. This cart also has a VESA compliant thin-client CPU holder.
  • Ergotron Workfit – The Ergotron Workfit mobile cart offers 25” (63cm) of total adjustment allowing operators to work in a standing or seated position. Its counterbalanced adjustment points allow instantaneous, tool-free repositioning while you work. A large workspace with an independent height adjustable keyboard tray, that has a sliding mouse tray, enables a comfortable working position, while the large workspace is ideal for paperwork, manuals or other pieces of equipment. The Workfit cart also features a VESA compliant LCD fixing plate, PC holder and advanced cable management that allows safe and neat routing of cables.
  • Ergotron StyleView EMR Computer Cart – The Erogtron StyleView is an ergonomic computer cart that supports both seated and standing working positions. Its small footprint with ultra-smooth gliding casters enable this cart to be used on most floor coverings. Its VESA compliant LCD monitor mounting offers both pan and tilt adjustment along with 360° LCD rotation. It features a large, smooth worksurface that conceals a lockable, ventilated storage compartment for housing a closed notebook, thin client or CPU. Below this is an adjustable keyboard tray that has a slide out mouse tray. Advanced cable management organises and conceals cables.

Computer Crash Carts

Can a data centre crash cart be utilised as a mobile computer desk?

The flexible design of a data centre crash cart means they can be used as a mobile computer desk in many other areas. In the Data Centre they are primarily used for configuring or supporting IT equipment and provide a solid workstation from which to run diagnostics, install software applications or perform updates.

However, there are many other areas where a data centre crash cart can be utilised. With rented office space at a premium and many companies adopt a hot desking ethos. Thanks to their adjustability from a standing to seated position they can be use to provide additional mobile desking. In the medical sector they are regularly used as workstations to enable access to patient records and perform updates at the patient’s bedside. In warehousing or distribution applications they can be utilised to provide a mobile computer desk for conducting audits, stock checks or checking stock in as soon as goods are delivered. So, a data centre crash cart is an incredibly versatile piece of equipment that can be used as a mobile computer desk in many different sectors to perform tasks which require access to a computer. With many crash carts having a host of accessories additional equipment can be attached to the main cart. For instance, a small UPS could be attached to provide independent power.

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