GR-3160-CORE is NEBS Lite for Data Center Equipment

GR-3160-CORE, NEBS Requirements for Telecommunications Data Center Equipment and Spaces, is sometimes described as ‘NEBS Lite.’  It includes important reliability and safety requirements, without the full set of hurdles found in the NEBS telecom standards, like GR-1089-CORE and GR-63-CORE.

But what exactly are the differences for equipment evaluation?  Following is a basic overview.

The test requirements are the same for NEBS and GR-3160 in these areas:

  • Acoustic Noise
  • Airflow
  • EFT
  • Energy Efficiency
  • ESD
  • Handling Shock
  • Illumination
  • Surface Temperature

In other areas, the test requirements for GR-3160 are looser or non-existent:

Bonding & Grounding
NEBS
– Requirements for reliable ground methods as well as short-circuit tests
GR-3160 – Requirements for reliable ground methods, but no short-circuit tests

Corrosion, SSPI, DC Potential Difference
NEBS
– Required
GR-3160 – No requirement

DC Power Compatibility
NEBS
– Requires transient tests as well as DC noise emissions and immunity
GR-3160 – Requirements for grounding of return conductor of centralized sources and DC-I configuration of loads

Earthquake & Office Vibration
NEBS
– Full scale tests in all cases
GR-3160 – Checklist review for redundant or non-critical sites; test for others

EMC – Emissions
NEBS – Only NEBS method
GR-3160 – FCC or NEBS

EMC – Immunity
NEBS – Testing from 10kHz to 10GHz
GR-3160 – NEBS only from 30MHz to 10GHz or EN 55024

Filtration
NEBS
– Required
GR-3160 – An Objective

Fire Resistance – Materials
NEBS
– Materials level fire resistance tests required
GR-3160 – No test if facility has suppression, detection, and disconnection means and equipment is listed

Fire Resistance – Spread
NEBS – Full scale fire spread tests required
GR-3160 – No test if facility has suppression, detection, and disconnection means and equipment is listed

Heat Dissipation
NEBS
– Objective Limit
GR-3160 – No Objective Limit

Intra-building and AC Power Port Lightning
NEBS – Only NEBS method
GR-3160 – NEBS or EN 300 386

Mixed Flowing Gas & Hygroscopic Dust
NEBS
– Required for all hardware
GR-3160 – No requirements

Operating Temperature
NEBS
– Short-term -5C to 50C; 7 day test
GR-3160 – Narrower range requirement; 2 day test

Safety
NEBS
– NEBS specific
GR-3160 – Listing to EN 60950

Transport & Handling Temperature & RH
NEBS
– -40C, +70C, 40C+93% RH
GR-3160 – No requirement

GR-3160 was created with input from 19 participating companies, including Verizon, AT&T, Telcordia, Dell, Intel, Juniper Networks, and Brocade.  The committee’s goal was to focus on critical, high-value areas, relying on popular commercial standards when possible, and encouraging the use of well-designed and robust COTS equipment.  Where testing can be avoided (e.g. earthquake), alternatives like the checklist are utilized.  This approach takes advantage of data center infrastructure and network architecture redundancy.

MET Labs is a pioneer in NEBS testing, and we are equally skilled in testing data center equipment for reliability, energy efficiency, and safety.  Contact us today to determine if your equipment is best suited for full NEBS or a more limited program.

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