Rack Cabinet Buying Guide
Protection and Organization for Servers and Network Equipment.
What is a Rack?
Racks are frame structures designed for mounting standard 19" rack-mount equipment-servers, routers, UPS systems, switches, audio/video-regardless of vendor. They provide rack equipment organization, security and cable management while enabling airflow. There are two basic types: rack enclosures (also called rack cabinets) and open-frame racks.
Where are Racks used?
- Server rooms and data centers
- Audio/video installations
- Closets housing telecommunications equipment
- Industrial environments such as a factory floor
Note: Earthquake zones and locations prone to shock or vibration use specially designed racks.
What type of rack do you require?
|Rack Enclosure||Open Frame||Rack Enclosure||Open Frame|
If access control and equipment protection are important to you, we recommend a Rack Enclosure.
If you simply need an economical way to organize IT equipment, we suggest an Open-Frame Rack.
Wall Mount Racks are ideal for securely housing IT equipment in classrooms or sites with limited floor space.
In small but secure locations, a wall mount open frame rack provides excellent airflow and easy access to wiring.
What size of rack do you need?
The height of a rack, and the height of equipment in it, is expressed in "rack units" (a rack unit is 1.75 inches, or 44.45mm). The actual height of a 42U rack is therefore 42 x 1.75 = 73.5 inches. A 2U server would occupy two of the available 42 rack units.
Be sure to make an accurate assessment of the amount of rack space you currently need, and allow for future growth.
Determine the maximum rack depth required to mount your equipment in a floor-standing or wall-mount rack enclosure cabinet.
Floor-Standing Rack Depth Designations
|Rack||Depth (in.)||Ideal for...|
|Shallow||27||A/V equipment, limited space|
|Deep||42||Extra cables, improved airflow|
Wall-Mount Rack Depth Designations
|Rack||Depth (in.)||Ideal for...|
|Patch-depth||< 16||Patch panels|
|Switch-depth||16 - 23.99||Switches|
|UPS-depth||24 - 31.99||UPS systems|
Can the rack handle the weight of your equipment?
Racks have a weight limit. Make sure that the capacity of the rack is greater than the total weight of the equipment being mounted.
Do you need any special features?
The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard requires that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
Shock Pallet Packaging
Shock Pallet models feature additional reinforcement and shock-absorbing material for safely re-shipping loaded racks to remote sites.
Expansion models can be bayed together easily to form rows, which is ideal for hot-aisle/cold-aisle cooling techniques.
Racks ship fully assembled for easy installation. However, sometimes doorways or tight spaces cannot accommodate fully assembled racks, so knockdown models ship disassembled for easier transportation.
Thermal Duct Rack Enclosures directly connect to a facility's exhaust system to remove hot air not only from the rack but from the entire room.
Some data center sites host multiple users in a single Rack Cabinet. Co-location models have two separate compartments to allow secure access to the correct users.
GSA schedule purchases and other government contracts require products that comply with the Trade Agreement Act (TAA).
In addition to extended-depth models, extra-wide models provide extra space for cables and improved airflow.
Seismic Enclosures have a rugged welded construction and are tested to Seismic Zone 4 standards, making them ideal for sites that are earthquake-prone or are subject to regular vibration, such as an airport or factory.
Cable Management & Accessories
Shelves, mounting rails, stabilization, cooling, patch panels, hardware kits, casters, and more enable custom installations to accommodate any space limitation or expansion requirement. View our Compatibility Guide to look at the options.
Rack Cabinets and Open Frame Racks
Organize and secure networking, storage and telecom equipment in data centers, server rooms and network closets.
High-performance, economical storage for rackmount equipment in secure IT environments.