Server Rack Enclosures 101


Server rack shelves

Server racks, used to store computer server equipment, allow for dense hardware configurations without occupying excessive floorspace. For years, buying server racks and server enclosures has been a tricky process shrouded in myth by manufacturers hoping to keep their prices high. Here, we’ll attempt to provide some simple advice that can help you determine which server racks and server rack enclosures are right for you.

Determining the Size of Your Server Cabinet

Server rack sizes and data cabinet heights are measured in ‘u’ sizes. This is the standard measurement for all rackmount equipment. One rack ‘u’ is 44.45 mm high. A 24 port patch panel or switch is usually 1u in size. Work out the equipment you want to use on your server rack shelves and give yourself at least 10% additional room for expansion. It is also important to know that a ‘u’ only refers to the internal space of server rack enclosures, so you’ll need to make sure that the cabinet will fit your office space requirements. Besides the internal space, the cabinet also accommodates cable entry, fan trays, and jacking feet or castors, usually adding about 250 or 300 mm of extra height. Server racks are usually either 600 or 800 mm wide, though 800 mm server racks are recommended if a server cabinet is being used for patching as well.

Ventilation of Server Rack Enclosures

In order for IT systems to remain reliable, it is critical to control the climate in a server room. Look for server rack enclosures that have vents in the roof which can be used with roof mount fan units and full mesh rear doors. Front doors usually are either mesh or glass with vented surround. Mesh doors are recommended, though glass is more aesthetically pleasing. It is also important to make sure tat the room where you store your portable server rack enclosures is cool and ventilated. Ger more information on this topic here:

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