How to Choose the Right Height of a Server Rack?

A server room is dedicated premises in which special conditions are created for the full operation of computing apparatus and accompanying parts. Server racks & cabinets are used to house hardware and accessories.

Types of Server Furniture

According to mounting ways, they distinguish:

  • Floor-standing models (solid products installed on the floor);
  • Wall-mounted furniture (fasteners to walls or ceilings with special stubs);
  • Portable boxes (with casters and handles).

Taking into account their designs, the following models exist:

  • Open-frame racks. This furniture has no doors or walls. Its construction includes 2 or 4 metal posts with holes.
  • Enclosed server room cabinets. This class includes fully closed boxes with doors and walls.

Common Dimensions

Different models of server furniture are offered on the modern market. Let’s see the most common dimensions of products.

First, let’s outline that the height of a server rack cabinet is measured in units. One unit is equal to 1,75 inches. When you see the inscription like this: “2U rack”, it means that its height is 3,5 inches. Thus, you can find 2U, 8U, 15U, even 45U, and other models.

Let’s proceed to other parameters. As for width, usually, all racks have a standardized width. It is equal to 600 mm.

What concerns depth, this criterion ranges between 500-1100 mm and depends on the apparatus accommodated in it.

How to Pick a Suitable Model and its Size?

To begin with, you make a list of all devices, accessories, auxiliary components and parts to be placed on the rack enclosure server cabinet. The size of the furniture will directly depend on this matter.

  1. The next step is to decide on the height of the product. As was mentioned, it is measured in units. So, first of all, measure all the devices. Add their heights. Compare the result with available models. Here, note one important issue. Do not buy tightly fitting rack cabinets. Always pick free cabinets leaving extra space for enlarging your server room and adding additional elements. Be pragmatic and look in the future. In most cases, users need to add new powers and devices over time. Another important feature here is that free space will allow the airflow to circulate better and improve the level of natural ventilation and functioning hardware cooling.
  2. When you’re done with rack height, switch to its depth. This issue is not an easy one as well. Consider the following criteria:
  • A total depth (this indicator shows the distance between the front and back posts of the rack);
  • The maximum adjustable depth. This relates to small models where posts are movable and can be customizable.
  • The maximum usage depth is the parameter calculated without the thickness of doors or walls.

This criterion depends on the apparatus put on the rack. To determine which depth you need, you should add the lengths of all apparatus, and add 3 mm more.

Example of Rack Usage

Models of 1U to 12U are considered small products. Such network systems are used in small offices and businesses where only basic equipment is to be installed. They can be both floor-standing and wall-mounted. Such furniture is used on premises with limited space.

Products of 18U, 22U, and 32U are usually ordered from a server cabinet manufacturer to be placed at medium-sized companies. Such models accommodate both large telecommunication hardware, servers, and additional network accessories. Ventilation systems are usually built-in.

Such furniture types as 42U, 48U are distinguished to large racks. They are widely used at large industrial enterprises where high capacities are required. These products accommodate both main hardware and supplying parts.

Although suppliers like provide many server cabinets for sale, their dimensions are standardized to ensure perfect fitting of various device and their device installation.

Consider the configuration of the server racks; it can be different. You need to choose it taking into account the characteristics of the computing equipment and the budget of the organization. The construction of the simplest racks includes only vertical supports. More advanced models for storage have doors, cooling systems of various types, indicators, and other helpful accessories. As a rule, the more options, the more comfortable the rack, and the greater the level of security of the server equipment it provides. Pay close attention to the climatic technology that provides a certain relative humidity in the room (in relation to the server room, its ideal level is 40-50%).

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