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How to choose a server rack?

Proper selection of a server rack is only a seemingly easy task. Taking into account the fact that rack cabinets can accommodate ICT equipment for several dozen or tens of thousands of PLN, it is worth finding out how to choose the right model.  

What are server racks?

Server cupboards are also often referred to as “rack cupboards”. They are one of the fundamental parts of server room equipment. Thanks to server racks, it is possible to organize the IT equipment they contain in a spatial manner.

The vast majority of server racks on the market have a standard width of 19″. This is due to a common agreement among manufacturers of this type of equipment. Thanks to this standard, their size is generally compatible with the supported devices. When we talk about width, we mean the width of the spacing of the rack mounting rails. When it comes to the external dimensions of server racks, they can look very different. So how do you choose the right type of server rack?

What should I consider when choosing a server cupboard?

In fact, the choice of a specific product will depend mainly on our needs and budget. What criteria are worth paying attention to?

Hanging and standing versions

In the case of server racks, an easy distinction can be made between hanging and standing racks. Standing server cupboards are ideally suited to handle heavier equipment and also have high load capacity parameters. Standing cabinets are said to be a great choice when building an advanced network. Most of the models of standing cabinets have built-in casters that make the cabinet easy to maneuver. These are relatively sizable pieces of equipment that are easily expandable.

Hanging cabinets are smaller cabinets than standing cabinets. They are great for smaller devices, and it is possible to install them even if you do not have a dedicated server room. The choice of the type of server cupboard should therefore be determined by the space available, and the number of devices it is to accommodate.

Cabinet size

The size of a cupboard should be closely related to the number of devices it will house. Standing and hanging cabinets, as we mentioned, differ in size. But what about the height of a server cupboard? To properly estimate the height of a server cupboard, it is a good idea to measure the total height of all the elements it is to accommodate and then add about 30% to this. Additional centimetres of height may turn out to be very useful when we decide to expand the server room. When it comes to the depth of the cabinet, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the space that the cables will take up in the front as well as the back when choosing. There are server cabinets that are divided into two parts, so you can get to the deeper part without removing the other units.

Rack doors

Rack cabinets have doors made of glass or metal. Hanging cabinets usually have single doors, while standing cabinets have double doors due to their dimensions. Rack cabinets also have perforated doors, which is very important for horizontal ventilation. Both glass and metal doors have their advantages and disadvantages. 

These are just some of the aspects you should look at when you plan to purchase a server cabinet. You should also consider if you are going to supplement the cabinets with additional equipment such as cable organizers or fans.

main photo: pexels.com/Manuel Geissinger

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