How Do I Select the Correct Server Rack?

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Wall mount server rack

If you are looking to buy a server rack or computer rack, you need to have a clear understanding of what you need.  This is not a “one size fits all” situation.  You have a myriad of options so you will be able to find one that will meet your needs perfectly.

What Size Do You Need?

The unit of measurement for the computer rack is the rack unit — abbreviated as “U.”  Each unit is about 1.75 inches tall.  Four-post computer server racks are the most common.  They can accommodate services and appliances that are 19 inches wide. Desktop computer racks can be as small as 5U or as large as 20U.

Most data service centers use rack servers that are 42U.  They are large enough to hold a lot of equipment. These include a 19 inch server rack enclosure.  This sized rack can accommodate between 42 servers to several hundred.  The 42U cabinet is very tall but takes up only a small of amount of pace horizontally.  It may seem like it is too big for your server needs but keep in mind, you have other things that will need to go in there such as a battery back up, cooling system and other equipment that you need to run everything smoothly.  Additionally, you may expand the number of servers you need in the future and this can give you room to do that.

Can I Secure My Computer Rack?

You can get a rack with a lockable four post rack frame.  They are very sturdy.  You can mount it to the wall or floor, which adds to the security and can be helpful in organizing your space better.  You can also get a rack that is on wheels if you want to be able to move into a more secure location, say at the end of the day.

How Are You Going to Cool it?

Computer racks need to be cooled. Servers generate a lot of heat.  Newer, denser technology, such as blade servers, produces more heat.  This may put the heat issue in perspective, between 2005 and 2010 data center energy usage grew 36%. So you are going to need a strategy to deal with keeping your equipment cool.

If your computer rack with be in a ventilated room, you can get an open rack.  If you do not have a room dedicated to your server storage, you might need a computer rack cabinet that can have its own cooling system.  How a unit is cooled and ventilated is one of the main things that will set it apart from other units.  If you are not sure, get a cooled and lockable 42U server rack.  This kind of set up will can ensure your equipment stays at the correct temperature while giving you the added peace of mind only extra security can provide. 

Will it Match the Decor of the Office?

While it might not seem like a big deal, if you have to look at something that you hate looking at every day, it could make you miserable.  Fear not!  There are many options for your computer racks.  Server racks can be made of a host of materials such as aluminum, polycarbonate and plexiglass.  They are all ver sturdy and can provide you with the look you want with the stability and security you need. 

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