A Guide to Network Racks and Wall Mount Enclosures
If you're in the market for a Network Rack Cabinet and are trying to decide on which is best for you this guide is for you. Here we will endeavor to give you some clarity on how they work and which ones are best suited for particular situations.
What is a Network Rack?
Network Racks are essentially frame structures used for housing standard 19" rack-mount equipment-servers as well as other devices such as routers, UPS’ and audio/video gear. This allows for better organization as well as provides additional security and cable management all the while enabling better airflow to the mounted network devices.
Where are Network Racks Commonly Used?
Without question the majority are mainly found throughout company data centers and server rooms across the world. Additionally they can be found in audio/video installations, anywhere where there is a need to house telecoms equipment and in industrial environments such as factory floors.
What Size Do I Need?
The height of network racks is measured in what is known as “Rack Units” (1.75 inches, or 44.45mm). This means that typically when you are shopping for network rack you will see the Rack Unit amount displayed, as opposed to the actual height measurement. An example is shown below:
18U Network Server Rack Cabinet – 600mm X 600mm
In the example above the network rack is 18 Rack Units in height, this means it is approximately 31.5″ or 800mm tall. Always be sure to properly access amount of space you will require currently and in the future so as to avoid having to make additional purchases as your system expands.
Which Type of Network Rack Do I Need?
This is entirely dependent on the type of environment and networking situation you find yourself in. That said, here is a simple break-down of the types and the various applications they are best suited too.
Network Rack EnclosedRack Enclosure – Floor Standing
These are great for organizing and secure networking, storage and telecom equipment within future or existing data centers, server rooms and network closets.
They are generally neater in appearance than Open Frames due to them being enclosed, devices are generally accessible via locked doors and panels around the enclosure.
Network Rack OpenOpen Frame – Floor Standing
This is perhaps the most economical way in which to organize your network equipment. It’s open frame allows for the best possible airflow and for the easiest access your mounted devices.
The only downside is they may not appear as neat and provide no additional security due to their open nature.
Network Wall Mount EnclosedRack Enclosure – Wall Mount
A particular type of rack enclosure which is specifically designed to be mounted on walls as opposed the floor standing rack enclosures. This is great if you are looking to save on floor space as these usually considerably smaller.
They are primarily found in places with limited space, a good example of which would be classrooms or smaller offices.
Network Wall Mount OpenOpen Frame – Wall Mount
With the same features as the open frame – floor standing versions these wall mountable racks are ideally suited for areas with limited space where security is not essential (due to the lack of a lockable enclosure).
The advantage with these is the ease of access coupled with great airflow.
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