Server Racks

Get inspired with expondo blog

Home Server racks

A complete office supplies requires more than just desks, lockers, mounts for monitors or whiteboards: server and network cabinets are an indispensable part of IT security in companies and organizations. They are a central and secure place where all network devices are stored clearly and quickly accessible. This allows technical problems to be solved quickly and maintenance to be carried out efficiently.

Rack, network, server or lockable cabinet?

Anyone who deals with data security comes across various terms that supposedly refer to the same thing. To bring some clarity to the terminology, here is a brief overview:

  • Rack: usually refers to a shelf that is open on all sides, often with rollers for flexible use

  • Network cabinet: specially designed for network components such as routers, modems, switches, telephone systems, etc. with low installation depth (approx. 60 to 80 cm), usually with a viewing door for easy checking of status displays as well as cable guides

  • Server cabinet: with a greater depth of around 80 to 120 cm, offers space for the servers that give it its name, usually equipped with perforations or ventilation slots for cooling as well as cable guides

  • Patch cabinet: another term for network cabinet

  • EDP cabinet or data cabinet: now uncommon terms for network cabinets

However, the various designations are often used synonymously or there are mixed forms such as server cabinets with glass doors or network cabinets with ventilation. In practice, cabinets or racks are mixed with servers and network components.

Server Cabinets: parameters, characteristics and useful information

The selection of the right storage for servers & co. is further complicated by the different dimensions and height units. The width is given in inches, while the height is given in the standard height unit (U) and the depth of the server cabinet is given in mm or cm. Here is an overview of the common internal dimensions:

Network Cabinet – 19 inch

Two standards have become established worldwide: 10" (25.4 cm) and 19" (48.26 cm) - with 19" being the more common variant. However, these specifications are not the total width of the server cabinets, but the distance between the profile rails on which the devices are mounted. The cabinets themselves can be much wider, for example, to create additional space for cables. So, if you want to buy a server rack but only have limited floor space available, you should pay attention to the actual outer dimensions – usually 60 or 80 cm.

The correct height unit (U)

Unlike the width, the height of a server cabinet is more variable. The division into U (height units) is used most often. 1 HE always corresponds to 1.75", i.e. approximately 4.445 cm. Here, too, the internal dimension must be taken as a basis. Small server cabinets or network cabinets for wall mounting usually have the following heights: 6 U, 9 U, 12 U and 15 U. Large, free-standing network cabinets have a height of 18 U or more.

Wall mounted server racks

The depth of the server or network cabinet is also relevant. Explicit network cabinets have a rather small depth of 60 to 80 cm, and server cabinets have a depth of about 80 to 120 cm or in special cases even more. If you want to store both servers and network elements in combination, you should pay attention to a correspondingly deep dimension here.

In addition, you should not disregard the external dimensions when making your purchase decision. These are indicated separately. In expondo's range, you can find both a 10 and a 19" wall cabinet in heights from 6 to 12 U. The exact external dimensions can be found in the technical table.

Server cabinets – what security measures are important

In addition to external and internal dimensions, there are other criteria that should not be ignored when buying a server or network cabinet: Ventilation or cooling, load capacity and security:

Passive or active cooling?

Ventilation does not play a central role in a 19-inch or 10-inch network cabinet, as the individual components do not heat up as much. With a server rack of 19 inch or 10 inch, things are different. Here, very high temperatures can occur. If the warm air is not passively dissipated through vents or perforated doors, or actively regulated down with a cooler, damage or a shortened lifespan of the hardware can be the unpleasant consequence. For this reason, every 19 or 10 inch server cabinet in expondo's range has generous ventilation openings.

A high load capacity for a stable network

Servers, network components and cables: A 19-inch or 10-inch server rack has to withstand a lot. If a load of up to 60 kg is sufficient for a small network cabinet, the load capacity for a 19-inch wall cabinet should be higher. A very large network distribution cabinet can have a load capacity of up to 800 kg. However, such a high load capacity is not necessary in most cases. If you are unsure about the load capacity, you can weigh the heaviest elements and add them up before buying.

A question of safety

Nowadays, data is one of the most valuable assets. Therefore, it should be protected accordingly. With a lockable 10" or 19" server cabinet, your data is protected from unwarranted access. If you want to forego the effort of locking, you should go for a rack cabinet with a glass door rather than neglect the security factor. This way, you always have your active and passive network components in view, without having to unlock and open the door every time to check if everything is working. At expondo, even the small server cabinet has a reliable cylinder lock and two keys. In addition, you will find a wide range of models with transparent fronts, as well as everything else to professionally furnish an office in our range.