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What Is a Server Rack

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-04-10      Origin: Site


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Technological advancements in the age of big data and Internet of Things (IoT) have resulted in an increase of computing demands as well as a change in geographical distribution and location types where IT systems are deployed.

IT managers are looking for IT infrastructure that is reliable, flexible, secure and operationally economical. For instance, when they design their server racks, they consider products that deliver protection and secure access to critical IT systems. They should be able to accommodate growth and expansion while being cost-effective. Many IT managers find value in using a single manufacturer for integrated and complementary solutions. This approach results in improved availability, quicker deployments, increased staff efficiency, better security and reduced cost.

What Is a Server Rack?

A server rack houses and organizes critical IT systems, which can be configured to support a wide range of requirements. Often called server rack cabinet, it is enclosed to ensure security. Server racks are most commonly found in data center environments, but can also be used in smaller computer closets.

The 19-inch server rack is the standardized size frame or enclosure for mounting equipment, and is used for computer server equipment. The 19-inch server rack allows dense hardware configurations without taking up a lot of the floor space or shelving. If you only require a small number of servers, it is the best choice economically due to its lower upfront costs.

Equipment placed on the rack is referred to as rack-mounted or rackmount device. Rack-mountable equipment is mounted by bolting or clipping its front panel to the rack.

Types of Server Racks

Server racks are sometimes called LAN racks, network racks or other terms but they are generally the same, rack enclosures where critical IT systems are mounted.

They can be preconfigured or customized. Pre-configured racks are factory-assembled and deployed quickly and easily. They are often the less expensive option.

Server racks can be customized to fit desired needs and specifications. Companies which require unique width, height, or depth dimensions or specialized applications like water or dust proofing or shock resistance can work closely with the provider to design a custom server rack solution.

Server racks cabinets can be classified as open frame or locked. Open server racks have more space and flexibility and allow cable accessibility usually from the top. Since they are not locked, they are often found inside secure server rooms.

Usually more expensive, closed server racks can be locked. It is a better option if the server rack will be placed outside a secure server room or in a nonsecure location.

Server Rack Size, Depth, Rack Unit (U)

To determine the server rack size, consider what kind of equipment will be placed in the server rack and how many. Standard-sized racks are usually selected because standard-sized equipment easily integrates in the rack.

The server rack depth is the distance of the front rail to the back of the back rail. Not only is it crucial to find out the size of the server rack component, IT managers also need to account for the wire connections and airflow required.

The Rack Unit (U or RU) is the unit of measurement used to define the vertical space available in an equipment rack.  It is applied to the server rack as well as the devices they hold. It is standardized as multiples of 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) or one rack unit or “U”. Most racks are sold in the 42U form, which means a single rack can hold forty-two (42) 1U devices, or any combination of 1U, 2U, 3U or other rack unit heights that add up to 42 or less.

Industry Standards

Server racks receive certifications by achieving standards set by respected authorities in the industry or region. Industry-standard rack enclosure systems usually save time and money on configuration and integration. Server racks can have these certifications:

EIA 310E




IBC 2012

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is an organization that publishes International standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. The EIA-310 provides the specifications for the standard rack, including several important features of 19″ racks, such as the Rack Unit, vertical hole spacing, horizontal hole spacing, rack opening and front panel width. The EIA-310E is the latest version.

The UL (formerly Underwriters Laboratories) is a global safety certification company offering expertise across strategic businesses: commercial and industrial, consumer and UL ventures. UL2416 is a standard that covers requirements for audio/video, information and communication technology equipment cabinet, enclosure and rack systems.

Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), also known as Directive 2002/95/EC, is a set of criteria formulated by the European Union (EU) to regulate the use of toxic materials in electrical and electronic devices, systems, and toys.

Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) is another European Union regulation. It addresses the production and use of chemical substances, and their potential impact on both human health and the environment.

The International Building Code (IBC 2012) is a model code that provides minimum requirements to safeguard the public health, safety and general welfare of the occupants of new and existing buildings and structures.


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