The term Rack Cabinet refers to a 19″ computer or server rack. There are a large variety of racks available including fully enclosed racks, open frame racks (no doors or sides), 2post racks, and transport racks. Each of these rack types has its own advantages and disadvantages.
|Fully Enclosed Rack Cabinet
Open Frame Rack Cabinet
Transportable Rack Cabinet
2Post Rack Cabinet
Fully enclosed racks are the most common rack type available. They offer security due to the lockable doors and side panels. The front and rear door are perforated to allow airflow in the front and out the back. Inside the rack are four uprights for mounting 19″ rack equipment. These racks are commonly available in sizes from 18U up to 47U, with 42U and 47U being the most common sold by the major OEMs. Be sure to buy racks that are at least 1000mm (39.37″) deep.
Open frame racks are similar to fully enclosed racks without the doors and sides. They are significantly less expensive, provide excellent cooling, and are easier to wire and maintain. Open frame racks are often available unassembled, significantly reducing shipping costs compared to fully enclosed and assembled racks. Be sure the open frame rack has square holes and has a mounting depth close to 29″ to ensure compatibility with Dell, HP, and IBM servers. Cage Nuts are typically provided or sold separately for installing equipment requiring round threaded holes such as switches and routers.
Transportable racks refers to a class of small racks designed to be transported full of equipment. These are available in lower cost models designed for offices and minimal transport. Transportable racks are also available in a more military format with internal shock isolators, airtight covers, and tough non-metallic outer shells. Models are now available with square holes to support Dell, HP, and IBM server rails.
2Post racks are not technically considered rack cabinets, however, we mention them here for comparison purposes. 2Post relay racks require adapters to allow server to be installed. The racks are typically aluminum uprights and are very cost effective. 2Post racks are commonly found in data closets or back offices of department stores. Some of the larges datacenters are built with 1000’s of 2Post racks.