Outside of IT equipment simply fitting in your server rack, there are tons of features and accessories that people need for unique reasons. These niche extensions to a rack are often harder to find information about.
Server rack casters
Realizing that you might need casters after setting up an entire 20U+ rack can be very stressful. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider how useful they might be to you before building.
And for some, they end up being essential.
“For me, the casters are essential, as the place my rack lives is smaller than I would want it to be; the front door has enough room to open, and the back doors can open, but there’s not enough room to get back there and work. In my case, I have to roll the rack forward when I need to move it back. ” – u/networkarchitect
RackSolutions has casters available for our standard open frame racks under 30U. It’s very important to not use casters to carry over 1,200 lbs of equipment because the wheels can flatten over time and become impossible to use.
Because the Rack-111 open frame rack model is designed for expandability, these are easy to install even as an afterthought. (as long as the rack is empty) The bottom of the rack has slots specifically for people who would like to add features.
Locking vs non-locking equipment
Server racks are relatively expensive, which is why people typically look at them as an investment. Unfortunately, if you invest in an open frame rack and eventually realize that children or employees present a risk to your equipment, you might end up needing to purchase a brand new rack.
The only way to turn an open frame rack into something a bit more secure is by adding side panels and secure server brackets. Side panels protect the sides of a rack and help direct airflow while secure server brackets mount on top of a single piece of equipment that needs to be protected.
Currently there is no extensions to open frame racks that can protect the back of your server rack, so if you are worried about cables being pulled, the only option is to purchase an enclosed rack.
Most enclosed server racks come with a lock on the front and back door with very few exceptions. They use more material than open frame racks and tend to cost more, but the cost in relation to time spent fixing physical issues or recovering loss isn’t usually very high.
Weight capacity information should always be available in the documentation of a mounting product. This is especially important if you plan to mount heavy equipment uninterruptible power supplies or audio amplifiers.
Both the weight capacity of the rack and shelves and universal rails need to be considered. Equipment should be under the shelf or rail weight capacity, and both mounting and IT equipment combined need to be under the rack’s weight capacity, or the casters if they are installed.
Shelves in particular have varying weight capacities. This is mainly because manufacturers need to satisfy both cost-conscious and intense users. Our options range from light duty shelves with a 100lb weight capacity to heavy duty shelves with a 500lb weight capacity.
Racks, on the other hand, have more variation in weight capacity depending on whether they are bolted, welded, are on casters, or are open or closed frame. As long as you aren’t putting any abnormal pieces of equipment in the rack, they will likely be able to be filled without causing any strain.
Racks with the least amount of weight capacity are usually 2 post, which are not designed to mount full sized servers. (but can mount servers with a conversion bracket) Whether a rack is enclosed or open frame, they can have the same weight capacity depending on how they are built.
Server rack doors
Server rooms and data centers often attempt to minimize walking space, but some forget to consider how server doors open. Server rack doors aren’t standardized, sometimes they open from the left, sometimes from the right and sometimes have two short doors that open in both directions.
If your server rack is going to be in a professional environment, you’ll want to make sure that server doors are able to be opened and people can still move around.
Single doors that open from the left or right should take up about as much space as the width of the rack itself. This means that you should measure the width of the rack, add an additional foot or two for walking space and ensure that there will be adequate space wherever the rack is installed.
Can you think of any other underrated server rack feature?
We are always looking to provide solutions for issues. If there is anything that has troubled you in the past, and you think can be fixed with a product then let us know.