An introduction to server racks

Server cabinets

Though technology has evolved at a rapid pace in recent years, when it comes to storage options for professional level server equipment the nineteen inch server rack has remained the standard across many industries. The standard server rack can hold audio and video equipment, telecommunications equipment and industrial power hardware in addition to computing servers. Server enclosures are often stored in temperature sensitive environments and data centers.

The standard nineteen inch server rack is essentially an enclosure with a front panel that attaches similar to a door. Equipment stored in server racks is designed specially to fit within the parameters for the server rack shelves. The equipment considered for rack mounting originally was attached to the rack rails with threaded bolts and became known as tapped hole racks. This practice has become less common as there are more inherent risks to damaging the equipment and server rack using screw bolts and binding materials. Clearance hole racks have replaced many tapped hole rack systems because the design allows for the equipment to be attached to the server rack using a bolt without any additional binding materials. Further evolution of server rack enclosures and server cabinet design lead to the square hole rack. Equipment can be attached to a square hole rack without bolts. This type of installation and maintenance in server cabinets is very easy as the equipment can easily be removed and modified.

Server rack equipment can also be mounted using a rail system. This is often reserved for equipment that needs regular service or repair. The equipment is placed within the rails and can slide in and out for easy access. Rails are often brand specific in the types of equipment they will carry. It is best to contact the manufacturer of the equipment to be stored to order the rail mounting materials.

Businesses looking for server rack equipment may choose to buy refurbished or used server racks. There is an obvious cost savings when buying used or refurbished equipment but also some risk. When buying used it is important to investigate the process the seller uses to buy and repair the equipment. If you are able to find a reputable reseller, used server rack equipment is a cost effective way to purchase this type of equipment.

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