Rack ‘Em: How To Choose The Right Rack In The Server Pool


When choosing server racks there are several things that should be kept in mind.  Ordering the wrong racks can be a waste of time, money and space.  Ordering the right racks can help properly utilize space and assist the technology they support.  Purchasing racks is not the kind of decision a person can just blow-off because “they’re all the same”.

  • 16U Office Cabinet with door openWhen choosing and ordering racks, keep in mind the requirement needed for rack mount capabilities and the amount of space required for the rack enclosure space.  This will require the person deciding on what racks to order not only understand not only the space needed for the current servers, but also plans for future expansion.  When determining the size of racks, keep in mind that there may be additional space needed for better back-ups and other add-ons that make servers run correctly and reliably.
  • To ensure that the correct racks are ordered, racks should be measured with the internal dimensions in mind. The dimensions of the space the servers will need are at least as important as the external space the server rack will take up.  However, the external size of a rack is also important to ensure that the rack will fit in the space it is intended for.  Also, keep in mind the potential for moving the server room to another site.  For example, seven feet is not an unusual height for server racks, so if a doorway is 6’8”, the rack would need to be broken down to move it to another room. In some situations racks would need to be broken down no matter how tall a doorway is, so the size of the rack isn’t as important.
  • Rack cooling is a consideration too.  There are perforated racks that allow airflow through and around the servers stored on the rack.  These racks work well in areas with good airflow and air conditioning or even blowers to keep air moving.  There are also sealed racks that keep the air inside and use an internal rack cooling system to keep the servers from overheating.
  • Servers are important to every business.  Often, if the servers go down, the business goes down until the servers are back up.  Racks can also have security protections so that only people with keys or RFID smart cars can access them.  This security, especially when in conjunction with a camera surveillance system can help ensure that servers are protected from intentional sabotage, and it can help eliminate sabotage as an issue if a server inexplicably goes down.
Katrina  from Rack Solutions

With different sizes, different cooling variables, and other options, in most situations it makes sense to pick a rack that fits each specific need.  Keeping in mind space; how many servers need to find a home on the rack, and, is growth expected.  Is the server room already cooled, or does a sealed rack make more sense.  Choosing the right racks is an important decision that should be made after careful consideration and care.

About the Author

+Katrina Matthews is a leader in the IT industry with innovative ideas and custom solution as a product specialist for Rack Solutions.

Photo credit: Leonardo Rizzi, Rack Solutions

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