How to Choose the Best Server Rack!

by Shannon on July 07, 2021

When it comes to choosing the correct server rack for your purpose, there are a few things you should consider. In this buyer's guide, we’ll run through all you need to know. We will talk about the different sizes, mounting options, accessories, plus some handy hints that will help in finding the server rack that will best fit your needs.

Open rack with adjustable depth shelf

WHAT IS A SERVER RACK?

Server racks or cabinets are designed to store electrical equipment for home or business networking. A network is a group of devices, both wired and wireless, that connect to the internet and each other.

With a server rack you can secure & organise your devices in vertical racks. It’s kind of like a CD rack (remember those?) but instead of music you’re storing electrical equipment such as servers, routers, switches, monitoring equipment, hard drives + devices like your Foxtel box, Playstation, and Google Home.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SERVER RACKS?

Server racks have primarily been designed for use in commercial spaces, offices, home studios and game rooms. They are ideal for organisation as the vertical racks provide ample storage for all your digital equipment to reside in one place. This organisation can also be effective for troubleshooting any potential technical issues, which is why they’re popular with installers in the AV industry who use them as a media control hub for homes.

Server racks provide much needed airflow around your devices that will improve the efficiency of your technical equipment. They can also be great space savers with equipment stacked to maximise floor space in your room.

Basically, server racks can streamline your technical devices into one centralised, organised, secure, transportable, accessible and cooled storage system, to get the most out of your equipment for years to come.

WHAT SIZE SERVER RACK DO YOU NEED?

Like any storage, you first need to know what you’re going to put inside it to gauge how much storage capacity you’ll need. Once you know that, there are 2 important measurements to consider when looking for a server rack, depth and height.

19” rack

Note: All server racks have an internal width of 19 inches. External width will vary slightly between server racks to accommodate the frame & doors.

To calculate the depth of rack you need, simply measure (in millimetres) the designated space in your room & the depth of the largest device you wish to store.

Figuring out the height is a little more in depth. With server racks, height is not only measured in millimetres but in RUs. An RU (or Rack Unit) is a pre-defined measurement that refers to the vertical square holes in a server rack.

1RU or rack unit measurement

These RUs enable you to stack & secure (with nuts & bolts) your devices into place with 1RU counting 3 vertical mounting holes equal to 44 millimetres (1.75 inches) in height. This type of standardised measurement ensures all rack mount equipment will fit inside a server rack, no matter the brand.

To learn more, check out our article on measuring up your server rack.

OPEN vs ENCLOSED SERVER RACK

One of the most crucial things to consider when selecting a server rack is whether you want an open or enclosed server rack. Each comes with its own specific design and list of features.

OPEN vs CLOSED SERVER RACK

OPEN RACK

  • Adjustable depth - Titan AV open racks have an adjustable depth of 410-510mm, so you can decide how deep your rack will be.
  • Space saver - Open racks are the most streamlined rack for those of you looking for a compact storage solution, with no wasted space around the frame these racks can fit into tighter spaces.
  • Budget saver - There’s no doubt open racks are the best option for any of you looking to neatly store your IT, audio or entertainment equipment in one place without breaking the budget.

To learn more, check out our article on open racks.

ENCLOSED RACK (SERVER CABINETS)

  • Lockable - Secure your valuable digital equipment with lockable front & rear doors with a glass panel built into the front for easy monitoring + tempered glass for safety.
  • Controlled airflow - Vented panels & fan panels built into the roof allow for controlled airflow & cooling that will improve the efficiency of your technical equipment.
  • Easy access - Cable entry via the top and bottom + 2 removable side panels + our floor standing rack cabinets are wheel mounted for easy access to ongoing maintenance.

The Titan AV range of enclosed racks includes floor standing and wall mounted. If you're looking for a smaller server cabinet to mount on your wall then the Titan AV wall mount server cabinets are your best bet. If you have limited space, checkout Titan AV vertical wall mount cabinets for a more streamlined option.

Titan AV floor standing enclosed rack cabinets start at 18RU and go up to 42RU in height and 600mm deep. To learn more, check out our article on floor standing enclosed server cabinets.

WHAT ACCESSORIES DO YOU NEED?

When you’re putting together a server rack, rack mount accessories can go a long way to achieving your desired look. Designed specifically to house server & networking gear, 19” rack mount accessories include steel drawers, shelves and other accessories that make it suitable to stack any gear within a server rack.

Here are the most popular 19" Rack Mount Accessories for your server rack:

  1. Lockable Drawers with heavy duty smooth sliding rails are ideal for safe keeping cables, small devices and valuables.
  2. Shelves come in a variety of options (most Titan AV shelves are vented to provide additional air circulation between racks):
    • sliding shelves (useful for positioning non-rack mountable equipment which needs frequent access, such as a keyboard),
    • cantilever shelves (supported at only one end),
    • adjustable depth shelves, and
    • fixed shelves.
  3. Power Rails link power cables from rack equipment to a power source.
  4. Cable Management Rails help organise cables within the server rack.
  5. Support Rails attach to the sides of a rack to support heavier equipment.
  6. Patch Panels connect cables and route them where they need to go.

Rack Mount Accessories

The extensive range of server racks and accessories that are available at our store will have your digital equipment sorted in no time.

Head in-store and have a word to our friendly and knowledgeable team of Titan AV experts or check out our full range from the comfort of home with our online store. 

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