What are the Standard Server Rack Dimensions?

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The size of server furniture determines how many hardware pieces will be stored inside. Depending on the number of components in your IT system, you’ll need a smaller or larger server cabinet. The second thing is that the correctly chosen rack size influences the smoothness and durability of equipment performance. If there is not enough space and devices are accommodated too tightly, this will lead to problems with air circulation and cooling. That is why it is important to pick the rack size properly.

The modern IT market offers a great variety of server furniture models, starting from small wall-mount cabinets up to large spacious floor-standing boxes. If you need a 4- or 2-post server rack, you can find a wide assortment of options by visiting the Sysracks website.

Below, let’s consider typical network rack dimensions and highlight the key aspects of choosing an appropriate model for your needs.

Main Dimensions of Server Furniture

Source: racksolutions.com

Each furniture piece has three dimensions, namely, width, depth, and height. Now, we’re going to pay particular attention to each of them.

Server Cabinet Width

Server rack width measurement is based on the EIA-310 norm. This parameter is standardized to allow fitting of active hardware for mounting. The most common mounting width is 19 inches. The thing is that most servers and computers have a mounting width of 19 inches. Thus, the manufacturing of cabinets with this width means that hardware will perfectly fit furniture pieces.

However, some models have an extended width of 24 inches, which provides more space for cabling and ventilation.

Server Rack Depth

This parameter is variable and adjustable. System administrators can adjust the needed depth from 0-inch to 50-inch pieces. Adjustability is achieved due to the use of caters that allow stretching uprights. However, in most cases, two common indicators for depth are used. These are 24 and 48 inches. This depth is chosen not randomly. The thing is that this very indicator allows to accommodate active and passive network hardware, patch panels, and other accessories. If a cabinet is deeper, this will provide more space for cable routing and airflow.

Server Furniture Height

While the two above-mentioned server rack cabinet dimensions are standardized and simple for understanding, the height requires more attention.

To begin with, note that server furniture height is measured in units, where 1 unit (U) is 1,75 inches. Thus, the designations of 2U, 6U, or 24U mean that you should multiply the number by 1,75 to find out the real height of the cabinet. 1U has three standard holes for mounting server equipment.

The range of models differs greatly from compact 2U-12U cabinets for wall mounting up to 36U-48U floor-standing models for huge network systems.

Difference between 2- and 4-Upright Racks

Source: racksolutions.com

The last point to take into account when choosing a suitable furniture model is to pick proper body construction. Here, two main types are distinguished. In addition to server cabinet dimensions, models differ in the number of uprights and, accordingly, depth. The following differences are highlighted:

  • 2-post models are suitable for lightweight equipment, accessories (switches, routers, patch panels), and cables, while 4-beam racks are capable of supporting more weight, i.e. more devices;
  • 4-post models have mounting tails and shelves to accommodate different types of hardware;
  • 2-upright racks are higher and can be up to 42U tall;
  • 2-beam racks can be easily transformed into 4-post models by using a caster kit.

Open-frame racks can be both floor-standing and wall-mount. Depending on the number of components, system administrators choose a more compact or spacious furniture piece. The load capacity of wall-attached models is limited, so you should check the weight of all the devices to be stored. Floor-standing models can carry more heavy devices.

Below, let’s consider other tips on how to measure the correct size of the required server furniture item.

Tips to Take into Consideration when Calculating the Required Rack Size

To find the best-suited server cabinet sizes for data centers, keep in mind the next remarks:

  1. Create a layout of accommodated devices. Make sure that hardware is allocated loosely. Tight fitting will lead to overheating and equipment malfunction.
  2. Always leave extra space. System administrators leave space for sufficient air circulation and unhindered airflow, which results in sufficient cooling and preventing overheating.
  3. Cable routing. When making a layout, remember that cable routing requires place. Thus, make sure to leave enough space for wiring cords and connecting units.
  4. Fan installation. If natural airflow is not enough to cool down hardware, fans are required. Add the size of fans when making calculations.
  5. Network system expansion. It is most likely that your network system will grow and expand over time. To avoid buying a more spacious cabinet in the future, buy a larger one at once. Leaving space will ensure perfect air circulation, and you won’t face the need to buy other furniture when rearranging the system later.
Source: racksolutions.com

Keeping in mind all these criteria, system administrators usually add at least one-third or even half of the needed space to calculate the actual size of the required rack model. This rule helps guarantee perfect space allocation and smooth system running. Moreover, the staff will reach the needed hardware easily, which simplifies maintenance and reduces downtime.

Computing hardware is designed for datum storage and performing complicated tasks. Network systems total several hundred components that require mounting on multi-layer racks. The calculation of the needed rack size is the primary task to accommodate them correctly and ensure their smooth operation. Now, with the help of our guide with the server rack sizes explained, you can pick an appropriate model considering all the necessary parameters.