Get the Rack You Need Without Any Hassle

February 16, 2017 Trent Brock

it racks.jpg

Get healthy. Get organized. Live life to the fullest. Those are the three most popular New Year's resolutions, according to data pulled from Google by iQuanti. The digital marketing company found 'get organized' was searched a whopping 33,230,420 times from January 2016 to October. How much do you want to bet your home isn't the only place that needs some order? Your office may also be begging for a little sprucing.

On-site servers are literally your organization's lifeline, however, assembling and maintaining them can be a nightmare. Ta-da! Racks were designed to meet the current and future requirements of demanding datacenters.

Server vs. network racks

Besides neatly holding equipment, no two racks are exactly the same. Each model has unique features that serve a specific purpose. In fact, there is a difference between server and network racks.

Rack Solutions best defined how server and network racks differ. Network racks generally store routers, patch panels, switches, and other equipment and accessories. You can easily spot a network rack because it is generally shallower, has a glass/plastic door, and isn't necessarily perforated. Network racks can be mounted on the wall or freestanding.

We should pause for a moment and confess... that some racks are multifunctional. You heard that right! Some racks can house server and network equipment.

Benefits of racks

  • Keep equipment tidy
  • Reduce cable bends, preventing data loss
  • Keep equipment from overheating and getting damaged
  • Ability to electronically monitor status of equipment and environment factors
  • Keep racks locked as a security precaution 

What to consider

  1. How much equipment the rack needs to house
  2. Amount of floor (or wall) real estate available for the rack
  3. Cooling / airflow method
  4. Power capabilities
  5. Possible expansion of your company's IT department

calculating a rack unit

According to Cable Organizer, a rack unit (RU) is the height of a server, network switch, or similar device in a 19-inch or 23-inch rack.

1 Rack Unit (RU)  =  1.7 inches / 4.4 centimeters

One rack unit is frequently designated as 1U. Two rack units are 2U. Get it? Let's look at Vology's HP BW907A. It's 42U, meaning it's 73.5 inches. Can't do the math? No problem! Click here for a conversion calculator.
As declared, the required height of a rack (in RU) can be decided by the sum of the heights (in RU) of all the individual equipment. You may want to consider including some wiggle room to allow for growth within your IT department.
It's not too late to make good on your New Year's resolution. A rack is the perfect solution to help organize your company's IT network. What are you waiting for? Also, take a moment to also explore the differences between stacking and chassis access switch solutions.
Networking with Vology

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