Choosing the Right Rack


Data center rack enclosures are designed for secure, high-density server and networking environments. As they integrate cooling, power distribution and cable management, rack enclosures make ideal homes for high-end IT infrastructures, including servers, routers, switches, and UPSs. Not only do they help provide an organized setup, but some racks are “intelligent” and can assist with asset management as well as power management and redundancy. From this strong base, common add-ons like the HPE LCD8500 1U Rackmount Console Kit allow companies with multiple servers to manage all from a single KVM console screen for convenient local access to each server from the data center floor.

Rack styles range from open-frame, consisting of two or four mounting posts without sides or doors, to lockable cabinets with posts, front and rear doors, and side panels. Alternatively, floor-standing racks with rolling casters and wall-mount racks are popular options when floor space is limited. One popular model is the Tripp Lite 42U SmartRack Knock-Down, which ships unassembled for easy transport and assembly in confined spaces. Belying this level of mobility, SmartRack enclosures can hold up to 3,000 lbs of equipment and monitor network equipment for nonstop operation.

For enterprise-class environments, HP is at forefront of the market with the next generation of its Intelligent Series, which integrated HP Lights-Out Management and HP Intelligent Power Distribution Units to communicate U space, row, and rack location for each server. This software helps manage and balance workloads by carefully mapping current demands and available resources. Compatible with all other HP rack mounted products, those already standardized on HP can easily choose a compatible solution; and what’s more, the series continues to innovate with improved cooling, up to 81% total area on rack front doors, and increased weight capacities up to 3,500 lbs.

Ideal for lower-security settings, open frame racks provide unobstructed airflow and fast, easy access to installed equipment. Schneider Electric’s APC NetShelter series is a widely recognized and cost-effective option. For example, 4-Post 44U Open Frame Racks tick all the boxes above organizing and storing large bundles of cables. Customers can choose from square mounting holes for server applications or threaded mounting holes for networking and telecommunication applications.

As data center size and complexity increases, IT professionals need the right configuration, equipment, and remote management solutions to meet their specific environment requirements while maintaining easy access to servers, network devices, and other mission-critical hardware. In this context, racks are vital to running systems efficiently, and they contribute to streamlining company processes from the core.