How to Choose the Right Network Rack for Your Equipment

Choosing a network rack may not be something that you think would take much consideration, but you want to be sure you buy the right one. The equipment that is kept on these racks are expensive, and a price cannot be put on the data the equipment holds. Because of this, it is important that the network rack you choose is of high quality along with being durable and functional. When it comes to the practicality of a rack, there are five things to keep in mind.

1. Network Hardware Dimensions and Weight

You should first look at the network equipment that you have. What are the dimensions and the weight of this equipment. The network rack that you choose will need to hold the weight of all of the equipment and the dimensions of the largest piece of equipment you have.

Another thing to keep in mind is the possible need to expand in the future. If there is any chance that you may need additional equipment, you will want to make sure you buy a large enough rack now rather than having to go back and buy a new rack when you need additional equipment.

There are three types of network racks that are commonly used:

  • Wall Mount Cabinets
  • Freestanding Racks
  • Versatile Racks or Cabinets - This type can be used on a desktop, freestanding, or can be mounted on the wall.

2. Usable Mounting Space

Usable mounting space is the amount of space that you will be able to use for your network equipment. When you are taking note of the dimensions of your equipment, you will need to make sure that you allow a little extra room in the front and the back for the power and network cables and any other cords. You may also want to consider giving yourself a little bit of room for the times that you need to provide maintenance to the equipment.

3. Network Hardware Access

You will want to take note of how you access your network hardware. Most hardware can be accessed through the front, but there are some that will require you to access them through the rear or the side. The network rack that you choose will need to be able to accommodate this. Make sure you keep this in mind before you go out to buy your new rack.

4. Accessories for Network Equipment

The accessories that you use or need should be considered as well. You will likely need to have some type of cooling system for your network rack or cabinet due to the heat that servers generate. Other accessories that are typically used for network racks include:

  • Cable management systems
  • Grounding systems
  • Hardware shelves
  • Solid panel shelves
  • Power distribution systems

When you look at the value of the network equipment you have and the data that it holds, it is best to ensure that you have not only the right rack but the right accessories as well.

5. Special Requirements

Not only will you want to look at the requirements for the network rack because of the network equipment, but you will want to look at any requirements that your network equipment will need. Be sure you check into what the housing restrictions are for your network equipment. The equipment manufacturer includes all of this information for your safety and for the safety of the equipment. You should make sure the rack you choose accommodates these restrictions.