Not all data racks are created equal. But while there are a number of types of electronics racks on the market today, they generally fall under one of three categories: open frame racks, rack enclosures, and wall-mount racks. Depending on the application, you may use just one or all three in your data center. They all have their benefits, depending on the type of equipment they’re holding.
Open frame racks
Somewhat self-explanatory, open frame racks have mounting rails, but are not enclosed with any siding or doors. In cases where the rack doesn’t need additional security features or there is no need for additional server cooling, these types of racks are ideal. It’s very easy for the cables and wiring of these racks to be accessed. These are the best types of racks for high density cabling, since it’s easier to tell each cable apart. Open frame racks can come in both two- and four-post versions. Two-post racks are more compact, but hold less weight. Four-post racks are the most frequently used racks overall and can be used anywhere from data centers to household entertainment centers.
Rack enclosures are just that, enclosed. There are removable side panels as well as front and rear doors. Both doors are ventilated in order to prevent the electronic devices from overheating. Since all of the exterior panels are interlocking, they are by far the most secure types of electronics racks. They are typically ideal for heavier, hotter equipment that enclose higher wattage equipment. They are also ideal for data centers that house a number of different servers. These enclosures allow IT professionals to better organize data centers and keep the data room looking sleek and uncluttered. These racks can be reinforced to become more durable. Seismic enclosures, for example, are reinforced and bolted to the ground to prevent tipping and other damage during earthquakes or other natural disasters.
Wall-mount racks are designed to save floor space and take advantage of all available space within a data center or otherwise. They are usually on the smaller side and cannot support a lot of weight. They can also be adapted to become floor standing if a component is placed beneath it, allowing it to support more weight.
All types of electronics racks have a specific purpose. If you’re unsure which type is ideal for your application, ask a company representative.