Server rack drawers

Quite a few factors determine whether a rack is compatible with a server. You have to decide between several types of racks based on your server’s size and capacity. You also have to consider whether the rack has enough space for the accessories you need, like exhaust chimneys. Read more in this beginner’s guide to understanding rack compatibility below.

Choosing the Right Size

Server racks need to be the proper size for server compatibility purposes. Your rack won’t even be able to function if it isn’t the proper size. Rack sizes and most of the equipment that goes in them are measured in rack units, or “RU.” Each RU is 1.75 inches tall. This means that a rack of 52 U will have 91” of usable space in it. The rack height is significant because it determines how much equipment it can hold and the amount of equipment in each rack determines how much power each rack will require. 19″ rack mounting is standard. You’ll often find yourself using 19” mounting for your servers, network switches and server rack accessories. Your telecom gear might be different.

Determining Location

Another element to think about is space. You need to take into consideration the amount of equipment you need to install on day one and also look to the future to see what might be required one or two years from now. You definitely want to leave room for equipment expansion. If you have the room you may want to use racks with a wider footprint for network gear due to the amount of cabling you will have in these racks. This is a key part of understanding server rack compatibility.

Accessory Management

It is important to know what accessories are needed in each rack as this can also dictate the size of rack you need. What do we mean by that? When the server is placed in the rack, it should have enough room for cable management and PDU’s in the rear of the cabinet. You may decide you need chimneys on cabinets exhausting into an overhead plenum.  Many data centers are using cabinets that are 48” deep or deeper because of these things.  All these things matter, so it’s important to factor accessories into the rack size you will use.

Overall, your racks must be compatible with the equipment you are putting in them. If you want server racks or any accessories, look at our selection at AMCO Enclosures. Shop AMCO today!