The use of a wall mount network rack is an effective way of saving space when installing a networking equipment. It is designed to attach to a wall and fit into areas that can't accommodate larger rack enclosures ensuring maximum use of available space. It keeps much of the IT hardware including switches, routers, patch panels or other equipment off the floor helping to maintain the safety and security of data centers as everything is stored in an organized manner.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a wall mount rack. Here are some few tips to help you determine which wall rack is best for your application.
Type of Wall Rack
Wall mount racks are available either as enclosed cabinets or open frame racks. The open frame racks are more affordable, easier to install and more convenient for users that need frequent access to all sides of equipment. However, because of their open design, they lack in security and may not be ideal if you are considering installing your networking equipment in a public area. A closed cabinet, on the other hand, has enclosed sides and a lockable front door. It offers better security than an open frame rack, hence is a good choice for places where safety is a concern. A closed wall rack allows efficient server cooling and helps keep off dust that could accumulate on system hardware and potentially cause damage.
One other critical consideration is the rack height. Wall mount racks are available in a variety of sizes for use with several applications. The sizes range from 40U to 42U, 44U and 48U enclosures. One rack unit is equivalent to 1.75 inches or 44.45 mm of vertical space on the rails. The number of rack units (U) determine how much of an equipment can be stored in a server cabinet. To calculate the amount of internal space needed, multiply the given number of rack units by 1.75. For example, a device that is 2U high requires up to 3.5" of rack space.
When it comes to depth, wall mount racks also come in varying depths to accommodate equipment of different sizes. A majority of server manufacturers are making their servers shorter in height but deeper in depth. The rack's depth should factor for some extra space to ensure there's enough room for cabling and other accessories, to avoid blocking airflow or compromising on performance.
Space and Fit
When choosing a network rack, consider one with adequate internal space to fit your equipment as well as enough room to cater to future expansion needs. The external dimensions of your equipment should be able to fit into your building structure, i.e. doorways, staircase and other building clearance regulations. Further, ensure the setup allows your cabinet doors to open as they should.
Weight of Equipment
Wall mount racks have a weight limit. It is important to make sure your rack can support the weight of the equipment being installed. Otherwise, you risk the cabinets falling off leading to damage of equipment or injury of workers. Some equipment is considerably heavy and best suited to be placed on the floor.
Most IT equipment have more than one cord and power supply outlets hence this should be taken into consideration when installing a wall mount rack. You want to ensure that you can conveniently reach distant wall outlets from the rack. Your manufacturer can integrate unique functionalities like a power distribution unit to meet your data center power needs.
When installing a network rack or cabinet, consider getting a range of accessories to meet your specific data requirements. These include cable management, power distribution unit, shelving, perforated metal or plexiglass front doors, fans, waterfall brackets, grounding bars and much more.