Ensure Your Server Cabinet Order is Correct – Part 1

by TechRack Systems

You might think that buying a computer server cabinet is a pretty straightforward process, but when you consider all the parameters of the purchase, it requires more than a cursory evaluation. Here are some factors you should take into account before you buy.

#1 True Cabinet Measurements

When choosing a server rack or cabinet, you’ll need to know the sizes of all the pieces of equipment you are going to install into it. Determine the space (depth, width and height) required for your IT equipment needs, and know the exact dimensions of each component that will be housed in the server rack. Don’t forget to allow space for air flow and cables. Note the inside dimension (usable space) of the server rack is what you have to work with. While the outside dimension (footprint) of a computer rack is not usable space, it is important in deciding the placement of the rack (the floor space and height it will occupy).

#2 Bigger is Usually Better

Be sure to plan for the future at the beginning of the server purchase process. Even if you only have a few computers or pieces of equipment for your cabinet presently, your business needs may change and grow, and other equipment might need to be added. If you do not plan for expansion (or moving), you could end up spending more money for future additional or replacement cabinets. Consider buying a tall or deep server rack from the beginning, which is only slightly more expensive than a smaller unit, as it might actually save you money and planning down the road.

#3 Sturdy and Strong Beats All

Strength is a major factor in a server cabinet purchase. The general recommendation, whether for a small office environment or large data center, is to opt for a fully welded steel frame in a uni-body type (one piece) to ensure stability under all circumstances. Knocked-down aluminum units, while commonplace, are not as stable. Replacements for knocked-down units can also become an issue, as manufacturers—many of whom are overseas—may not be able to guarantee a continuity of supply and their products may have non-standard designs, sizes or shapes.

#4 Things Heat Up

Another consideration when evaluating server cabinets is the possibility of heat buildup from IT equipment. The ability to exhaust and dissipate this continual heat is a key factor. Options to deal with heat issues include cabinets with perforated metal doors or a computer enclosure that contains a fan to expel air. Another route is an open server cabinet without any doors.

#5 Security is “Key”

Safety of your server and its assets is one of the greatest concerns in data centers. Evaluate upfront if you will need lockable front and rear doors, panels secured from the inside of the cabinet, locking quick-release side panels, or a combination of these features. Cabinet doors can also require electronic proximity or combination locks. There are even biometric solutions to stave off threats. Know your requirements before you make purchases and save headaches and more costs later.



Buying server equipment is not as straightforward as it seems. Going through a systematic process every time will help. For questions about your data center server cabinet needs, visit our website or contact us at sales@techrack.com or 888-266-3577 FREE.

We will continue our discussion in Part 2 which will follow in our next blog.