Data Rack Configurations

A data rack is a prefabricated physical structure designed to house servers, data switches, cooling systems, networking devices, and cabling inlets. Most common uses of a data rack include telecommunication systems, computer networking equipment, or audio equipment. Data racks are classified by their physical capacity and ability to house equipment. The standardized measurement of the front of each rack is 19 inches. This standardization allows each rack to easily and conveniently be affixed to the frame with screws.


As previously mentioned, data racks are available in several different sizes to accommodate different needs. The height of a data rack is measured in Rack Units, or RU. Each RU is 1.75 inches in height, and the standard height for a data rack is 42 RU. This height is, of course, customizable. Racks are also available in different materials. These include fiberglass, Kevlar, and composite materials for military applications, polyethylene with aluminum band reinforcements for entertainment applications where the equipment is not frequently moved, and the standard metal racks for common office applications.


Along with various fabrication materials, data racks are constructed in several different configurations. The two-post rack is constructed of two vertical posts connected by a top post and foot. It is fastened to a wall or the floor and roof for stabilization, and the individual equipment may be fastened to the racks either at the center of gravity or with screws in the front panels. A four-post data rack offers a bit more stability and rigidity and is commonly constructed of metals or aluminum, just as the two-post rack. Four-post racks are the most used data racks. They allow equipment to be fastened to both the front and back posts. A final option is data cabinets. Data cabinets include side panels, roofs, and locking doors to provide more security.

Any configuration must support all accessories intended for current use and future installations. There are many accessories designed to optimize the data rack’s function. Mounting shelves are available in both fixed and sliding options. Cooling systems are necessary to provide a healthy air flow, and these include a back panel to maintain proper circulation, along with air containment tools. Cable organization is vital in order to optimize the health of cables by preventing bending and kinking. Organized cables also help lessen mistakes and accidental cable disconnections. You may even wish to install monitoring devices which allow easy surveillance of temperature, airflow, or other vital health indications of your networking system in addition to providing remote control access.

The data rack is a vital piece of hardware which allows networking and data distribution throughout a company. The data rack is highly customizable and available in several configurations. Accessories may be added to each rack in order to fully suit the needs of any business. The best way to ensure the optimal configuration is by contacting a local telecommunications company to complete an on-site survey and discuss your company’s current needs and future expectations.

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