Building a network in your workplace is important for several reasons. They allow colleagues to share resources between members of the same team. They help to improve communication, reducing the strain on other areas and creating a tracked way to keep on top of agreements. They are also a helpful way of sharing technology and minimise the financial implications for businesses that require specialist programmes. For this reason, more and more businesses choose to have their networks professionally built.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with this process, you’ll likely think of an explosion of wires all feeding out of one box and into another. And, while this is true, there are other components to a network that should be considered carefully. These include cabinets, wall boxes and various cable management tools. This guide will walk you through the different options available and the reasons why they may benefit the smooth flow of your corporate network.


Racks are metal-framed chassis that are used to hold and organise a range of computer networking devices. They offer a level of protection, elevating the machine above the ground and other heat-producing items that can cause heating issues. They are also used to stack multiple equipment to minimise the need for excessive floor space and keep cable management in a compact area. There are several different racks available on the market to suit specific devices and some that can be used in numerous ways to fit your needs.

Server Racks

While the name suggests that these racks can only be used with servers, they are actually designed to support all manner of technical equipment. This includes routers and switches as well as servers themselves. What makes these unique within the rack range is the fact that they are typically enclosed on all 4 sides. A door allows for easy access while keeping the devices inside protected at all times. This added coverage minimises the risk of damage and provides an additional barrier against theft. For some, they find it easy to control the level of airflow with coverage on all sides and they are a more aesthetic choice if the rack is likely to be on show.

There are many different server racks available on the market with some of the most popular being the 800mm size. These allow you to store larger equipment easily with the space to accommodate the devices needed for larger networks too.

Comms Rack

Another type of rack on the market are comms racks. These are designed for use with communication equipment. They are generally slimmer in their design while still benefiting from the complete coverage of all 4 sides. These racks are generally relatively easy to install and come with numerous screw holes to suit the environment in question. They also have a large cut-out in the base for cable entry and a brush strip cable entry in both the roof and the base.

A popular option here is the 600mmx600mm CR600 Comms Rack which provides ample space for your devices while also being aesthetically pleasing too.


Combined with racks, network shelves are metal components which are designed to hold up devices. They are manufactured to optimise on airflow, reducing the risk of overheating and improving the quality of your network. Shelves come in a variety of different styles and configurations regardless of the fact that their overall job stays relatively similar. They should be incorporated into wall boxes, rack and other cable management systems to create an organised and structured system.

Fixed Shelves

As the name suggests, these shelves are fixed. They are a single, complete metal component which can be fitted into specific racks and used to elevate devices above the ground. Options such as the 720mm Deep FI Fixed Shelf has a fully vented design and is available in a variety of weights to support different additions to your network. They can be fixed between 19” mounting posts and have a sturdy 485mm width.

Telescopic Shelves

Telescopic shelves are used when devices need to be accessed from more angles. They are manufactured from 2 parts, one frame and one shelf that slides forward and back into the rack. If you need to change cabling, adjust networks or access specific functions within the device, these shelves are ideal. For example, the 570mm FI Telescopic Shelf can be fixed between two 9” mounting posts and comes in two standard depths - 450mm and 570mm.

Keyboard Shelves

If you’re working alongside the network in place, you may need a keyboard shelf to incorporate into the setup. These are designed to offer protection when you’re not working, keeping your keyboard in an enclosed place and housing standard keyboards easily. They are also built with a pull-out mouse tray to fit your needs if required. This 450mm PI Rotating Keyboard Shelf is a prime example which supports ample ventilation and helps create an adjustable, comfortable working set-up in any space.

Fan Trays

Fan trays are used to force air around devices and other network cables in order to minimise the risk of overheating. They are generally installed alongside other cable management to help maintain an optimal operating temperature at all times. For practicality reasons, they are generally installed on the roof seeing as heat rises and help to flush cooler air through. With modern technology, these fans are designed to be as quiet as possible while working at a high-speed to increase heat dispersion.

Our 4 Way PI Roof Mount Fan Tray is a prime example. Suitable for PI Data, PI Server and Wall-Mounted Cabinets, it has between 2-6 fans and comes with a 3-meter mains lead supplied, as standard.

Building a network is an investment but one that will offer returns for many years to come. When working with a professional networking company, you can ensure that the cables and cable management components you include will all help to improve productivity and network speeds. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your business's individual needs, feel free to get in contact with our team here at Adept Networks today.