When building a well-structured, effective and high-power network for your business, having the right equipment on hand is vital. And the right server rack will help you to do all of this in an organised manner. Networks can be highly complicated set-ups - particularly if they take place in large organisations. These structures have been specifically designed to house technical equipment most safely and appropriately.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or someone looking to start a new network, understanding your options will ensure you make an informed purchase decision. This is why we’ve written this handy server rack buyers guide to help you along the way.

What Is A Server Rack?

Available in a variety of different sizes, server racks are storage containers built to house the equipment needed to create a network. This includes servers, hubs, routers and switches. The specific design of these structures means they are able to hold items securely while ensuring ample airflow to keep connections and power strong. Server racks are primarily a corporate consideration, sat within data centres or communication closets.

Benefits Of A Server Rack

Choosing the right server rack for your needs will:

  • Ensure your machines are kept at optimal condition.
  • Protect your data by keeping machines and equipment working at full capacity at all times.
  • Help to organise complicated networks.
  • Make repairs and alterations easier.
  • Improve safety and reduce the risk of theft.
  • Allow you options to expand and grow, if needed.

Choosing The Right Server Rack

Server racks may just look like tall cupboards to the untrained eye. But, they are actually made for very specific purposes and offer a host of features to make daily life easier for your network. Therefore, choosing the right server rack is an important consideration. Let’s look at the different things you need to consider.


Firstly, consider how high you need your server rack to be. Consider:

  • The location that it will be stored in.
  • How many servers, routers etc it needs to hold.
  • The height of your tallest machine.
  • Other server racks in your building already.

Height for server racks is measured in ‘u’ sizes. A ‘u’ is the standard measurement for equipment and is approximately 44.45mm high. Once you have decided what equipment needs to be stored in your rack, work out how high they will all be. If you have equipment that isn’t going to be mounted on to racks, you’ll need to include this in the equation. And, remember that shelves themselves measure 1u and need to be accounted for in your equation.

Take into account any additional fan trays needed to improve airflow or feet to raise the rack off the ground. All of these factors should be accounted for when working out optimal height.


Next, you’ll need to consider width. Most standard server racks, such as those in the Environ ER600 range, are available in either 600mm and 800mm configurations. If your equipment takes up a wider space than this, you can look at options such as those in the ER800 range which are specifically designed to accommodate wide equipment.

Consider cable management when choosing the width of your server rack. You need to ensure you can access the back of each piece of equipment easily for patching or adjustment works. This also needs to be accessible for other employees that come after you or team members you may need to train. Cables and wires need ample space to work with good airflow and reduced risk of bending.


Next, consider depth. Some manufacturers are choosing to make these cabinets shorter to accommodate smaller working environments. To compensate this, they increase the depth, allowing more equipment to be placed on each shelf. Our 47U Free Standing Acoustic Racks, for example, are 800mm deep with the option to go up to 1080mm if you opt for an 820mm height model. Again, measuring and understanding all the equipment that will need to be housed here is the best way to ensure you find the most suitable solution.


One of the key roles of server racks is to improve ventilation and airflow. This ensures the equipment stored inside is able to function properly. Some designs are made with built-in fans, including the 47U Free Standing Acoustic Racks, which has 10 fans providing 3Kw of cooling. You can also find FI Fan Units which can be built into racks and rack mounts to ensure ventilation is heightened.

Added Extras

The server rack provides the overall protection for your equipment. However, it is the added extras and accessories that you choose to fill it with that will ensure your network runs smoothly. Consider the following items:

  • Shelving units.
  • PDU (Power Distribution Units) or extension leads.
  • Plinths.
  • Cable Tidy.
  • Strip Panel.

Building a functional and well-ventilated network is something that takes the right equipment and knowledge. You want to make sure that every item within your server rack can be accessed, receives power consistently and runs smoothly alongside everything else. You also want to make sure there is a cohesion to your design - those following on from you need to be able to identify the right server, router etc without much issue to deal with problems in a timely manner.

Here at Adept Networks, we design and manufacture server racks to meet the needs of everyone - small to large-sized businesses alike. At all times, focusing on the quality of materials and robust design, we bring you a selection of racks that fit every need and every budget. If you would like to speak to a member of our team about any of the items available on our website or cannot find the right server rack for your needs, get in contact today.