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Server Racks Explained

what is server rack

What is a Server Rack?

A server rack is a specialized enclosure designed to house IT equipment. It provides a secure and organized environment for servers, UPS systems, switches, and other IT devices.

Server racks come in a variety of sizes and configurations, ranging from small desktop units to large floor-standing models. In this article, we will cover the different types of rack, and how to find the right rack for your needs.

Types of Server Rack

There are several types of server racks available, each with its own unique design and features. Here are some of the more common types.

server rack enclosure

Cabinet Racks are fully enclosed racks with locking doors and side panels. They provide better security and protection for equipment and are ideal for use in data centers or areas where physical security is a concern.

Key Features: secure, pre-assembled

2-post rack 4-post rack

Open-Frame Racks are a simple solution for mounting IT equipment in secure environments that don't require a lockable rack. They provide fast, easy access to equipment and cabling, and unobstructed airflow.

Key Features: easy access, cost-effective

wall mount rack enclosure

Wall-Mounted Racks are designed to be mounted directly onto a wall. They are compact, secure, and ideal for network closets, classrooms, and other locations with limited floor space.

Key Features: secure, space-saving

desktop server rack

Low-Profile Racks are smaller than standard server racks. They are designed for non-IT environments where space is limited, such as classrooms, retail locations, offices, and hospitals.

Key Features: small, secure

nema outdoor server rack

Industrial-Grade Racks are designed for specific equipment types or environments, such as factories, outdoor or hazardous locations.

Key Features: sealed, secure

portable server racks

Portable Racks are fitted with casters so they can be easily moved. They are ideal when equipment is racked in one location then moved to another.

Key Features: mobile, sturdy

vertical mount network rack

Vertical-Mount Racks are a type of server rack designed for environments where space is extremely limited, such as back offices, wiring closets, or retail locations. These racks are wall-mounted and have a vertical orientation, which minimizes the rack's depth.

Key Features: shallow depth

quiet acoustic server racks

Sound-Proof Server Racks are specially designed to reduce the noise produced by IT equipment. They are typically used in environments where noise levels need to be minimized, such as recording studios, offices, or residential areas.

Key Features: quiet

Rack Types by Application

Open-Frame Racks

Open-frame racks are simple 2-post or 4-post racks without doors or side panels. They are typically used in situations where security is not a major concern and where easy access to the equipment is important.

Here are some common use cases for Open-frame racks:

  • Labs: Open-frame racks are a popular choice for labs and test environments, where a low-cost, simple rack is required to hold equipment.
  • Data Centers: Open-frame racks are used in data centers, where servers and other network equipment are often housed in secure cages.
  • Network Closets: Open-frame racks are ideal for secure network closets, where space is limited and quick access to equipment is needed for troubleshooting and maintenance.
  • Audio/Visual Equipment: Open-frame racks are sometimes used to house audio/visual equipment, such as amplifiers, receivers, and video distribution systems, especially when devices are subject to frequent connection and disconnection.
  • IT Departments: Open-frame racks are used in IT departments and server rooms, where easy access to equipment is important, and security is not a major concern.
2-post 4-post open frame rack

Cabinet Racks (Rack Enclosures)

Cabinet racks, also known as rack enclosures, are fully enclosed racks with locking doors and side panels. They provide better security and protection for equipment compared to open-frame racks. Here are some common use cases for cabinet racks:

  • Data Centers: Cabinet racks are commonly used in data centers to house servers and other network equipment. They provide better security and protection for the equipment, and the enclosed design helps to control airflow and temperature.
  • Financial or Government Facilities: Cabinet racks are also commonly used in banks, financial services companies, and government offices, where an enhanced level of security is a top priority, and equipment needs to be protected from physical threats.
  • Co-Location Facilities: Cabinet racks are used in co-location facilities, where multiple customers share space in a data center. Colocation racks are often divided into 2-4 compartments and shared by multiple companies. The co-lo design provides security and privacy for each company's equipment.
  • Remote Locations: Cabinet racks are sometimes used in remote, non-IT spaces, where equipment needs to be protected from the elements and secured in a locked enclosure.

Wall-Mounted Racks

Wall-mounted server racks are commonly used in situations where floor space is limited or where it is not practical to use a full-sized server rack.

Here are some common use cases for wall-mounted server racks:

  • Small Offices: In small offices or home offices (SOHO), where space is limited, a wall-mounted server rack is a good option to house servers, switches, and other network equipment.
  • Retail Stores: Wall-mounted server racks are also ideal for use in retail stores where space is limited, but where it's important to keep servers and network equipment secure.
  • Classrooms: Wall-mounted server racks are a great choice for classrooms or training rooms, where a small number of devices are needed to support the class.
  • Wiring Closets: Wall-mounted server racks are often used in network closets or utility rooms to house network equipment, such as UPS systems, switches, routers, and patch panels.
  • Remote Locations: In remote locations or branch offices, wall-mounted server racks can be a good option as they take up less space and can be easily set-up then transported to their final location.
wallmount rack

Mobile Racks

Portable racks, also known as mobile racks, are designed to be easily moved and are ideal for situations where deployment is temporary. Here are some common use cases for portable racks:

  • Trade Shows: Portable racks are often used for trade shows and exhibitions, where equipment needs to be transported to different locations and set up quickly.
  • Disaster Recovery: Portable racks are also used in disaster recovery scenarios, where equipment needs to be quickly transported to a new location to restore critical IT services.
  • Military Operations: Portable racks are sometimes used in military operations, where equipment needs to be transported to remote locations and set up quickly.
  • Film Production: Portable racks are used in film production, where equipment needs to be transported to different locations on set.

Specialty Server Racks

Specialty server racks are designed for specific equipment types or specialized environments. Typical examples include process industries, factories and warehouses, transportation terminals and areas prone to earthquakes.

Here are some common use cases for specialty server racks:

  • Outdoor Environments: Outdoor server racks are designed to be weatherproof and to withstand exposure to the elements. They are commonly used in applications such as telecommunications, oil and gas exploration, and surveillance.
  • Hazardous Environments: Hazardous environment server racks are designed to be intrinsically safe and are used in environments such as chemical plants, refineries, and mines.
  • Audio/Visual Equipment: Specialty server racks are sometimes used to house audio/visual equipment, such as amplifiers, receivers, and video distribution systems.
  • Medical Equipment: Specialty server racks are also used to house medical equipment, such as imaging systems and patient monitors.
industrial server rack

What to Consider When Buying a Server Rack

Selecting the right server rack requires careful consideration of your current and future needs, as well as the physical environment in which the rack will be located. Here are some of the more important factors you should consider:

  • Form Factor
    Most server racks are either floor-standing or wall-mounted. Floor-standing racks are ideal for use in data centers or areas where physical security is a concern. Wall-mounted racks are compact and ideal for smaller installations, or where floor space is limited.

  • Rack Size and Capacity
    You should choose a rack that can accommodate all your equipment and allow some room for future growth. The standard width of a server rack is 19 inches (48.26 cm). The 19-inch width is the distance between the vertical mounting rails that run the full height of the rack.

    Server racks also have a standard height, which is measured in "rack units" (RU) or simply "U". One rack unit is equivalent to 1.75 inches (4.45 cm) in height. A typical floor-standing server rack will range in height from 24U to 50U, although larger racks are available for high-density server environments.

    Determine the combined weight of the devices you will install in the rack and choose one that can support it. If your rack has casters, there may be a difference between static and rolling weight capacity.

  • Cooling
    Adequate airflow is essential for safe operation of IT equipment. If you are relying on passive cooling, look for a server rack with perforated doors or panels, or a vented roof, to ensure good heat dissipation.

  • Passive vs. Active Cooling

    In a server rack, passive cooling and active cooling are two different ways of keeping the equipment inside the rack at a safe temperature. Passive cooling relies on natural air flow and convection to dissipate heat. This is achieved using perforated doors and side panels, and open spaces between the equipment. This type of cooling is obviously less expensive and quieter than active cooling but may not be sufficient for densely racked equipment.

    Active cooling uses mechanical means such as fans, air conditioning units, or liquid cooling systems to actively move air or use coolants to dissipate heat. Active cooling is more effective at controlling temperature and can be used in high-density server racks. However, it is more expensive, requires more maintenance, and generates more noise than passive cooling.

    • Power
      Don't forget to leave room for power! Most racks include a UPS Battery Backup and at least one Power Distribution Unit (PDU). The UPS and any extended run battery packs will use some of the available rack space, usually at the bottom of the rack.

      Horizontal PDUs use one or two rack units and should be positioned near to the devices they are powering, if possible, to avoid cable clutter. If space is tight, consider a vertical PDU (also called a 0U PDU) rather than a horizontal one.

      A vertical PDU distributes power to multiple devices in the server rack. It is called a "vertical" PDU because it is mounted vertically inside the rear of the rack.

    • Security
      Physical security is essential for several reasons, including protection from theft and malicious tampering, compliance with industry standards such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), business continuity and company reputation. Keyed or combination locks on doors and side panels is a good start. Some server racks use biometric access control such as fingerprint scanners or facial recognition technology to ensure that only authorized personnel can access the equipment.

    • Equipment and Cabling Access
      The rack should provide easy access to equipment for maintenance and upgrades, and cable management should be designed to ensure ease of access. For floor-standing racks, consider installing casters so the rack can be moved to provide access to the rear doors. Some wall-mounted racks have a hinged rear mounting bracket that swings away from the wall to allow easy access to equipment and cabling during installation and maintenance.

    Further Reading: Server Rack Buying Guide

Rack Features

Heavy-Duty Casters

Casters can be a useful addition to a server rack, as they provide mobility and ease of movement. Casters allow you to easily move the server rack around the room, making it easier to rearrange equipment or access cabling at the rear of the rack.

Casters also make it easy to move the server rack away from the wall for cabling changes or cleaning. This can be especially useful if the rack is situated in an environment where dust and debris can accumulate, such as in manufacturing or industrial settings.

Casters are useful for temporary installations, such as trade shows, concert performances or exhibitions. They allow you to easily transport the server rack from one location to another and set it up quickly.

When populating a rack with pre-installed casters, make sure it will roll through a standard 7-ft. (2.13 m) doorway if it needs to be moved to its final location.

heavy duty casters for server rack

Server rack casters and leveling feet

server rack caster kit

Heavy-Duty Rolling Caster Kit supports a loaded rack of up to 3000 lbs. (1,360 kg)

Built-in Grounding Jumpers

A server rack grounding wire creates an electrical connection between the server rack and the grounding system in a data center or server room. The purpose of this connection is to establish a path for voltage surges or electrostatic discharge (ESD) to flow safely into the earth or ground, thereby preventing damage to sensitive electronic equipment housed in the server rack.

The grounding jumper typically connects the metallic parts of the server rack, such as the frame, doors, and side panels, to a grounding point, which could be a grounding busbar or a grounding electrode.

The ANSI/TIA-942 standard for data center infrastructure includes a four-level rating for grounding.

server rack grounding jumper

Square-Hole vs. 12-24 Threaded-Hole Mounting

square hole 12-24 threaded hole mounting

Square-hole mounting is a standard method used in many server racks. It involves mounting equipment using square holes punched into the vertical mounting rails of the server rack. Square-hole mounting offers greater flexibility in positioning equipment as it allows for vertical adjustment in increments of 1.75 inches (44.45 mm), which is the standard height of a rack unit (U).

12-24 threaded-hole mounting is an alternative method of attaching equipment to a server rack. It involves mounting equipment using threaded holes in the vertical mounting rails of the server rack. The holes are threaded with a 12-24 thread pattern, which means that they have 12 threads per inch and are compatible with 24-gauge screws. This method is less common than square-hole mounting but is sometimes used in specific types of server racks or with equipment that requires it.

The choice between square-hole and 12-24 threaded-hole mounting will depend on the equipment and the type of rack used. Many racks support both methods, allowing for greater flexibility in configuring the equipment.

Baying Tabs

Server rack baying tabs, also known as baying brackets or joining kits, are metal brackets or plates used to connect multiple server racks side-by-side.

Baying tabs are typically bolted or screwed onto the vertical frame of the server racks, securely connecting adjacent racks to form a stable row.

The center-to-center width of most baying tabs can be set at 600mm or 24" to match the width of standard data center floor tiles.

server rack baying tabs

Rack Accessories

Accessories can enhance the functionality and performance of your rack. Here are some of the most common accessories:

cable manager

Cable Management, such as cable managers and raceways, help to organize and route cables, which improves airflow and makes it easier to access and maintain equipment.

server rack cooling fan

Cooling Fans are used to improve airflow and reduce heat buildup in the server rack. They are available in various sizes and can be mounted on the rack or on individual equipment.

server rack shelf

Shelves and Drawers are used to provide additional storage space within the server rack. They can be used to store equipment manuals, tools, and other accessories.

server rack mounting bracket

Rails and Mounting Hardware are used to secure equipment to the server rack. They are available in various sizes and configurations to accommodate different equipment types.

server rack keyboard tray

Monitor and Keyboard Trays are used to provide a convenient location for a monitor and keyboard within the server rack. They can be mounted on the front or rear of the rack.

server rack combination lock

Security Accessories, such as door locks, camera mounts, and tamper-evident seals, are used to enhance the physical security of the server rack and protect equipment from theft or tampering.

server rack mounting rails

Blanking Panels, also known as blanking plates, are physical barriers that are placed in open spaces within server racks to fill gaps between installed equipment. They are designed to improve airflow and increase cooling efficiency in data centers and server rooms.

server rack grounding bar

Grounding Bars are typically made of copper or other conductive materials and are mounted on the back or side of the server rack. They are designed to be connected to the grounding system of the building or facility using a grounding wire or strap.

server rack gland plates

Gland Plates are typically made of metal or plastic, and are placed on the top, bottom, or sides of a server rack. They have pre-cut holes that are designed to accommodate cables of different sizes and are fitted with grommets to provide strain relief and prevent cable damage.

co-lo kits

Colocation Kits divide a server rack into separate compartments so a single rack can be shared by multiple companies. Kits are often provided by data center operators as part of their service offerings.

server rack security cages

Security Cages are typically made of heavy-duty steel mesh or perforated metal panels. They are designed to protect valuable and sensitive equipment stored in server racks from unauthorized access or theft.

server rack sensors

Sensors are installed in a server rack to monitor environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and airflow, and physical status, such as door open/closed.

Questions & Answers

What is a rack unit?

A rack unit (RU), also known as a "U", is a standard unit of measurement used in server racks and other IT equipment enclosures. One rack unit is equal to 1.75 inches (44.45 mm) in height.

The height of a piece of IT equipment is typically measured in rack units to determine how much space it will occupy in a server rack. For example, a UPS battery backup that is 3 rack units high would occupy 5.25 inches (133.35 mm) of vertical space in a server rack.

The use of rack units allows IT professionals to easily determine the amount of space needed to install and mount equipment in a server rack. It also helps ensure that equipment from different manufacturers can be easily interchanged or replaced without compatibility issues, as long as they adhere to the same standard.

What size server rack do I need?

The size of the server rack you need will depend on the specific requirements of your setup, including the number of servers and network devices you need to house, available space, and future growth plans. Here are some factors to consider when determining the size of server rack you need:

  • Number of Devices: Determine how many servers, switches, and other network devices you need to house in the rack. This will help you determine the height and number of rack units (RU) you need.
  • Space Availability: Measure the space where you plan to install the server rack. Make sure to take into account any clearance required for cable management, cooling, and maintenance.
  • Future Growth: Consider your future growth plans and how they might impact your server rack requirements. Plan for additional space and capacity to accommodate future equipment additions.
  • Compatibility: Ensure that the server rack is compatible with your equipment and any accessories or add-ons you plan to use.
  • Power and Cooling: Consider the power and cooling requirements of your equipment and choose a server rack that can accommodate these needs.

Once you have determined the number of devices and the space required, you can select a server rack with the appropriate height and number of rack units (RU). For example, if you need to house 10 servers, you may want to consider a 24RU server rack, which is typically 48 inches (121.92 cm) in height. Remember to take into account any additional accessories or add-ons you plan to use when selecting the size of the server rack you need.

How Wide is a Server Rack?

Internal Width: The standard internal width of a server rack is 19 inches (48.26 cm). This size is used for compatibility across different types of equipment. The width is measured between the inner edges of the two vertical rails that run the full height of the rack.

The 19-inch width is a standard that has been in use for many decades and is commonly referred to as the "EIA-310" standard. It was developed by the Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) and has become widely adopted in the IT industry for mounting equipment such as servers, switches, and other networking hardware.

There are also wider server racks available, such as 23-inch and 24-inch models, that can accommodate larger equipment or provide more space for cable management. These wider racks are less common than the EIA-310 compliant 19-inch models and may be used in specialized applications or industries.

External Width: The external width of a server rack can vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer, but most standard server racks have an external width of approximately 23.6 inches (600 mm) to 24 inches (610 mm).

750 mm (29.5 inches) racks are sometimes referred to as "wide racks". They are typically found in data centers where the additional space is used for cable management, power distribution, and other components, which can help improve airflow and reduce clutter.

How deep is a server rack?

The depth of a server rack can vary depending on the manufacturer and the specific model, but the most common depth for a server rack is between 36 and 42 inches (91.44 to 106.68 cm). The depth is measured from the front to the back of the rack and typically includes the space occupied by the equipment and any cabling.

It's important to choose a server rack with an appropriate depth to accommodate your equipment and any cabling required. You should measure the depth of your equipment and ensure that there is enough space in the server rack to accommodate it. A good rule of thumb is to allow at least 3-inches for cabling.

In addition to the standard depth, there are also shallower and deeper server racks available. Shallower racks, typically around 24 inches (60.96 cm) deep, are useful for networking gear in locations where space is limited, such as small offices or wiring closets. Deeper racks, typically around 48 inches (121.92 cm) deep, are useful for environments with larger equipment or for high-density server environments.

How much does a server rack weigh?

The weight of an empty server rack can vary depending on the specific model, the material it's made of, and the number and type of accessories installed. An extra-tall, heavy-duty rack like the Eaton SR55UB weighs in at 375 lbs. but in general, a standard 42U server rack made of steel can weigh between 150 and 250 pounds (68 to 113 kg) when empty. However, the weight can increase significantly when the rack is fully loaded with equipment.

It's important to consider the weight of the fully populated rack when determining the placement and installation. Check the maximum static weight capacity and ensure that your rack can support your setup. If you plan on moving or transporting the server rack (for example, if you plan on populating the rack at a center location, then shipping it to a branch office), you should also consider the maximum dynamic (rolling) weight capacity.

How much space does a server rack need?

The amount of space that a server rack needs will depend on the specific model, the number of rack units (RU) it has, and the requirements of the equipment being housed. However, a typical 42U server rack, which is the standard height for most data center and enterprise implementations, requires about 24 to 32 square feet (2.2 to 3 square meters) of floor space.

It's important to ensure that the server rack has enough space to accommodate the equipment and any additional accessories or add-ons, as well as providing sufficient clearance for cable management, airflow, and maintenance. You should measure the available space and ensure that there is enough room to install the server rack with adequate clearance on all sides.

In addition to the floor space, it's also important to consider the vertical space when planning for a server rack. A 42U server rack, for example, is about 78 inches (198 cm) in height and requires enough clearance to be installed upright.

How tall is a server rack?

The height of a server rack is typically measured in rack units (RU), where one rack unit is equivalent to 1.75 inches (4.45 cm) in height. The most common height for a server rack is 42U, which is about 78 inches (198 cm) tall. However, server racks are also available in other heights, ranging from 2U to 58U or more.

When selecting a server rack, it's important to choose a height that is appropriate for your equipment and the available space. You should consider the number of devices you need to house and plan for additional capacity to accommodate future growth. It's also important to ensure that the rack can be installed in the available space and that there is enough clearance for proper airflow and maintenance.

In addition to the standard height of the server rack, it's also important to consider any additional height that may be added by accessories or add-ons, such as cooling fans or cable management systems. These accessories can add additional height to the rack and may need to be taken into account when planning for the overall height of the server rack.

How can I sound-proof a server rack?

Soundproofing a server rack is a good idea when the rack will be located in work areas, such as offices, recording studios, or residential areas.

The best solution is a soundproof enclosure. These enclosures are designed to reduce noise levels by isolating the IT equipment from the surrounding environment.

To reduce noise levels from an existing rack, install acoustic foam panels inside the server rack. Acoustic foam panels are designed to reduce sound reflections and can be cut to size to fit inside the server rack. Another option is to hang acoustic curtains around the server rack. These curtains are made of heavy-duty material and can be installed using grommets or other mounting hardware. Finally, sound dampening pads can be placed under the server rack to absorb vibration and reduce noise.

If noise is coming from cooling fans, use fan speed controllers and temperature sensors to regulate fan speed and ensure proper cooling.

How much heat does a server rack produce?

The amount of heat that a server rack produces depends on the type of equipment in the rack, the number of devices installed, and the workload of the equipment. However, as a rule, a fully loaded server rack can produce anywhere between 4 and 20 kilowatts of heat, or more.

Estimating the Heat Produced by a Rack

You can approximate the heat produced by a server rack (and therefore its cooling needs) by calculating the total heat output of all the devices in the rack. Almost all the power consumed by IT devices is converted into heat, so a server that consumes 300W will have a thermal output of approximately 300W (multiply by 3.41 to convert watts to BTU/h).

If your rack includes a UPS, it's even easier. Use the power capacity of the UPS to estimate the cooling load. For example, if the UPS has an output capacity for 1,800 watts, assume the thermal output is 1,800 watts also.

The heat produced by a server rack can have a significant impact on the surrounding environment and can contribute to cooling costs and energy consumption. It's important to ensure that the rack is properly cooled, and airflow is optimized to prevent overheating and equipment failure.

How should a server rack be grounded?

Specific grounding (or earthing) requirements may vary depending on the electrical code in your country or state. A good place to start is the TIA Standard for Telecommunications Bonding and Grounding (TIA-607-D).

How to ground a server rack

  1. Attach a copper busbar, sometimes referred to as a telecom grounding busbar (TGB), to the horizontal beams at the top and bottom of the enclosure. Placement will depend on your rack configuration. Measure the distance between the busbar and the grounding lug on your equipment to ensure the grounding strap can reach. Once the location has been determined, attach the busbar to the horizontal beams.
  2. Attach a grounding strap to the front and rear doors of the rack (see right), and possibly side panels too. Bond the rack or cabinet itself to the grounding busbar.
  3. Attach the grounding lug at the bottom of the busbar to your facility’s grounding grid or common bonding network. Do not daisy-chain racks together. TIA-607-C requires each rack to bond directly to the facility ground.
  4. Rack-mounted devices typically have a power cord that contains a ground wire. However, best practice is to establish a redundant ground path by attaching a grounding strap (jumper wire) to the grounding lug on each device and terminating at the busbar or vertical grounding strip.

It is important to ensure that all grounding connections are tight and bonded to metal rather than paint. This helps to ensure a low-resistance path for electrical currents.

grounding strap jumper cable
grounding busbar TG

To ensure compliance with the specific grounding standards and electrical codes applicable to your location, it's recommended to consult with a qualified electrician or an expert familiar with local regulations.

2-Post or 4-Post Open-Frame Rack. Which one is right for my application?

The choice between 2-post and 4-post open-frame racks depends on the specific requirements of your application. For lighter equipment or situations where space and budget are limiting factors, a 2-post rack might be a better choice. If you have heavier equipment and require more stability and flexibility in depth, consider a 4-post rack.

2-Post Rack vs. 4-Post Rack

2-post rack vs. 4-post rack

2-Post Open Frame Racks
Also known as relay racks, 2-post racks have two vertical posts to which equipment is mounted. The term "relay" comes from the telecommunications industry, referring to relay switches that were often mounted on these types of racks. In network closets, they are typically used for lightweight equipment, such as patch panels and network switches. Heavy devices, such as UPS systems and battery packs, are mounted at the bottom of the rack to provide added stability.


  • Generally lighter and less expensive than 4-post racks.
  • Open design provides easy access to equipment and cabling, which can be beneficial for maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • Take up less space, making them ideal when floor space is at a premium.


  • Less stable, making them less suitable for heavy equipment.
  • Lack the depth necessary for some types of equipment.
  • Less protection for equipment compared to 4-post racks and don't support the same level of cable management.
4-post vs. 2-post rack

4-Post Open Frame Racks
Occasionally (and erroneously) referred to as 4-post relay racks, 4-post racks have four vertical mounting posts and are generally more robust than 2-post racks. They are designed to hold more and heavier equipment, such as servers, UPS systems, and large network routers.


  • Provide more stability and support for heavy or deep equipment.
  • Often come with adjustable depths to accommodate a wider variety of equipment sizes.
  • Often enclosed to provide more protection for the equipment and to better manage airflow for cooling.


  • Usually more expensive than 2-post racks.
  • Take up more space.
  • Can be more difficult to move and install due to their weight and size.

How do I move a server rack?

Moving a server rack can be a complex task due to the weight, fragility, and importance of the equipment contained within it. Here is a general process for moving a server rack. Please note, this is a simplified process and actual procedures can vary based on the size of your server rack, the equipment in it, and the distance you're moving it.

  • Plan Ahead: Know the size, weight, and configuration of your server rack before you start moving it. Make sure the new location is prepared, well-ventilated, and has appropriate power supply for the server rack.
  • Backup your Data: In case something goes wrong, ensure all the data on the servers is backed up.
  • Shut Down the Equipment: Before moving, make sure all the servers and other hardware in the rack are properly shut down. This will help prevent any damage that could occur from moving parts within the hardware.
  • Disconnect the Cables: Carefully disconnect all cables and cords from the servers and other devices. Make sure to document or label where each cable was connected to aid in reconnection later.
  • Remove the Equipment (optional): If the rack has good quality, heavy-duty casters, you may not need to remove the devices from the rack. Check you are within the rolling weight capacity of the rack. If your rack does not have casters, or the rack is too heavy to be safely moved with the casters installed, it might be a good idea to remove the servers and other equipment from the rack before moving it. This will not only lighten the load, but also reduce the risk of damaging to the most critical equipment.
moving a server rack
  • Move the Rack: Depending on its size and weight, you might be able to move the rack with a few people. However, for larger, heavier racks, you might need equipment like a dolly, shock pallet, ramp or forklift. Always prioritize safety; if you are unsure, hire professionals.
  • Reinstall the Equipment: Once the rack is in its new location, you can reinstall any equipment you removed, reconnect all the cables, and restart the servers. Make sure everything is working properly before you start using the rack devices again.

Please remember, this process can involve risks, both to the people moving the rack and the equipment within it. If you're unsure or uncomfortable doing it yourself, consider hiring professionals who have experience moving server racks.

Why Buy from Eaton?

We know you have many brands to choose from. On the surface, they may all seem alike. It's what you don't see that makes the difference. With Eaton, you get solid engineering, proven reliability and exceptional customer service. All our products undergo rigorous quality control before they are offered for sale, and independent testing agencies verify our products meet or exceed the latest safety and performance standards. Our commitment to quality allows us to back our products with industry-leading warranties and responsive customer service. It's the Eaton difference.

Need help with your purchase?
We're always available to help with questions, including product selection, sizing, installation and product customization. Call us at +1 773-869-1776 or email