Server racks are essential for a competitive business. However, there are many kinds of server racks available, which can make the market confusing. While many features exist, server racks can be loosely grouped into three tiers that correspond to both pricing and available features. Knowing these tiers can help you to quickly identify the types of server racks—and price points— that are suitable for your company.
Tier #1: Basic server cabinets – Entry level server cabinets may be basic in design, but they're still incredibly useful. Meant to be affordable, these server racks provide all the functionality that a small business might need in order to quickly add equipment in a professional manner. These racks provide organized, self-contained spaces for housing a variety of technical equipment. Shelf spacing can be adjusted as needed and cables can be grouped in the back with cable ties. These cabinets are generally built of lightweight materials, making them durable but not particularly damage-resistant. It's important to know the weight restrictions on server cabinets, particularly at this price point, because you don't want to overload them. Additionally, basic server racks have no aesthetic features, meaning that they are best kept out of view of customers or clients in most lines of business.
Tier #2: Advanced designs and features – A small increase in price point opens the door to a much wider world of server rack options. Most notably, mid-level server racks often look drastically different than their entry level equivalents, because they are frequently crafted to meet aesthetic as well as functional needs. These server racks may come in black, white or other colors rather than bare metal; they're also more likely to offer closing cabinet doors on the front. These cabinet doors can be opaque, but may also come with perforated mesh or smoked glass. Aside from looks, however, the features available are much more impressive at this level and can include things like cable management systems or whole cabinets that swing open to offer easy rear access. For most long-term equipment investments, particularly at mid-size or larger companies where technology is a major asset, these features shouldn't be considered optional.
Tier #3: Seismic rated cabinets – Seismic server racks are specifically designed to resist damage from earthquakes, such as debris falling from above. Obviously, this also makes them ideal for resisting other sources of damage. Seismic cabinets may have the attractive and useful features mentioned above, but they are also built to handle pressure and impact. In fact, they are rated based on the seismic zone that they are intended for.
What features do you look for in server racks?