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Best Floor-Standing: Navepoint 25U at Amazon
"Featuring a total capacity of more than 900 pounds…more than capable of handling lightweight, rack-mountable electronics."
Best Full-Size: Navepoint 42U at Amazon
"This solid full-sized rack will handle just about any servers and includes casters so you can move it around"
Best Wall Mount: Navepoint 12U at Amazon
"Removable side panels allow IT administrators…to gain easy access before and after installation."
Best On Wheels: Navepoint 22U at Amazon
"Packaged with casters for easy movement and re-positioning…ideal for ever-changing IT environments."
Best for Adjustability: Startech 25U at Amazon
"Offers great storage in a not-too-large package that will fit most equipment."
Best Sideways Mount: Startech 12U at Amazon
"Offers an open look at both the front and back of your equipment, so you can easily adjust cables, view LED displays."
Best Cabinet Enclosure: Tripp Lite 6U at Amazon
"The locking door can open left or right, so it's adaptable for various room layouts."
Best Open Rack: Startech 2-Post 12U at Amazon
"This heavy-duty, open-frame server rack is ideal if you're tight on space."
Best Open Frame: Startech 8U at Amazon
"High-quality steel construction and four-post design offer peace of mind and security that your equipment is stable."
Best Extra Large: Navepoint 45U at Amazon
"With a 1,322 pound weight capacity and an adjustable rail depth of up to 40 inches, there’s basically nothing that this rack can’t handle."
Great for Switches, Routers, and Network Appliances
Attachable Cable Mounts
Flexible Mounting Options
Not Ideal for Larger Servers
At 4.5 feet tall, the Navepoint 25U professional two-post IT open-frame server is an all-star floor standing rack. Capable of supporting standard-sized 19-inch mount equipment, the 25U weighs a mid-range 20.8 pounds. Featuring a total capacity of more than 900 pounds, the 25U is more than capable of handling lightweight, rack-mountable electronics, including a vast array of server options. Fortunately, all the cables that result from 4.5 feet of floor-standing server space are managed well with attachable cable mounts that can easily organize and keep your network cables out of the way while servers are in use. It can be used with castors or bolted to the floor.
Adjustable rack depth
Supports most types of equipment
Moveable, but won’t fit through most doorways
If you’re looking for a solid full-sized rack, Navepoint has you covered here too, with this four-post 42U rack that’s capable of handling everything from telecom equipment and network switches and other appliances to full blade server assemblies. It supports all standard 19-inch rack mount equipment, with an adjustable rack depth from 17 inches to 32.5 inches, which will give you more than enough room for all of the standard Dell, HP, and IBM server sizes. The sturdy four-post design ensures that everything will stay in place, with an 881 pound weight capacity, and you can either floor-mount it in your server room or use the included four casters to keep it more mobile, although the 82-inch height means that you likely won’t be able to move it from room to room.
Locking Glass Door
Removable Side Panels
Good for shared wiring closets
Heavy and Bulky
Not for servers or network appliances
Weighing a hefty 71.2 pounds, the durable and solid Navepoint 12U deluxe IT server network rack is a great choice if you're looking for a wall-mounted option. Offering standard-sized 19-inch rack-mount equipment, the 12U offers a maximum rail depth of 13 inches with a total usable space measurement of 16 inches, front to back. The removable side panels allow IT administrators or anyone working on managing network servers to gain easy access before and after installation. The top and bottom offer open brackets for easy cable and wire access, while the locking glass door protects the equipment from physical intrusion. Additionally, the removable side panels offer both venting slots and dual built-in fans for maintaining equipment cooling.
"Unless you have a dedicated server room with physical security and controlled access you’ll want to keep your important network equipment in a cabinet or rack with a lock on the front. This will help to not only secure your routers, switches, and servers against deliberate hacking attempts, but can also keep well-meaning employees from poking around." — Jesse Hollington, Tech Writer
Easy to assemble
No cable management accessories
Not deep enough for full-size servers
Packaged with casters for easy movement and re-positioning, the Navepoint four-foot 22U open-frame, 19-inch network server relay is ideal for ever-changing IT environments. With a maximum depth of 23 inches, the 22U is already sized for traditional 19-inch mount equipment. With a total weight capacity of 661 pounds, there’s a rack depth of anywhere between 10 to 16.75 inches, all on a server rack that’s 48 inches in height. Flat-packed for easy shipping, the included instructions help put together the 22U in under 30 minutes. Unfortunately, NavePoint doesn’t include any cable management accessories, but they can be easily purchased separately online.
Highly customizable design
Adjustable depth makes it capable of handling a wide variety of equipment
Easy to set up
Doesn't come with enough mounting hardware
Whether it is traditional servers, network-attached storage devices, or telecommunications equipment, the Startech 25U adjustable-depth open frame server rack cabinet is ready for the challenge. Capable of supporting up to 1,200 pounds of equipment, the Startech 25U offers a wide range of mounting depth adjustment all the way from 22 to 40 inches deep. The four-post rack is completely customizable depending on your needs, while optional accessories such as casters, leveling feet or cable management hooks are all included right in the box. The open nature of the Startech 25U does mean there's no security at the rack level, so it's best utilized in an already secure area. Ultimately, the Startech 25U not only offers great storage in a not-too-large package, but it's still within industry rack standards, so it'll fit most equipment.
Solid build quality
Open design for easy access
Easy wall mounting
No assembly instructions
Can't handle large servers
Ideal for rack-mounted equipment, the Startech 12U sideways wall-mount server rack offers easy access. Compatible with standard servers and UPS systems from brands such as Lenovo, Cisco and APC, Startech's 12U rack also offers mounting holes placed every 16 inches for dry-wall framework for added stability and durability. Post wall hanging, the 12U offers an open look at both the front and back of your equipment, so you can easily adjust network cables, view LED displays and access any necessary buttons. The steel frame ships with all the necessary equipment and can support up to 350 pounds of equipment when mounted to a wall. Oddly enough, the 12U doesn’t come with any assembly instructions, but user reviews advise they are unnecessary, and it shouldn't take more than 20 minutes to set up.
Courtesy of Amazon
Perforated side panels allow for venting
Shallow rail depth
Not designed for servers
With a maximum load capacity of up to 200 pounds, the Tripp Lite 6U wall-mount server enclosure is a well-featured option. The heavy-duty steel frame can support 19-inch equipment with perforated door and side panels that allow maximum airflow. It's lock-friendly to prevent any unauthorized individuals from gaining access to network equipment, and the door can open left or right so it's adaptable for various room spacing. Additionally, the Tripp Lite 6U offers extra niceties such as top and bottom cable ports for maintaining cable organization, which can quickly get out of control depending on the how much equipment you have inside the 16.5-inch deep rack. Mounting is simple and can be done with optional casters for easy transportation or it's ready for wall-mounting right out of the box.
"Buying an enclosed rack may be necessary if you don’t have a dedicated server room and need to keep equipment secure in a common area, but unlike more open racks, you’ll need to take extra precautions to make sure that there’s enough ventilation to prevent your equipment from overheating inside." — Jesse Hollington, Tech Writer
Good for small spaces
Ideal for wiring closets
Doesn't include a full set of mounting hardware
With enough storage space for network/server hardware or telecom devices, the Startech 12U heavy-duty, open-frame server rack is ideal if you're tight on space. Capable of supporting up to 350 pounds on the rack, buyers can maximize the 12U’s compatibility with industry-standard EIA-310-D compliance. The two-post mounting solution means a small footprint, but it's still designed and manufactured to ensure stability. And you can place it almost anywhere. Shipping costs are reduced courtesy of a flat-packed box, which doesn’t have any impact on putting the rack together thanks to its tool-less design.
Compact, open-frame design
Hinged design allows easy access to rear panels
Great for wiring in shared storage spaces
Too shallow for some equipment
Requires purchase of additional mounting kits
If you’re looking for a super open-frame design, Startech's 8U RK819WALLO wall mount is a great option for maximum airflow. The open-frame design lends itself to helping maintain cooling temperatures, which can lead to a longer equipment lifespan without the need for excess fans. The hinged design allows for easy access to rear panels where you can begin mounting standard-sized 19-inch servers or network equipment (and continually reach them post-installation). Capable of supporting equipment up to a total of 140 pounds, the high-quality steel construction and four-post design offer peace of mind and security that your equipment is stable.
Extra height for smaller server rooms
Deep enough to support any equipment
1322 pound weight capacity
May require extra ceiling space for cooling
May need to be bolted down for stability
If a standard 42U rack just isn’t quite enough, then look no further than Navepoint’s 45U behemoth, which provides an extra three rack mount slots so you can cram all of your equipment into a single column and still leave enough room for proper cooling. With a 1,322 pound weight capacity and an adjustable rail depth of up to 40 inches, there’s basically nothing that this beast can’t handle, and the four-post open frame rack is already pre-threaded for 12–24 screws and includes numbered mounting holes to make it easier to install your equipment. The open design makes it easy to access cabling and equipment, yet the posts are made of high quality cold rolled steel for ultimate durability. The only catch with this one is that it's so tall that you'll want to ensure you have enough clearance above it for air circulation, and depending on your server room layout and what you mount in it, you may need to bolt it down just to keep it from tipping over.
"A taller rack can be a great way to make the most of limited floor space in your server room, but you’re stacking a lot of equipment into it, you’ll want to make sure you still have adequate ventilation around it and enough extra ceiling space above to keep things cool. The advantage of taller racks, however, is that they also let you space out your equipment more easily." — Jesse Hollington, Tech Writer
Jesse Hollington has over three decades of experience in information technology and networking, and has installed, tested, and configured just about every type and brand of router, firewall, wireless access point, and network extender, dating back to the days long before Wi-Fi even existed, in places ranging from single-family dwellings to office buildings and university campuses, and even coast-to-coast wide-area network (WAN) deployments. He has unique insights into the many challenges in deploying reliable wireless and wired networks, from dealing with wireless range and network interference to setting up secure virtual private networks (VPNs) and firewalls.
Rack space - The size of the rack you need is based on the number of servers you need to house. Standard 42U cabinets can hold up to 42 rack units, which might seem like overkill, but it’s important to remember that in addition to your servers, your rack also needs to hold battery backups, cooling equipment, and everything else. Providing yourself with some extra space also gives you room to grow and ensures you can space your equipment out for adequate ventilation.
Security - It’s hard to overstress the importance of data security, and choosing a server enclosure with the right features is integral to securing your data. If you’re at all concerned about security, then look for a server enclosure that’s built on a lockable four-post rack frame. Consider an enclosure that can be mounted to the wall or secured to the floor for additional protection.
Cooling - If you don’t have a dedicated server room that’s capable of keeping your hardware nice and chilly, then look for a server enclosure that supports interior cooling. Even if you eventually upgrade your server room with ventilation and cooling, you’ll still benefit from the extra security of an enclosed server cabinet that you can lock.