The 8 Best Network Server Racks and Enclosures to Buy in 2017

Make sure your company's server or data room is neat and tidy

Navepoint 12U
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Sure, the niche network server rack and enclosure space might not be mainstream in today’s tech world, but there’s an ever-present need in IT departments for maintaining an organized server or data room that’s ready to tackle all the challenges of the business world. Whether its cable management, airflow or preventing unauthorized access, the host of available options means you’re likely to find multiple choices for each category. Fortunately, we’ve done the heavy lifting and chose the best network server and enclosure options for you.

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 cables out of the way while servers are in use. It can be used with castors or bolted to the floor.

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.

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 is lock-friendly to prevent any unauthorized individuals from gaining access to network equipment. The door can open left or right, so it's adaptable for various room spacing. Additionally, the 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 overall number of equipment inside the 16.5-inch deep hardware. Mounting the 6U is simple and can be done with optional casters for easy transportation or it is ready for wall-mounting right out of the box.

Whether it is server/network storage or telecommunications equipment, the StarTech 25U adjustable-depth open frame server rack cabinet is ready for the challenge. Capable of supporting up to 1200 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 out of the box. The open nature of the StarTech 25U does mean security at the rack level is not necessary, 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 multiple industry rack standards, so it'll fit most equipment. 

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.

Ideal for rack-mounted equipment, the StarTech 12U sideways wall-mount server rack offers easy access. Compatible with various servers and UPSs (uninterruptible power supply) from brands such as Lenovo, Cisco and APC, the 12U offers mounting holes placed every 16 inches for dry-wall framework with 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 cables, view LED displays and access any necessary configuration 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 (setup time takes no more than 20 minutes).

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 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 12U together thanks to its tool-less design. 

If you’re looking for a super open-frame design, the StarTech RK819WALLO 8U 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.

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