Open Frame Rack vs. Enclosed Cabinet

There are many options on the market for mounting servers into data center racks. Two of the most common server racks are open frame rack and closed cabinet (also referred to as rack cabinets). Deciding which rack is right for you can be daunting.

While there’s no true right or wrong answer when it comes to closed vs. open frame racks, each frame has its benefits. Below are some pro’s and con’s of each rack type:

Open Frame Rack


  • Affordable! Open Frame Racks can yield tremendous savings for businesses looking to rack mount large quantities of servers. In fact, it’s estimated open frame racks about 1/3 the cost of a rack cabinet.
  • Unobstructed airflow and fast access to the equipment are one of the big benefits to purchasing an open frame server rack.


  • Lack of security. What open frame racks achieve in cost effectiveness, since they’re open, they can be accessed fairly easily.
  • Dust buildup. Since open frame racks are open, the equipment housed inside can accumulate dust and other particulate
48U Server Cabinet Enclosure

Enclosed Cabinet


  • Security. Closed Cabinet server racks can be locked to better control sensitive data.
  • Server cooling is more flexible, allowing for more active and passive airflow management
  • Protected cabinet helps ward off any dust. It also helps prevent debris, water or particulate that could accumulate on the server and potentially damage the hardware.


  • Cost. Compared to the open frame rack, closed cabinets are much more expensive than open frame racks.
  • Limited Access. The enclosed rack can cause issues during times when maintenance is promptly required.

Need help deciding which rack is best for you and your specific needs? Call or Chat with one of RackSolutions Technical Support Associates today!


Open Frame Rack vs. Closed Cabinet - RackSolutions
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Open Frame Rack vs. Closed Cabinet - RackSolutions
When it comes to mounting servers, you’ve got several options. Two of the most common options are either an open frame rack or a closed cabinet (also commonly referred to as rack cabinets), but deciding which type to use can be cumbersome.
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What should you buy? Open Frame versus Enclosed Rack