Open Frame Server Racks vs Wall Mount Racks
Choosing the right server rack for your situation can be quite a challenge. Whether you are running a large data center, a small business server room, or even a home computer setup, you will have plenty of options for how to house your equipment. Two of the most common options are open frame server racks and wall-mounted server racks. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, so we want to help you determine which is right for you.
Open frame server racks are a very popular option that can be found in many different environments. They can come in a wide range of different sizes so that they can house almost any type of equipment. These racks are installed in one location and are generally bolted to the floor in order to provide greater stability. The four metal posts provide the structure of the rack, and then shelves and other items can be installed within to support servers, routers, switches, and other items.
Advantages of Open Frame Server Racks
The following are some of the most significant advantages of this option:
- Larger Options – While open frame server racks can come in small sizes, they are best known for larger setups. These racks normally range from 83’’ – 108’’ in height, which allows you to house almost any type of equipment.
- Easy Airflow on All Sides – Since this type of rack is typically mounted in an open floor area (of a data center), the airflow is easy to manage. Equipment fans can be installed to direct warm air out of the area, or additional air-cooling options can be used to maintain a precise temperature.
- Versatile Placement – As long as you choose the right size rack, you can install it in almost any location. They get secured to the floor, and to each other if installed in rows, to keep them stable.
Disadvantages of Open Frame Server Racks
While this rack style is very popular, there are some drawbacks to be aware of, including the following:
- Reduced Security – Since the rack is open on each side, it isn’t as physically secure as you might like. These are usually placed in data centers and other secure facilities, however, so this may not be a big issue.
- Bolted to the Floor – In order to keep these racks stable, they should be fastened to the floor. Depending on the location where they will be installed, this may be a challenge.
As the name implies, wall-mounted racks are any rack solution that is physically mounted to a wall rather than resting on the ground. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes but typically aren’t as large as open frame server racks. Many people love the wall-mounted option because it can keep computer equipment up and completely out of the way, freeing up valuable floor space for something else.
Advantages of Wall Mount Racks
The following are some of the different reasons why people choose wall-mounted racks for their computers and network equipment:
- Physical Security – When mounting your equipment where it may get stolen or vandalized, it is important to keep it secure. Wall-mounted racks can completely enclose the equipment and have it bolted securely to the wall.
- Floor Space – Mounting equipment on walls is a great way to keep it up and out of the way. This allows other items to be placed on the floor. At the very least, it clears a path for people to walk or work.
- Location Near Use – Placing computer equipment near a mounted television is a very popular option for businesses that want to use the television for displaying ads or other information. Securing the computer near this monitor will make it easy to customize the visuals.
While this option is ideal for many situations, there are times when a wall-mounted rack just isn’t a good idea:
- Small in Size – These racks are designed to be secured directly to a wall, which means there are going to be certain size and weight restrictions to consider.
- Specific Location – Placing the racks in the center of the room, or in some other area as needed, isn’t practical. This design is really only made to get mounted on the walls.
Which is Right for You?
Deciding which of these two options is right for you doesn’t have to be a major challenge. In most cases, an open frame server rack is going to provide benefits that can’t be matched by a wall-mounted design. This is why they are by far a more popular choice among data centers and other businesses. When you have a specific situation that demands a wall-mounted option, the decision to go that route is also quite simple. Once you know what type of things the racks will be used for, it should be no problem to choose the design that will work for you.