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, there are different options to house your equipment. Two common rack options to house your equipment are open frame racks or wall mount racks.

So how will you determine which server rack is right for you? Depending on how you want your setup to be, both of these racks have advantages and disadvantages. In this blog, we’ll help you find out if open frame racks or wall mount racks is ideal for you.

What is an Open Frame Server Rack?

Open frame server racks allow for easy access to IT equipment and cabling. These particular racks can be found in many different environments as well. If you need easy accessibility for maintenance and unobstructed airflow for equipment cooling, then open frame racks are a cost effective option that provides an easy solution to control and monitor rack-mount equipment. Our open frame racks come in a wide range of rack sizes from 5U-58U so that it can house almost any type of IT equipment.

Additionally, 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.

Open Frame Server Racks
44U Open Frame Server Racks

Advantages of Open Frame Server Racks

For businesses looking to keep their network equipment in one area, open frame racks are a great option for those who don’t want to break their budget. The following are some of the most significant advantages of open frame server racks:

  • 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

Even though open frame racks are popular, there are some drawbacks to be aware of. Here are the following disadvantages of open frame racks:

  • 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.

What is a Wall Mount Rack?

As the name implies, wall-mounted racks are physically mounted to a wall rather than resting on the ground. Wall mount racks are mainly used for housing network equipment like patch panels and switches, but servers can also be mounted in the rack. Most of the time, equipment in wall mount racks are mounted vertically or horizontally to save space and maintain access to the front and back I/O.

Wall Mount Racks come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they typically aren’t as large as open frame server racks. Individuals prefer the wall-mounted option because it can keep computer equipment up and completely out of the way.

Wall Mount Rack
12U Wall Mount Rack

Advantages of Wall Mount Racks

There are many small or home offices that don’t have enough equipment to justify a full-sized server rack. In these situations, compact solution is ideal to keep things out of the way. 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.

Disadvantages of Wall Mount Racks

While this option is ideal for many situations, there are disadvantages 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.

Additional Rack Accessories For Your Server Rack

To optimize your server rack installation, you can read more about rack accessories for your open frame server rack in our blog post here. By utilizing server rack accessories, you can further protect your IT equipment, maximize cooling efficiency, and properly route cables.

Which Server Rack Is Right For You?

Deciding if an open frame racks or wall mount racks 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.

For any questions about which server rack will work best for your needs, feel free to contact us. If you need a custom rack size, email us at [email protected] for a custom rack quote. With our high-quality, in house manufacturing, you can be confident that you are buying the best rack possible!

Open Frame Server Racks vs Wall Mount Racks - RackSolutions
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Open Frame Server Racks vs Wall Mount Racks - RackSolutions
Choosing between open frame server racks vs wall mount racks comes down to important features including security, facility, size, and location.
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Open frame, wall mount, enclosed server racks