Network Rack: What it is and How it Compares to a 2 Post Rack
What is a Network Rack?
Known by many names, a network rack is a metal frame chassis that holds, stacks, organizes, secures and protects various computer network and server hardware devices. The term “network” refers to the rack actually housing this type of hardware.
How to Set-Up a Network Rack
Some network racks hold servers and other computer systems, although some are designed with specific device types in mind. The rack works by securing technology with brackets, bolts, and other rack hardware to keep this equipment in place. You can also mount this equipment using certain types of rails and shelves, such as switch rails and switch shelves.
Network Rack Equipment
These racks can house a lot of different types of equipment. Network equipment is really just an umbrella term that encapsulates various kinds of technology. Some of these devices include the following:
- Switches – Multi-port, high-speed devices that receive data and redirect them to the correct destination on a local area network (LAN). Information can only go across a single network using a switch.
- Routers – Similar to switches, routers receive and forward information, but they can carry data over multiple networks. This is why, for example, different devices or networks can access the Internet using one single router.
- Modems – This device actually connects the source of your internet to your router. This is typically done using an ethernet cord.
Network Rack vs. 2 Post Relay Rack
A 2 post, open frame relay rack can serve as a lower-cost, easy-to-use entry into network rack mounting equipment. Thus, a 2 post rack can be a network rack if you use it for mounting this type of equipment. A 2 post rack works by having two thinner, centralized parallel posts extending from a larger, balanced base either 19 or 23 inches apart.
Installing Network Equipment in a 2 Post Rack
The 2 post rack is easy to set up and start with because of the light and easy to move frame compared to more robust racks. You secure network equipment into the rack by installing a brace on network hardware and bolting the brace to the posts.
Once installed, the two post rack allows for you to stack several different network devices on top of each other, taking advantage of vertical space to reduce how much floor space you use to store your gear. The racks are also very sturdy and can be secured into the floor, making it very difficult to knock over any installed equipment. Additionally, the open nature of the rack minimizes airflow obstruction and makes it easier to manage your cables.
If you’re using 2 post relay racks to mount your network hardware, center-mount your devices on the rack for the safest, most secure hold. Center mounting refers to attaching the center of the hardware bracket to the parallel posts on both sides. Using the center mounting position on a 2 post server rack centralizes the weight distribution which reduces pressure on the rack itself and improves balance. Flush mounting only works well with lighter, low-profile technology.