Basic Dimensions and Sizes of Server Racks: Depth, Width, & Height and their Explanation

 March 7, 2023

By  Kyrie Mattos

The correct choice of furniture for server rooms is a responsible task since it directly affects network system durability and its smooth operation. If the furniture is chosen incorrectly, this will lead to system malfunction due to hardware overheating. This is why it is important to approach this step seriously and determine a suitable size for your cabinet.

The choice of a suitable rack is a complex issue that requires taking into account multiple criteria. Thus, to determine the needed size, technicians should consider the following points:

  • the number of IT system components;
  • the need to install cooling equipment;
  • the number of cables;
  • mounting possibilities;
  • the size of the devices.

All these factors can influence the needed size. To calculate network rack dimensions, specialists should know and understand the specifics of measuring. Here’s what we’re going to do below.

Before we get down to the issue, note that the market offers a great variety of cabinets for data centers. If you need a server rack enclosure, visit the website Sysracks. Here, you’ll find a wide catalog of models for any need. Skilled managers help select suitable products and consult on the best furniture piece.

Server Cabinet Sizes

Let’s start with standard server rack dimensions. Traditionally, three dimensions are taken into account. But each of them has its specifics related to server furniture. Note that depending on the measurement system, dimensions are specified in millimeters (mm) or inches. A specific unit is taken for height.

Cabinet Height

This dimension is the most complicated to calculate since it is measured using a specific unit – “rack unit.” Thus, when you deal with the cabinet height, the first thing you must know is that 1U is 1.75 inches. It means that when you see the designations of 4U, 24U, etc., in the names of rack models, they determine the height.

To calculate the height correctly, specialists should multiply 1.75 by the next-standing number. For instance, 4U = 4*1.75, 24U = 24*1.75. Here, you’ll define the cabinet height.

A 42U cabinet is considered standard in system administrating since it allows for housing all sorts of IT equipment and fits most door openings.

Rack Width

Note that when considering rack width, two dimensions exist, namely, internal and external ones. Standard server rack width includes:

  • 19 inches for interior width;
  • 24 inches for exterior width.

Such models are common since they allow for mounting most IT hardware. Servers and network equipment are usually produced in specified sizes. Thus, their width is standardized. This feature simplifies the fastening process and helps unify server furniture.

However, other models are also found on the market. These include 29.5-inch- and 31.5-inch-wide cabinets. They have more space for placing devices. In such cases, spaciousness provides opportunities for cable routing, side cooling, and the installation of bigger hardware, like blade servers.

Furniture Depth

Forty-two inches are considered to be standard server rack depth. This depth is enough to fit most IT devices. Most cabinets have this construction, but practically the depth is variable, and users can adjust it to their needs. Yet, it is possible to find deeper models in the modern market.

Manufacturers produce a wide range of models. In most cases, their depths and widths are standardized (a maximum of one of two options are provided). The main thing is to pick an appropriate height.

How to Choose an Appropriate Server Rack Size?

Note that to select an appropriate model among dozens of server rack sizes, you should consider multiple criteria and stick to a strict guide to avoid problems in the future when arranging a network system. Here it is:

  1. Make a list of all devices to be accommodated. You should clearly understand how many devices you want to place in a cabinet, whether they are bulky or compact, etc. Thus, making an inventory list will be the best step, to begin with.
  2. Make a 3D layout. Although this step requires more knowledge and skills, it significantly simplifies the task and helps prevent trouble associated with correct equipment allocation. When designing a layout, you should not only allocate hardware but also foresee cable routes, a place for fan installation, etc.
  3. Consider cooling strategies. Decide on how the equipment will be cooled down. Proper allocation of cooling devices is also important to ensure the airflow circulation is in the right direction. Cooling efficiency depends on the place of the fan fastening.
  4. Measure the heights of all devices when they are allocated in the cabinet and add them. Now, you understand how tall your rack should be. Calculate rack-mount dimensions, keeping in mind this information.

When selecting proper rack models, make sure to foresee several crucial points. These include:

  • cable management;
  • cooling strategies;
  • future expansion.

The first rule to keep in mind is the free allocation of network equipment. Remember that functioning hardware emits too much heat. If devices are allocated too tightly, they exchange heat, which leads to overheating. Thus, make sure to place hardware loosely and leave enough free space between system components.

When calculating data rack sizes, it is also necessary to leave extra space alongside cabinet walls. This space is usually used for wiring cables and ensuring communication between system units. Thousands of cords are used to connect devices and ensure their smooth operation. Their proper organization will simplify maintenance and keep an entire system in order.

Another reason for leaving space is system expansion in the future. It is better to purchase a bigger cabinet at once and add more devices further rather than to buy a small rack and face the necessity to rebuy another one when the system grows.

All these factors directly influence the choice of server cabinet sizes. If you consider them at the stage of planning a server room, you’ll avoid many problems in the future and enjoy convenient system organization and maintenance.

Here you get server rack sizes explained. When you understand the specifics of measuring server furniture, you’ll easily determine the needed model size. However, do not forget to allocate hardware properly since neglecting the above-mentioned rules will lead to equipment malfunction, downtime, and spoilage.

Kyrie Mattos


{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}