Equipment is usually fastened to vertical uprights of server furniture. However, sometimes, more space is required for mounting IT hardware and supplementary accessories. In such cases, system administrators tend to use server rack shelves. Below, we’re going to find out what is a server rack shelf and highlight all the related issues.
A shelf is a flat platform designed for mounting IT equipment and supplementary tools. Modern producers offer special shelves for 2- and 4-post racks. However, it is possible to use 2-post shelves for 4-post racks. The choice allows reducing the load on uprights and improving air circulation.
To find out whether a 2-upright shelf is compatible with a 4-post rack, you should check how many points of attachment your furniture piece has. The thing is that 2-post racks usually have 2 points of attachment, while 4-upright models have only one point of attachment. Thus, when selecting a 2-post shelf for a 4-upright furniture item, make sure that they are compatible, taking into account the number of attachments.
Common Sizes of Server Rack Shelves
The industry offers a wide assortment of horizontal platforms for different purposes and types of server furniture. Models differ in dimensions, namely, width, depth, and height.
As for width, shelves are standardized to fit most racks and cabinets and allow placing most types of hardware. A standard width ranges from 400 to 800 mm, depending on the type of rack and hardware to be stored.
Treating the depth, technicians usually distinguish between 35″, 12″, or 14″ deep shelves.
The height means that some models of rack shelves have small side panels. Thus, their height can reach several inches.
Shelves for Each Type of Rack Mount Equipment
Depending on what type of hardware you plan to fasten, different kinds of models will be used. Here are three main classes of shelves for server furniture:
- fixed rack platforms for desktop PCs and laptops. Such models must be durable and withstand high loads since some PCs weight up to dozens of kilograms;
- sliding half surfaces for patch panels. These models are movable, which simplifies access to connectors and allows quick and easy maintenance and equipment replacement;
- adjustable switch platforms for switches. These products are designed for fastening switchers. Models are equipped with all the needed fasteners to support switches.
How to Choose a Server Rack Shelf?
The variety of models is great. To find a suitable server rack mount shelf, e.g. here, make sure to consider the following parameters:
- Type of equipment to be mounted. As mentioned above, different types of shelves are designed for PCs, switchers, patch panels, servers, and other kinds of hardware. Make a list of devices to be accommodated on horizontal surfaces to find out a suitable model.
- Ease of access. Examine how they are fastened to rack posts. Check if you’ll be able to easily get to any device.
- Weight and depth. Think about what type of hardware you want to place on shelves. Measure its depth and weight to make sure that platforms will be spacious enough to accommodate it and that its carrying capacity will be enough to support devices.
- Sliding or fixed shelves. Choose between movable or non-movable options. Here, you should answer the next questions:
- how often are you going to access devices?
- how often will you replace or move hardware and do maintenance?
- how heavy are the devices to be housed?
- is the ease of access important for the hardware to be stored?
If you are going to fasten frequently used devices, it is worth ensuring easy access to siding models. Generally, sliding options are preferable in most cases. The only drawback of such models is that their loading capacity is lower. So, if you’re going to fasten heavy devices, it is better to select fixed models. Also, sliding panels are more expensive, so if your budget is limited, fixed products are more affordable.
Rack shelves are some of the most common accessories for network system housing. Thus, it is important to pick optimal models that will reliably hold equipment and provide its durability and secure support.
Rails VS Rack Shelves
Horizontal platforms are widely applied when server furniture doesn’t possess a proprietary mounting solution. In this case, shelves help accommodate devices safely and durably. Moreover, they stand as a more reliable approach for durable equipment storage.
But, sometimes, rails can stand as an alternative to rack shelves. Rack rails are L-shaped hinges that do not have a horizontal platform that connects both sides of rails. The main feature of ails is that empty space is left inside. IT hardware is hastened from the sides. An undisputable advantage of such solutions is that they are suitable for all sorts of server furniture, regardless of width. Since brackets are not connected with a horizontal surface, they can be installed on any rack and be adjustable to any width.
Accessories play an important function in server rack organization. They are designed to increase comfort and functionality, as well as simplify maintenance. Shelves stand as one of the most popular accessories for server furniture. Different types of platforms are designed to support PCs, servers, switches, and other types of passive or active hardware.
Large producers of IT tools and accessories offer different types of platforms for various purposes. Some of them can carry high loads, while others are more movable and accessible. Thus, choose suitable models, depending on your demands and needs.