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Common Server Rack U Sizes

Nowadays, server systems stand as the heart of any modern business or enterprise. Telecom systems are used to process and store information. Thus, the number of server rooms increases exponentially. When setting up a data center infrastructure, it’s vital to consider its size and calculate the required rack dimensions.

The issue of cabinet size consideration is essential, since the success in picking an appropriate model directly affects the durability of a network system and the smoothness of its functioning. An incorrectly picked server cabinet can lead to multiple problems during operation, such as equipment overheating, lack of space, insufficient air supply and circulation, inconvenient maintenance, slowed performance, etc. This is why it’s important to approach the issue of choosing the right server rack for your needs attentively.

What Dimensions Are Used in Racks’ Manufacturing?

Modern manufacturers produce a wide range of products of different sizes. When considering common rack sizes, three main dimensions are accounted for:

  • depth – the dimension is usually variable since the rear side is movable and adjustable;
  • width – the dimension is standardized to ensure perfect fitting of servers, other telecommunication hardware, and accessories;
  • height – the main and the most complicated dimension that requires particular attention.

The height is measured in units (U), where 1U is 1.75 inches. Converting rack units to millimeters/inches is an easy way to find the rack height. Yet, the measure is standardized and commonly accepted.

Server Rack Size Chart

Modern manufacturers produce a wide palette of models of different sizes and constructions. Depending on the cabinet size, they can be wall-mount or floor-standing, open frames or enclosed bodies. The most popular models are represented in the network rack size chart:

Rack Size Height, inches Mounting capabilities Network system size Portability
6U 10,5 Desktop or wall Small, consisting of about a dozen components Highly portable
9U 15,75 Desktop, wall-mount, floor Compact systems for home offices Highly portable
12U 21 Wall-mount or floor-standing Mid-sized systems Quite portable and movable
15U 26,25 Mainly floor-standing Mid-sized or extended systems Movable
18U 31,5 Floor-standing Mid-size or large system Easily portable if equipped with casters or handles
22U 38,5 Floor-standing Large systems and extended units, allow for accommodating up to a hundred devices Usually equipped with handles, wheels, or other tools for better portability
48U 84 Floor-standing The biggest size for large DC infrastructures Movable within a premise if equipped with high-load casters

All the mentioned racks and other models are available at You can start with a smaller 9u rack cabinet – – or consider more spacious options. Sysracks offers a wide range of furniture for data centers to achieve effective space utilization.

How to Choose the Correct Size of a Server Rack?

Since you realize the importance of server cabinet choice, here’s a server rack size guide. It will help find an optimal rack size for specific applications. Keep in mind the listed provisions to minimize the risk of making a mistake when choosing an appropriate rack model.

  1. Count the number of servers. Usually, one server takes one U space.
  2. Decide what mounting strategy you stick to. It’s possible to install servers vertically or horizontally. Decide an ergonomic way to allocate equipment.
  3. Make a list of all the components to be placed in the cabinet. Allocate devices in three groups, namely, ones that are exactly 1.75 inches tall, ones that exceed this height, and ones that are smaller than this measure. Calculate the heights of all devices.
  4. Consider ventilation. Keep in mind that air conditioning systems are typically installed in server racks. Make sure to leave space for HVAC devices to arrange sufficient airflow.
  5. Consider cable routing and leave space for wiring cords. Think about accessories to be installed to bundle and support cables.
  6. Leave space for future growth. It’s likely that your system will extend in the future. By adding new devices for improved functionalities and computing capabilities, you’ll need more space for new devices. Thus, it’s recommended to add a quarter of the total cabinet space for future improvements.

Study server rack size charts to find appropriate models. However, before you make the final choice, it’s advisable to make a 3D layout with visualization. There, a tech manager can make a digital setup of the inner arrangement. Making a 3D visualization helps allocate devices effectively, avoid too tight placement, and leave enough space for airflow. This strategy is perfect for achieving space efficiency.

Modern producers offer multiple server rack U sizes. By offering different models, they cover the demands of all consumers. The main thing is to succeed in selecting an appropriate model for your system. The provided guide and the rack mount size chart help navigate easier and avoid common mistakes when picking server furniture.

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