Open vs. Enclosed Server Racks

Should I buy open or enclosed server racks? This is a question commonly asked among IT buyers. The answer often lies within the level of security sought after and the type of equipment being used. Within other how-to articles here on we've delved in-depth into the uses of server racks often citing the secure features offered on several units and brands. However, sometimes, security is less of a factor. In this particular case, an open server rack may offer similar storage options but at a fraction of the price.

Known for their affordability and airflow, open server rack units bring a lot of usage to the server storage category. They are built to optimize cooling because open server racks enable airflow all around and make wiring (and wire management) considerably easier. The open server rack units sold on offer compatibility with equipment from a variety of server manufacturers and server accessories.

Open server rack styles can be four-post or two-post. The four posts can withstand heavier items (or more front heavy electronics) where as the two- post open server rack units are great for accessories like modems, telephone equipment, and generic network components.

Best of all, open server racks have a small footprint and can save space for other needed equipment like workstations. Small companies starting out or larger companies looking for an easy addition to an existing system often find that the addition of an open server rack helps during transitional data phases.

Many 2-post and 4-post racks come in 41U or 42U sizes, making it as tall as a large enclosed server rack but at a fraction of the price.