If you’re looking to purchase a rack to mount your servers and other network equipment but can’t decide between a Rack Cabinet or Open-Frame Rack, you’re not alone. As IT infrastructure continues to expand and the need to organize, secure and cool servers, routers, hubs, PDUs and UPS systems while conserving space becomes more critical, IT rack cabinets and open-frame racks are now essential. The other constant concern among IT professionals is saving money, especially as networks continue to grow.

Rack Cabinets

There are 3 main advantages of Rack Cabinets, also known as Rack Enclosures, over Open-Frame Racks:

  1. Security
    Because the front and rear doors and side panels on most rack cabinets can be locked, access to equipment and sensitive data can be managed and controlled.
  2. Greater Cooling Flexibility
    Heat-sensitive equipment such as servers is isolated inside rack cabinets, allowing for more control over both active and passive airflow/cooling management.
  3. Equipment Protection from Harsh Environments
    If your rack and equipment is going to be in harsh environments where dust, water and other debris could damage your equipment, a rack cabinet that protects equipment from the elements is for you.
Open-Frame Racks

There is 1 main advantage of Open-Frame Racks over Rack Cabinets:

  1. Cost Savings
    If you’re simply looking for an economical way to organize rack equipment while conserving space, I recommend an Open-Frame Rack which is typically around one-third the cost of a similar Rack Cabinet.