Why Use Open Frame Server Racks?

We have entered the IT world where most systems are controlled by artificial intelligence and run using mathematical algorithms. Behind each of such systems, there is a data center from which all processes are guided and managed.

Data centers or server rooms are special premises where hundreds of network equipment are gathered. Lots of devices are organized in one system to perform certain tasks. Where are they stored? In the sphere of system administration, they widely use open-frame racks. These are special metal constructions designed for accommodating computing hardware. They are durable and equipped with all the necessary holes to store IT devices.

Thus, an open frame server rack is a popular kind of furniture used in data centers to house hundreds of equipment compactly and organized.

Types of Open-Frame Server Furniture

Nowadays, customers have a wide range of products to choose from. Manufacturers distinguish between two classes of products, namely 2- and 4-post models. Thus, the first one has 2 vertical uprights, while the design of the second one implies 4 posts. Producers use innovative technologies to achieve durability and sustainability.

Due to the peculiarities of their constructions, models can accommodate a different number of hardware items. A 2-post product is used for smaller systems, while 4-upright models can house more devices. Both models have special holes on uprights; they are designed for fastening hardware and cable routing. A 4-post product is also equipped with removable perforated side panels.

According to the type of installation, models are divided into floor-standing and wall-mounted. But, usually, an open frame server rack is installed on the floor.

Reasons to Choose the Rack with an Open Frame for your Data Center

The regarded type of server furniture has the following benefits:

Perfect cooling conditions and the best ventilation by natural airflow

This is one of the most significant advantages of open-frame constructions. When performing computing tasks, hardware tends to heat and emit a lot of warmth. Thus, the issue of sufficient cooling is always relevant and essential for every server room.

Due to the absence of sidewalls, the air can enter the rack body without a barrier, freely pass through, and cool operating devices. When blown around, equipment exchanges hot air and is cooled down.

The natural air circulation allows for reducing the temperature inside the rack and maintaining the optimal environment. Moreover, more space is left since there is no need to install fans for forced ventilation.

Easy access

The absence of side panels (or the use of removable ones) is also beneficial for maintenance staff. When it is necessary to replace a component of the system, just make maintenance work or monitor the system running, administrators can easily reach out to the needed device without disassembling an entire construction. Access from four sides significantly simplifies and speeds up the maintenance work.

Cable management

To make the system function, an administrator should connect all the units to each other. Also, the system needs power; thus, it is necessary to connect it to a PDU.

Hundreds of wires are used to make the system interconnect and function. Open-frame options allow stretching cables how and where you need them. There is no need to route lots of cords through one or two holes. So, it’s up to you how to organize wiring.

However, when it comes to routing and managing them, it is difficult to find the needed cable. So, do not forget to label them and use special accessories, such as cable management boxes attached to vertical uprights to manage wires securely and conveniently.

Quick installation and disassembly

No special skills and experience are required to install an open frame network rack. A guide is attached to each model, and it is enough to cope with furniture assembly and installation. If you need to relocate the product, it can be easily and quickly disassembled.

Skilled system administrators spend no more than half an hour coping with rack installation.


If compared to closed cabinets, the cost of open-frame models is lower and more reasonable. A lower price is explained by the use of a less amount of metal for production. But the quality of the furniture is not inferior. Rack bodies are durable and can hold heavy network equipment.

Advantages of Open-Frame Racks over Enclosed Cabinets

Open designs are preferable for use in the following cases:

  • in closed premises and already secured rooms. Such constructions do not have side walls that can secure accommodated devices from external impact or damage, as well as unauthorized access Thus, models are suitable for installation in secure rooms, the access to which is limited or controlled.
  • when racks need to be placed side by side. If system administrators want to make long chains of server furniture, it is recommended to use open constructions to avoid overheating of side panels and heat accumulation, which will cause further hardware overheating.
  • in rooms with limited space. If you have a small room, experts suggest using such models to optimize available space and achieve better ergonomics.

Choosing the right furniture for your data center is an important step that requires attention and thorough consideration. Open-frame racks are perfect solutions for closed and protected premises. Low-security properties are the only drawback of such models. Yet, there are lots of pros, like air ventilation, ease of maintenance and access, etc. The product will house numerous items of IT equipment.

Huynh Nguyen

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