Server Racks & Cabinets and Network Racks & Cabinets – What’s the Difference?

“What’s the difference in a network racks and cabinets and a standard server racks and cabinets?”

This is one of the most common questions we get asked. On the surface, a lot of server racks and cabinets look alike. But like a book, you should never judge one by its cover. Just small variations on the inside of a cabinet can make a world of difference, whether it’s by making it cooler, quieter, or just allowing more space for your equipment. Here’s a look at some of the key distinctions between the standard server rack and cabinet, and a network rack and cabinet.


Server Racks & Cabinets

server-rackServer Racks & Cabinets are available in a wide array of heights, widths and depths for rackmount compatibility in standard IT equipment. These cabinets house servers, switches, monitors, power distribution units and uninterruptible power supplies, and any number of other electronic equipment and accessories. A standard 19” wide cabinet may be 42U in height and have a 36” depth to ensure proper cabling room in the rear of the cabinet. These cabinets often have perforated front and rear doors for ventilation and fans in the top to maintain a suitable environment for the heat-generating equipment inside.


  • Mainly used for servers, switches, monitors, PDUs and UPSs
  • Standard 36-inch depth
  • Often have perforated doors and fans for ventilation and cooling


Network Racks & Cabinets

Network_Rack_150When you have a large amount of cables, you may want to consider a Network Rack or Cabinet. These cabinets have vertical rails that move front to back and side to side within the cabinet, allowing for adequate cable storage. Network Cabinets are mainly used to store routers, switches, patch panels and other types of networking equipment and accessories that are much shallower than a standard server. Because of this, they’re usually less than 31″ in depth. Since thermal requirements aren’t typically an issue with the equipment stored in the Network Cabinet, they’re more likely to have a glass/Plexiglass front door instead of a perforated one.


  • Mainly used for routers, switches, patch panels and other networking equipment
  • Standard 31-inch (or less) depth
  • Glass/Plexiglass doors since heat isn’t as big of a problem


Need a Server Rack/Cabinet or a Network Rack/Cabinet? Contact us today for a free quote!


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