In server settings, it’s common to use standardized racks to hold and house all of the equipment. These racks are made strong and stable. They allow you to stack all of your devices in ways that support the task and configuration at hand, and they provide safe conditions that also help you manage heat and airflow.
The trick to racks is that every device can attach directly to the rack, creating customizable arrangements that are well-protected from vibrations and falls.
Alternatives to Rack Mount Kits
When you don’t have enough direct-mount hardware and/or kits for your server setup, it’s usually easier to make use of cheap and simple alternatives. These are options that still enable you to attach your devices to the server rack, but they don’t use the traditional mounting kits.
Things like rails and shelves are extremely easy to use, and they’re all adjustable. You can customize your rack setup as you need, accommodating your unique set of hardware and making for stable and secure conditions.
Rack Mount Rails
Adjustable rack mount rails are designed to simplify rack storage in a server setting. Instead of using an individual rack mount kit for each device on the rack, you can use adjustable rails. They provide lips that can hold standard server hardware, and they slide up and down the rack in order to position your hardware exactly where you want it.
Because they slide and lock, you don’t have to hunt for hardware, and you know that you can place your devices exactly where you want them. It’s one of the fastest and easiest ways to attach equipment to a server rack.
2 Post Shelves
The issue with rails is that they don’t accommodate a full range of smaller devices. If you have anything you want on the rack that is a non-standard shape or size, shelving is often your best approach.
Two-post shelves are designed to be mounted on two-post racks. They pop right into place and lock into the rack holes or grooves. They then lock with screws so you don’t have to worry about any shifting or dropping.
Set your devices on the shelves as you see fit, and you have rapid, easy mounting.
4 Post Shelves
When you have heavier devices, you might trade your two-post options for four-post shelves. They’re the same in concept, but they’re designed for four-post racks. With the extra posts, these shelves can hold considerably more weight, making them ideal when you have heavy-duty equipment.
They lock and adjust with the same types of screws, so you don’t have to relearn anything with these shelves.
Getting the Right Stuff
How do you know which alternative attachment is right for you? That depends on the various dimensions.
In short, you want to check the weight and space specifications for your attachment hardware and compare it to the devices you need to attach to the rack.
Clearly, weight capacity is one of the most important metrics when choosing your mounting options. The shelf, rails, or otherwise needs to be able to support the equipment you’re putting on it without collapsing.
Typically, 4-post hardware can handle more weight, but always check the hardware specifications and weight ratings to be sure you’re picking the right mounting option for your devices.
Just as important as weight are the dimensions. Most of these rack mount alternatives are adjustable, but those adjustments still have limits. A lot of these rack options use preset configurations. As a result, some of them will only conform to a handful of dimensions rather than a continuous gradient of widths, heights, and depths.
So, double-check these specifications as well to be sure that the dimensions of your devices are directly supported by your mounting hardware.
That really covers it. Rack attachments don’t have to be rocket science. Match your dimensions and then choose the option that makes the most sense to you.
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