How to Rack Mount a Desktop PC?

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andre tan fGEEJ7Z8cIA unsplash

A server rack is a kind of specialized furniture designed for housing different types of computing apparatus. A desktop PC is one of the crucial parts of network systems. However, a few system administrators place PCs in racks and cabinets. Here, we’ll discuss why it is recommended to stick to this solution.

Different models of open-frame racks and cabinets are used in data centers. It is possible to find a server enclosure for any purpose and system at https://sysracks.com/. The distributor provides durable and spacious models of any size. Look through the catalog to pick a suitable option.

Reasons to Rack Mount the PC

If you still doubt the effectiveness and need of outing a rackmount PC, here’s what experienced system administrators say. They point out 4 main reasons for why you should rearrange the inner of your server furniture and house the computer there. 

  1. Hardware protection. Server furniture is made of quality thick steel since it is responsible for carrying and storing expensive networking equipment. The durability of server models is one of the crucial factors. When manufacturing server furniture, engineers test products for capacity to ensure that the construction will be able to carry heavy equipment. When buying a rack or cabinet, a system administrator should keep this criterion in mind.

This means that if the design of the cabinet implies installing the PC, it will be securely fastened, accommodated, and stored. Mounting the device inside an enclosed cabinet will help secure it from external damage and ensure its stable performance.

What we try to say is that the rack is a solid durable construction that provides a high level of security for all hardware stored inside it. By placing the computer in it, you’ll be sure that no one will damage it. The apparatus will be protected from environmental influences and other sorts of external damages.

  1. Cable management. Do you have an idea of how many cables can be connected to one computer? If it is a high-computing device for industrial use, then it can connect dozens of devices and serve as the brains for the entire system. This means that dozens of wires will be connected to it. When it comes to maintenance works, it is real torture for employees to identify the needed wire among a tangle of cables. Mounting your PC to the rack allows managing cables, organizing them in bundles, and attaching them to rack posts. Thus, all wires will be labeled, managed according to certain principles, and attached. This will simplify maintenance and make the system net.
  2. Airflow management. The issue of ventilation is crucial for telecommunication equipment. The thing is that the apparatus tends to heat well during performance. When parts are in operation, they emit heat. It is accumulated which can lead to overheating and, hence, system downtime. When hanged, PCs are cooled from all sides by natural airflows. This solution is preferable since when placing devices on tables or other surfaces, the bottom part of the equipment interacts with countertops and can’t be cooled. On the contrary, it heats even more.
  3. Dust accumulation. When the computer is placed on tables in a room, a lot of dust is accumulated inside. This may increase the risk of apparatus failure. Storing PCs in enclosed cabinets prevents hardware from this problem. An enclosed cabinet design doesn’t allow debris and other particles to enter the body. The system is effectively ventilated, which does not allow dust to accumulate inside.

How to calculate a suitable Cabinet Size to Accommodate the Computer?

Before you install the computer, you should realize how to rack mount a PC. You should know the size of the required furniture. Note that the rack size is measured in units (U), where 1 U is 1.75 inches. Keeping in mind this information, calculate the required height of the rack, you need to measure your PC and pick the model taking into account the obtained dimensions.

Here’s one important note. Never place devices tightly to each other or cabinet walls. What is meant is that enough place should be left between equipment and cabinet walls/posts to allow the air to freely circulate and cool the PC. So, make sure to leave some extra space.

As for other dimensions (width and depth), they are often standardized. Most models have 600 or 900 mm width to fit most networking hardware.

2 Options to Rack Mount the PC

If you decided to house the computer in server furniture, you can choose between two possible solutions:

  • Vertical fastening;
  • Horizontal mounting.

Each option has its pros and cons. The choice of the installation type will depend on a rack mountable PC, its weight, type of furniture, and purpose.

Vertical Fastening

This type of mounting is suitable for open-rack products. In this case, posts have special holes for fastening different types of devices. Attaching the PC to one of the posts will leave place for other equipment and provide better ergonomics inside the rack. Yet, note that the installation of too heavy apparatus may be complicated.

Horizontal Mounting

In this case, the weight of equipment actually does not matter. Sliding shelves are needed to place the computer on them. Attaching the device to shelves will ensure easy and convenient management of the entire system. Shelves can carry any weight if correctly chosen. Although this type of installation requires more space, devices are reliably mounted.

Additional Accessories for Racking PCs

When mounting PCs to posts of open-frame racks or enclosed cabinets, system administrators will likely need the following accessories.

  • Cable management arm is a flexible corrugated pipeline made of steel, tin-plated, galvanized and stainless steel, aluminum, and other types of tapes. The metal hose is designed to protect the cable from short circuits, fire, and is used in case of aggressive external influence. Thus, it will keep your wires protected from all sorts of damage.
  • Front stop bracket is a bent, prefabricated, or welded metal structure that is used to fix protruding parts of various products to a vertical or horizontal surface. These fasteners are strong enough, and, hence, are able to withstand significant mechanical loads.
  • Transport strap. There is a high degree of probability that you will face the need to move or transport server cabinets. The transport of equipment must be safe and efficient. To prevent accidents and secure expensive apparatus from the risk of being damaged, transport straps are used to secure the load. Note that modern server furniture models allow transporting it without disassembling and taking off equipment. It is possible to move cabinets with devices stored right inside of them.

Also, remember that special dowels and fasteners are required for vertically installed hardware. For horizontally mounted computers, shelves are needed.

All the above-listed elements will simplify the installation process, as well as guarantee the required safety precautions.

The PC is an important part of any telecommunication system. To keep all devices together and achieve better ergonomics, skilled system administrators suggest putting computers on racks and in cabinets. This will simplify maintenance, management, and operation. Putting a rackmount computer inside server furniture has multiple benefits, such as hardware rotation, airflow and cable management, and avowing of pollution. It is possible to fasten the device vertically or place it on a shelf. If you need a set of required tools, the installation process will be quick, easy, and secure.

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