Rackmount Basics 101

As companies, equipment manufacturers, and startups research new server options and server upgrades, rackmounts are surfacing as one of the most flexible and scalable alternatives to meet today’s high demand for on-premise and virtualized storage servers. In your research, there are primarily two server platforms for consideration, one of which is likely to align with your IT configurations and business requirements. Both rackmount server platforms and blade server platforms have their place, but rack-mounted servers seem to make a better impression for a number of reasons. Let’s look at some rackmount basics.

What is a Rackmount Server?

A rackmount server gets its name because it is a server that is installed and mounted in a so-called “rack.” Racks contain many server mounting slots where the server slides into the rack mount through a slide-rails. Whether used as an on-premise solution or in a modern day data center, low profile rackmounts have been successful over several decades, proven to minimize floor space and consolidate network resources while maintaining optimum uptime across networks. One computer room rack is capable of housing multiple servers that are literally stacked on top of each other. Not only that, rack server configurations are shown to simplify and streamline network cabling components.

While some cooling systems are required with rackmount server platforms to avoid a buildup of heat in a confined space, there are a number of successful and often improved solutions to efficiently handle the task. The overall rackmount concept is a simple one, but as always there are several rackmount sizes and options to choose from and the one you select should be the right one.


The alternative blade server technology is an architecture that houses many server modules, known as blades, within a chassis. This self-standing unit that can also be rack mounted is often more attractive in data centers for saving space. In this system, the chassis is responsible for the power supply and the blades each have their own storage, RAM, and CPU.

Standards in Rackmounts

The 19-inch rackmount has been a staple since 1965 and still meets configuration needs in varying settings. As well, newer rackmount models accommodate today’s diversified data center and computer room needs. Premio’s high-end rack mount alternatives are meeting the requirements of small businesses and leading companies alike for superior parts and construction. Let’s look at some rackmount standards:

EIA-RS310D—This versatile rack mount server is 19” horizontally, edge to edge. The center mounting, hole to hole, is 465mm with 450mm available server space. Vertical dimensions are measured in U or RU (each U equals 1.75” or 44.45mm and a normal 19” rack has max 42U). There are no EIA restrictions on the Z-dimension (get Z depth in 30”, 36” and 42”; NEBS standard is 18”, 24”, 30”, 36” (in increments of 6”).

OCP Rack Standard—The open compute project (OCP) server rack is a combination of three traditional racks combined into a triple-wide rack system, perfect for heightened equipment density. Get a rolling-weight capacity of nearly 4,500 lbs. This organization’s concept is designed for efficiency and scalable computing for data centers. OCP chassis sizes are defined with the same optimum outside dimensions as in a typical 19-inch rack, but offer multiples in an OpenU at 1.89”, or 48 mm, somewhat larger than a typical rack unit to support wider equipment modules.

ETSI European 21” Standard—The ETSI rack, defined by the European Telecommunications Standards (ETS) Institute, offers a distance from the right edge to the left edge, rail to rail, of 21.1”, or 535mm. This 21” design has rack width enclosures of 5.9”, 11.8”, 23.6”, and 35.4 (150, 300, 600, and 900mm) with two depths allowed at 12” and 24” (300 and 600mm). The hole spacing is 0.978” (25mm). These tall-style racks offer a reversible glass door option, rear and side panel lock and key options, adjustable levelers, and more.

Things to Consider With Rackmounts: Power Budget, Cooling, and Weight

As with server solutions, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to selecting the right product to support your IT components. Your power budget, cooling needs, and weight capacities play an important role in making sustainable and positive long-term decisions for your environment.

  • Power Budget—are you ready to make a small investment in a long-term solution? We recommend platinum grade redundant power supplies, in-rack power via power distribution boards, dual output redundant power, and power banks for multiple systems.

Power Plugs

  • Cooling—do you recognize the value in optimized cooling designs including high-pressure blowers coupled with well-perforated panel systems? Get the exhaust cooling you require from blowers, fans, perforated rear panels, in-rack power, and cooling, or front-facing designs with cool ambient in lieu of preheated air.
  • Weight—have you considered the amount of weight you need to support for your server environment? Cooling support bars help in sustaining system weight and provide for easy mounting. Select a rackmount system to hold up to your server room needs.

Premio server and storage solutions are some of the best in the industry and designed to meet regulations, offer superior performance, and provide a sustainable, long-terms solution for the future. Rack mounts are your answer to some heavy-duty server challenges.

Network Top of Rack (TOR) Switches and Network Routing

Top-of-rack switching involves a network architecture concept in which physical network switches are placed within each server rack at the top so they are close for connectivity between components. This way, servers communicate directly and reduce traffic on core switches. With TOR switches, expect 1RU and 48 ports for uplinking 1 RU servers. The in-rack network switches are then connected to aggregation switches using fiber optic cables. TOR is a more efficient method for installing rack switches in terms of accessibility, consistency, and overall network routing. Premio provides the network TOR switches and network routing alternatives to meet your toughest computer and server room scenarios. Get a precision rackmount solution to align with your IT infrastructure. Get a Premio server solution.

Why Premio Rackmounts

Whether you are seeking high-availability servers or superior flash technology, Premio has the support systems to meet your server and data center needs and ultimately guide you for heightened productivity. We offer precision server lines built for seamless power, excellent cooling, and weights of scale. Our Durastream mission critical server line along with FlacheSAN Flash technology are just a few of Premio’s comprehensive selections in HDD and SDD storage, and you'll find the rackmount specifications you need to coincide with your server strategy.

The Premio Difference

Where else on the market can you find industry leading server products and services with a proven track record. Premio has been serving global industry leaders in the computer, server, and network space for over 25 years. As a premier ODM/OEM service provider for current technology solutions, Premio has their hand in the design and manufacture of every component and offers customized alternatives to suit new and difficult opportunities facing companies today. The company partners with some of the world’s most talented business leaders such as DELL, Intel, and Microsoft, to name a few, to offer the best server and storage options to meet individual enterprise needs.

Flash Storage Servers

Pictured: Flash Storage Server - FlacheSAN2-D4

Let Premio be your guide for rackmount systems, and get your server room or data center where it needs to be to meet next-generation cloud and on-premise storage challenges. Premio is focused on current technology, comprehensive individualized solutions, and rackmounts that fit your needs in terms of budget and your unique environment. Premio is your go-to provider for today’s premier rackmount options.