Exploring Rack Mount Computers – Beginner’s Guide 

Rack mount PCs are computers that are designed to be mounted inside a sturdy steel or aluminum enclosure or rack. The computer equipment is anchored into the rack mount system, which protects the equipment from being damaged. This works particularly well for housing industrial computers, which may be used in rugged environments where being secured into a rack mount enclosure will offer additional protection.

Rack mount components are available in a variety of sizes, such as 1U, 2U, 3U and so on. The term 1U refers to one rack unit of height. This is 1.75 inches. Therefore, 2U would be two rack units at 3.5 inches in height. If you plan to mount a 3U component, you will need 5.25 inches of height. This unit system starts at 1U and continues up to 7U. The width and height of a rack mount are standard sizes, but the depth may vary. Before you mount any components, it is important to make sure you know the depth so you can be sure they will fit within the available space. These measurements refer to the maximum space available, so components are often slightly less in size to allow for room to mount them. For example, a component that is 3.44 inches high would be mounted in a 2U high enclosure, which is 3.5 inches tall.

Why Use Rack Mount Computers?

Companies commonly use rack mounting to securely house computer equipment, including network servers, switches, routers and a variety of other devices. By adding additional components and accessories, such as keyboards, embedded computers, and LCD screens, a rack mount system can offer full functionality with the convenience and safety of being anchored down. This prevents components from moving around and being damaged while they are in use.

What Is Inside of a Rack Mount Computer?

Today’s manufacturers can provide industrial-grade, built-to-order, high-performance, customizable and reliable rack mount computers and servers. When customizing your rack mount computer, you can choose the size, processor, storage, power options and just about any other option you could want. Some components feature expansion and customization options, including reversible mounting ears and near-silent cooling fans. If you want to prevent airborne dust particles from getting into the chassis, consider purchasing a unit with filtered ventilation fans. Some components even have lockable, shielded doors that are designed to protect drives while keeping them easily accessible. There are so many options for customization that with some planning, you should end up with a highly functional, efficient rack mount computer that meets your needs and lasts a long time.

Rack mount computers are highly customizable and durable computers that can withstand a more rugged environment than typical residential computers. This is especially true in an industrial environment, where computers can often be exposed to excessive vibrations, humidity, corrosive substances, and dirt, all of which can cause components to malfunction. Rack mounting provides an extra layer of protection and security between your computer and the environment around it.

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