Choosing server rack

Hi everyone :v:

I am looking to up my home network game. Currently I have consumer grade products such as Unifi UDM, Synology NAS, ISP modem and UPS (non is rack mount).

I am thinking to get a 12U 50CM (19 inch?) deep server rack. I am looking in my area and see a lot of racks but find it hard to pick, what differences should I expect to see? does any rack works with any upgrades? (shelves, fans).

Aside from number of Unites and depth, any suggestions on what I should look for?


I bought a fully enclosed rack with a door.

If you do the same, having the hinge on a particular side might be worth considering.
If you use powerblocks for plugs that will need its own shelf.
Having a shelf that you can pull out might be handy.
I have a 48-port switch in the rack, that’s in between a passthrough patch panel and a punch down patch panel (originally I had two pass throughs), all the ethernet runs in the house go to the punch down patch panel.
For some reason patch cables are not short enough, so when I close the door they press against it.
Doesn’t matter what size you buy, you end up filling it with whatever you can!

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I bought one of these:

All my routers, firewalls, switches, servers, and storage are all quiet enough where I don’t need it to be enclosed.

22 inches is a little shallow, I’m seeing used servers are mostly needing at least a 26 inch deep rack if you are going to use the correct rack rails for the equipment. That said, my lab is sitting on shelves, I think this is the pair I bought

They seem to be fine on my 1u servers though things slide around a bit when connecting cables. Production servers get proper rack sliding rails.

They also have decent looking shelves that are way cheaper than Middle Atlantic.

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Get what you can afford now. There’s no need to blow your budget on the rack when I’m sure you have plenty of more interesting gear on your wish list. But of course having room to expand is helpful. I just used wire shelving for the longest time until I stumbled across a very nice 22U fully enclosed cabinet at an FSU surplus auction.

Also, as your homelab grows, heat production (and electricity usage) will becoming more pressing issues. As my server stack has grown I’ve ended up taking the front and back doors off to help with air flow.

I’ve enjoyed building and “re-building” my stack over time. Blinkenlights make me smile. :smiley:

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Thanks for all the feedback! There aren’t many options in my country, but the prices are pretty good comparing to Amazon.

I ended up ordering this server rack for what would be 150 USD and I got this matching rack shelve for what would be 15 USD

I think its pretty good price for a 10U rack.

Sounds like you got a good deal…my 22U rack is surprisingly similar. :wink:

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Feeling some serious home lab envy here :laughing:. That looks great.