Rack mounting recorders is common in professional systems, but manufacturers are making it difficult, with simple design failures causing multiple issues.
Most commonly, the term "rack" is used to refer to equipment with vertical mounting rails 19" apart and a standardized mounting hole pattern. This may be one of a variety of styles (open frame, closed, etc., discussed below), all of which are simply called racks in common usage.
Rack height and depth varies depending on how much and which equipment is to be mounted in it, with some deep enough only for patch panels and switches (~12-18") or others sized to accept even the largest servers (~30"+).
Rack Units (RU)
Rack rails include a standardized hole pattern which is broken down into "rack units", a 1.75" division consisting of three mounting holes. These units are often marked on rack rails to make front/back mounting easier.
Rack unit is most often abbreviated to RU or simply U, which can be found on some equipment's spec sheets under dimensions, such as this NVR:
Open Frame Vs. Cabinet
Racks may be either open frame (2 or 4 post) or enclosed. Open frame racks are typically used in rooms which are secured and climate controlled, while cabinets are used in open office areas where the enclosure itself is secured and ventilated.
Both styles may be floor mount or wall mount, depending on space requirements, number of rack spaces needed, wall construction, etc.
In this report, we look at rack mounting recorders, covering these topics:
- Why rack mount?
- Why not mount on desk, table or floor?
- Recorders without mounts included
- Recorders blocking adjacent spaces
- Front only mounts cause device sag
- Rack rails do not fit
- Other rack components to consider