Network Racks For Surveillance Guide

Author: Sean Patton, Published on Mar 21, 2018

In this guide, we look at network rack infrastructure, one of the fundamentals of IP video surveillance. Inside, we cover:

  • What is a rack unit (RU)?
  • Square vs. threaded mounting holes
  • Open frame
  • Closed cabinets
  • Wall mount vs. floor mount
  • Full vs. switch depth racks
  • Rack security
  • Cable trays/ladder rack
  • Rack layout
  • Cable management
  • Ventilation
  • Passive cooling
  • Active cooling
  • Accessories

What Is a Rack Unit?

A rack unit, aka "RU" or simply "U", is the standardized unit of measurement for all networking equipment racks and hardware. It is defined as 1.75 inches/44.5mm tall by 19"/482.6mm wide, officially established as a standard in the early 1920s.

Racks and equipment are commonly specified in RUs. For example, the common standard for a full height rack is 42U or 44U. Switches, recorders, shelves, and other rack mount devices often list rack units on their spec sheets, such as this NVR:

Square Vs. Threaded Mounting Holes

Some racks use threaded holes for mounting equipment, while others use square holes which accept a captive nut (called cage nuts). Mounting rails are typically designed for one or the other, but not both of these styles.

Exposed Frame Open Racks

Exposed Frame Open Racks are lighter, cost-effective way of mounting rack hardware, also providing open access to connect wires and allowing free airflow on all sides of the equipment. There are different forms of Exposed Frame racks:

** **** *****, ** **** ** ******* **** **************, *** of *** ************ ** ** ***** ************. ******, ** *****:

  • **** ** * **** **** (**)?
  • ****** **. ******** ******** *****
  • **** *****
  • ****** ********
  • **** ***** **. ***** *****
  • **** **. ****** ***** *****
  • **** ********
  • ***** *****/****** ****
  • **** ******
  • ***** **********
  • ***********
  • ******* *******
  • ****** *******
  • ***********

What ** * **** ****?

* **** ****, *** "**" ** ****** "*", ** *** standardized **** ** *********** *** *** ********** ********* ***** *** hardware. ** ** ******* ** *.** ******/**.*** **** ** **"/***.*** wide,********** ************* * ******** ** *** ***** *****.

***** *** ********* *** ******** ********* ** ***. *** *******, the ****** ******** *** * **** ****** **** ** *** or ***. ********, *********, *******, *** ***** **** ***** ******* often **** **** ***** ** ***** **** ******, **** ** this ***:

Square **. ******** ******** *****

**** ***** *** ******** ***** *** ******** *********, ***** ****** use ****** ***** ***** ****** * ******* *** (****** **** nuts). ******** ***** *** ********* ******** *** *** ** *** other, *** *** **** ** ***** ******.

Exposed ***** **** *****

******* ***** **** ***** *** *******, ****-********* *** ** ******** rack ********, **** ********* **** ****** ** ******* ***** *** allowing **** ******* ** *** ***** ** *** *********. ***** are ********* ***** ** ******* ***** *****:

[***************]

  • **** **** **** ***** ***** *** ********* **** *** ******** larger ********* **** ** ***/*** *******, ********, *** ***** ***. They ******* * ***** ***** ***** ** ** ****** **, and * ***** ***** ********* ** ** ******** **.
  • *** **** ***** *** ** ******** *** **** ***** ***** panels, ***** ************ ** *********/******* *********. **** *** *** ******** to **** **** **** ***** *******, **** ** *** *******, but ******* * **** ******* ***** ***** *** ***** **** to ** ******** ******** ** *** *****.
  • **** ***** ***** *** ********* **** *** ***** ***** ******, fiber ************. **** *** ********* ******* ** **-****** ******* **** and **** **** - **** ****, ** ***** *******, ******** or *** ********* *** *** *********** *** ************ ** **** Mount *****.
  • ******** **** ***** ***** *** ****** *********** ***** ** **** hardware ***** **** **** *** **** *****, ******** ****** ******** and ******** ***** ******* ** ** **** ******* ** * more ******* *****.

Enclosed ******* *****

******** ******* ***** ******* ******** ******** ** ******* ****** *** switch *****, *** ***** *** *********** ****** *** ******* *** for *********** **** ********* ********* ** ****-******* ********. ** **** open ***** ******, ******** **** ** ******* ********* *****:

  • **** **** ***** ******** ******* **** ** *** **** ************* as ** **** * **** ****, *** *** ** ****** secured **** ******* ***** *** ***** *** *** ******* ** control *** *********** *** *** **** ** *** *** ** the *******.
  • ****** ****** **** ***** ******** *** ********* * ******* *** of ******** ******* ******* ********* (*-** **** ********, ***** ******, small ***) ** * ******* **** ******* ***** ** *** floor **** ******. **** *** **** ** ******, *** ******** have ******* *** ******** ** *** ******* ** *** **** or ***** *** *******. ***** ** ** *** ** ****** the **** ** *** ******** ** ***** ****** ** * single ****** *******.
  • ****** ****** **** ***** ******** *** ********* ****** **** ****** hinged ****** *** ***** ****** ** *** **** ** *** equipment ** *** **** ******* ****** ** ****** ** **** the *******. **** ***** *********** ***** ****** ** ******** *** hardware **** ******.
  • ******** **** ***** ********, *** ** ******** ******* ** *** vertical ***** **** ****, **** ******** ****** ******** *** ******* to ** **** ******* ** * **** ******* ***** (**"-**" on *******), *** ********* ******** ** * ******** *******. **** are ***** *** ***** *** ****** ** *******.

Full ***** ** ****** *****

*** ***** ******** ** *** **** ****** ** *** ***** of *** *********. ***** ************ ************ ***** ********** ***** * **** ***** ******* **** **" ** **". The ******* **** ***** *** ******** ******* ** **", ***** on *** ****** ******,***, ********.

******* ***** ** ** **** ******** *** "****** *****", ***** are *** ****** ****** ***** ****** ***** *** ***:

  • ******* "****** *****" *****:******* ******* ********* ****** ** **", **** ************* ********* **" deep ***** ** "****** *****."
  • **** ***** ******* *******:******* *** ****** ***** **** ***** ***** *** *******. ***** embedded ********* *** ****** *** ** **** ***** ******, **** size *** ******* ****** ******* * ***** ***** **** *** to ***** *****.

Physical ******** ***********

******* ******** *********** **** ******* *** *** ** *********** **** to **** ** ******** ********. **** *********** (*****, ***-***) ***'* currently ******* *******-***** ******** *******, **** ***** ****** ******* (**** the***-*** *.* ******** *********):

*.* - ***** ****** ** ****** ********** *** ********** **** to **** ***** *********** ***** *** ******** **** ******
*.* - ********* ** ****** ******* ******(*) *** ******* ********** that ********* ****** ***** ** * ****’***** ** ****, *** is *** ** “**** ***” ****** ************ *******.

****** **** *************, *** ******** ******** ******** ************ *** ****** ** ********.

Cabinet ********

******* ******* ******** ********** ******. **** ** *** ************ ** place ***:

  • *********** **** *** *****
  • ********** ****** *******
  • *** ******/**** *********

******* ******** *** ***** ******* **** ***** ******** ***** ***/** swing ******* **** ****** **** *** **** ** ******. ************, many ***** **** **** ********* **** ****** ** **** ***** that *** ******* **** ******** *****.

********** ****** ******* ******* *** ********* *** ******* ******* *******, with *********** ***** ****** ***** *** *********** *********** ******** ***** from***,*******,*******, *** ******. **** ** ***** **** ********** ******* **** readers ******** ** *** **** ****.

* *** ****** ** * */**" ****** ****** **** ** a **** ************ **** ** **** *********/**** ************ ********* (****). However, **** ******** *** **** **** ********, ** ****, ** close *** *** ** *** ******* (******** ** ******** ** a *******).

Open ***** ********

** ******, **** ***** ***** *** **** ****** **** ********, as *******, *****, *** ******** *** ******* ******* ** ****** in ** *********. ******* ** ****, **** ***** ***** *** generally **** **** ** ****** ***** **** ** ****** *****.

***** *** **** ** **** **** **** *********** ** **** frame ***** **** ****** *********, **** ** ******** ****** ***** mount **** *** ***** ** ********* (*****). *** ********** ********* will **** ***** *** ** ********** ** ******* *********.

Switch **** ********

** ******** ** **** ********, ***** ******* **** ***** ****** ** ***** ***** *** ****** *****. **** ******* *** * *********** ** ** ****** *** patch ***** ********* ****, **** * ******* ***.

**** ** *** ************* **** ***** ******* ******* ***:

Rack ******

***** *** ** *** ********* *** ***** **** ***** ** equipment ** ******* ** * ****, ** **** ************ *** equipment ******** ******, *** ***** * *** ******* ********** ** consider:

  • ***** *** ********* *** ******** ******** ****** ** *** **** and ****** ** ******* ** *** ****** ** *** **** for *********.
  • ***** ***** ****** *** ***** ******** ***** *********** *** **** often ******* ** *** *** ** *** ****, ***** **** are ******** **** **** ********** **** *******/****** ******* *** ********.
  • ** * ***/******* *** ****, **** ****** ** ****** ** working ******, ********* **-**" ** ** *** ** ** *** high/low ** *********** ***.

*** ****** ** *** **** ***** ** **** ****, ** factors **** ** ****** *** ***** ***** *******, ****** ******** and ****, *** ***** ******* ****** ******.

Cable **********

***** ********** ****** *** **** ** ** ******** ** *** cable *** ** ******** ** ***** *** *******. ** ** where *** **** *******, ***************, *** ********* **** ** ****. Properly ******* ***** *** ******** *** **** * ***** ********* of * ********** ******* **** **** *** ****** *********.

***** *** *** ****** ********** ** ******** ******/***** ***** ******:

  • ***** ****** *** ******** *******:** **** ********, ***** ****** *** ******* ******** ** **** other, ** *** ********, *** ****** ***** ****** **** ** connect ***** ****** ** ********. **** ******** ***** ** ****** to *** ****** ***** ****** ** ********, *** ****** **** be ****** *** *** **** ********* ** *****.

  • ***** ****** ******* **** ** ********:** **** ********, ***** ****** *** ******** *** ******* ********, with ******* ***** ****** **** ** ******* *** ***. **** method ******* *** **** *** ********** ***** ********, ***** **** are *****. *******, ** ** **** ******** *** ****** ***** because **** ****** ***** *** *** ** ******* ******** ** cable **** ***** ***** *** ******* ************.

Enclosure ***********

******* ********* ******* ****** ** **** ********* **** *********** **** type ** *********, *** **** *********** ******* ** *** *******.

  • **** **** ***** ** *** ******* *** *** ** ********** and ********* *** ******* *** **** **** *** ****** ****** air *** *********** ******* *** *** **** **** *** ****, which **** ** ******* **********.
  • ******** **** ** ***** ***** ******* ******* *** ** **** controlled, **** **** ********* ***** **** *** **** ** *** top ***/** ****** ***** ***** *** ** ** ****** **** plenum ****** ** **** *****.

Equipment *********** *****

**** ******* ** ****** ************ *** **** ********* ************** *** intake *** ******* ** ***** *********. **** **** ***** *** "front **** ** **** ****" ** "**** **** ******* ** port **** ******".

** ***** ************, "*****" ***** *** **** ** *** ****** with **** *** ***** **********, ***** "****" ***** *** **** with *** ******* ***** - ******** ***** ****** **** *** port ********* *** *** ** ******* **** ***** (** ***** connectors ****) *******.

**** ****** ************* *** **** *******, ** **** **** ******* hot *** ***** *** ***** *** ******* *********** ***, *** intake ** *** ***** *** *****.

Passive **. ****** *******

***** *** *** ***** ** ******* **** ** **** ************:

  • ******* ******* ***** ******* ** ******* *** **** **** *** exhaust ** *** ******* *** ******** ** ***** **** *** to **** **** *** *******.
  • ****** ******* ***** ***** ******* *** ** **** ** ****** the *** *** **** *** **** ****, ******** *** ****** of **** *** ** ****** **** ***********, ******* ********* ******.

******* ******* ** **** ****** ** ***** **** ******* ** non-data ****** ************, ********** * *** ******** ** ******** ********* which ********* ** *** ******* ******* ****. *** ************ ***** cool *** **** *** **** ******* ****** ********* **** ** building **** *** **** ** **** *** ****** **** ****. This ** ***********, *** *** ******* ********** ****** ** **** network ********* **** *** ***********.

*** ****** ** ****** ******* ** *** ***** *** **** Aisle ***********, * ******* ******** ** ****** **** ******* *** isolating *** **** ****** *** **** *** *** ******* ***, by ******** *** ******* ******* ********* *******/******** *** * ****** ceiling *****. **** ******** * ********* ******* **** *** * raised ***** ****** ******.

*** ***** ******** ** *** ******* **** ***** ** ** done ** *** *** ***** ** *** **** ** *** racks, **** ** **** ** **** *** ******* **********, ***** 90 ******* *. ** **** ******** **** ***** *** *** exhaust ******, *** ** * *** ** * ****** ** switch *****, ** **** ***** *** **** **** ** ******* the ***, ** **** **** *** *********, ****** ************ *********** would *****.

Other **** ***********

***** **** ******* ********* **** ** ********, *********, *******, *** patch ******, ***** *** ******* ****** **** ***********:

*** ********

**** **** ************* **** **** ******** ******* ****** *** **** rack ** ******** ** *****. ** ***** ** ******** ********, keyboards *** **** *** ******* *** ******* ** **** ******, a *** (********/*****/*****) ****** ****** *** ******* ** ******** ******* from * ******* *****. *** **** ****** **** ** * slide *** **** **** **** ******* *******, *** *** **** be * ********** ****** **** ******** *******, ***** *** ********.

**** *******

**** ******* *** ***** **** ** **** ********* ***** ** not ******** ******** ** **** *****, **** ** ***** ******/*******, small *********, ** ******* ***.

*******

**** ******* *** ******** **** ** ***** ******, *******, *****, or ***** ********* ***** *** ** ********** ******. ******* ***** from **-**, *********, *** ** ** ~**" *****.

******

*******, **** ***** ****** *** ** **** ** ********** ******* areas ** *** *****/**** ** *****. **** *** ** ********** useful *** ********* *** **** ** ******** ********, ** ******* light ** *** **** *** *** ***** ***** *****.

Comments (13)

***** *** *** ****** ****. ******* ********** ******* ** *** little ***** * **** *** **** *** ** ** ****** participant ** **** ********. ******** ***** *** ********** ** *** veterinarians ** *** *** ******; * *****, * ***, * chicken - *** ** *** **** ***!

****** *** ******* ** **** ******* **** ******* *** *** pieces ********.

** ******* ** * **** *** ******.

**** *****, * ***** * ******* ** *********** *** ****.

* **** *** ****** ******* *******.

*'* ** ********** ** *** **** ** **** *** ** earthquake ***** *****.

****, ******* ******* **** ******* ***** *****.

*********, ***** *** ******** ** *** ***** / *****.

***

* **** ** *** *** ***** ***** *** **** *, but * ***'* ****** **** **** **** *****. ** **** as * **** **** ***** ****, * **** ***** **** an ***********-***** *********** ** *** **** *** *****, ** ** the ********* ****** ************ *******.

** ** ***** ** ****** *** **** **** ******, *** we've *** **** **** **** ***** ********** ***** ***** ** allow *** ****. ****'* ***** ** ******** *** **** **** when ********** *** ******, *** * *** *** ********* ****** using *****.

******* ***** * **** **** ****** *** *** ** *** rack ** *** **** ** ******* **** ***-****** ** ********* wobble. ****** ** **** ***** *** ********* ********* * **** no *** ** ******* ***** ** ******.

** ****** * ****-**** **** ***** *********** ** ********, *** they *** ** ****** **** ***** ***, ** *****'* * significant ****-****** **** ** ***** ****, ** *** ** *** purchase ***** **********.

******* ********* *** ******** **** ******** **** ****, *** *'** never **** ****** **.

*** ****** ******* ******* **** *** **** ****/***** ********* ****** be ********. *** ****** ******* ***** ** ******* *** *** air **** *** **** *** ****.

**** ** *******, *** ******* *** **** ******* ** ******* this.

***********. * ******* ********* *** **** ** ******** ** ********* the *********'*.

**** *******.

"**** *" ******* ** **** "**** ** ****** ********** *****", as ******. ** * ***** *** ****** *** ***** ****** ** the ***** ** *********.

*** ***'* ******* **** ****** *****, ** ***** ***** *****, or ****** *** ***** *** *******/***** *****.

(** *** **** *** ******. *****'* ******** * "**** ******" rule, ******** ** * ***** ****. *** ***** *** * for **** ***** ** ** **** *** ********, ******* *** rs485 ** ****** (**** ***) ** ***** *** **** *** forth ********** ** ***** *****.)

* ****** ***'* **** ** ******** ** *** **** ** enterprise ***** ****, *** **** ** ***** ********* ****-**-**** ***********. Thanks!

* ***** **'* ********* ** **** ** **** *** ****. It *** ** ****** ***** ** *****. ***** ***** *** usually ****** **** ******** ****** ***********. *** ***** ***** *** more ********** **** ***************, *** ****** ********/******* ** ****** ******* without ******* *** ****.

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