Network Racks For Surveillance Guide

By: 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:

** **** *****, ** look ** ******* **** infrastructure, *** ** *** fundamentals ** ** ***** surveillance. ******, ** *****:

  • **** ** * **** unit (**)?
  • ****** **. ******** ******** holes
  • **** *****
  • ****** ********
  • **** ***** **. ***** mount
  • **** **. ****** ***** racks
  • **** ********
  • ***** *****/****** ****
  • **** ******
  • ***** **********
  • ***********
  • ******* *******
  • ****** *******
  • ***********

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

* **** ****, *** "RU" ** ****** "*", is *** ************ **** of *********** *** *** networking ********* ***** *** hardware. ** ** ******* as *.** ******/**.*** **** by **"/***.*** ****,********** ************* * ******** ** the ***** *****.

***** *** ********* *** commonly ********* ** ***. For *******, *** ****** standard *** * **** height **** ** *** or ***. ********, *********, shelves, *** ***** **** mount ******* ***** **** rack ***** ** ***** spec ******, **** ** this ***:

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

**** ***** *** ******** holes *** ******** *********, while ****** *** ****** holes ***** ****** * captive *** (****** **** nuts). ******** ***** *** typically ******** *** *** or *** *****, *** not **** ** ***** styles.

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

******* ***** **** ***** are *******, ****-********* *** of ******** **** ********, also ********* **** ****** to ******* ***** *** allowing **** ******* ** all ***** ** *** equipment. ***** *** ********* forms ** ******* ***** racks:

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

  • **** **** **** ***** racks *** ********* **** for ******** ****** ********* such ** ***/*** *******, switches, *** ***** ***. They ******* * ***** floor ***** ** ** placed **, *** * rigid ***** ********* ** be ******** **.
  • *** **** ***** *** be ******** *** **** cable ***** ******, ***** terminations ** *********/******* *********. They *** *** ******** to **** **** **** mount *******, **** ** VMS *******, *** ******* a **** ******* ***** space *** ***** **** to ** ******** ******** to *** *****.
  • **** ***** ***** *** typically **** *** ***** patch ******, ***** ************. They *** ********* ******* to **-****** ******* **** and **** **** - 20in ****, ** ***** servers, ******** ** *** equipment *** *** *********** for ************ ** **** Mount *****.
  • ******** **** ***** ***** are ****** *********** ***** in **** ******** ***** down **** *** **** rails, ******** ****** ******** and ******** ***** ******* to ** **** ******* in * **** ******* space.

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

******** ******* ***** ******* physical ******** ** ******* server *** ****** *****, and ***** *** *********** intake *** ******* *** for *********** **** ********* operation ** ****-******* ********. As **** **** ***** models, ******** **** ** several ********* *****:

  • **** **** ***** ******** provide **** ** *** same ************* ** ** open * **** ****, but *** ** ****** secured **** ******* ***** and ***** *** *** ability ** ******* *** ventilation *** *** **** in *** *** ** the *******.
  • ****** ****** **** ***** cabinets *** ********* * compact *** ** ******** smaller ******* ********* (*-** port ********, ***** ******, small ***) ** * smaller **** ******* ***** up *** ***** **** estate. **** *** **** be ******, *** ******** have ******* *** ******** to *** ******* ** the **** ** ***** the *******. ***** ** no *** ** ****** the **** ** *** hardware ** ***** ****** in * ****** ****** cabinet.
  • ****** ****** **** ***** cabinets *** ********* ****** than ****** ****** ****** but ***** ****** ** the **** ** *** equipment ** *** **** without ****** ** ****** it **** *** *******. This ***** *********** ***** panels ** ******** *** hardware **** ******.
  • ******** **** ***** ********, are ** ******** ******* of *** ******** ***** open ****, **** ******** larger ******** *** ******* to ** **** ******* in * **** ******* space (**"-**" ** *******), and ********* ******** ** a ******** *******. **** are ***** *** ***** max ****** ** *******.

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

*** ***** ******** ** any **** ****** ** the ***** ** *** enclosure. ***** ************ ************ ***** ********** ***** * **** racks ******* **** **" to **". *** ******* rack ***** *** ******** servers ** **", ***** on *** ****** ******,***, ********.

******* ***** ** ** true ******** *** "****** depth", ***** *** *** common ****** ***** ****** watch *** ***:

  • ******* "****** *****" *****:******* ******* ********* ****** to **", **** ************* advertise **" **** ***** as "****** *****."
  • **** ***** ******* *******:******* *** ****** ***** wall ***** ***** *** limited. ***** ******** ********* may ****** *** ** wall ***** ******, **** size *** ******* ****** require * ***** ***** rack *** ** ***** depth.

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

******* ******** *********** **** changed *** *** ** departments **** ** **** at ******** ********. **** regulations (*****, ***-***) ***'* currently ******* *******-***** ******** control, **** ***** ****** control (**** ******-*** *.* ******** *********):

*.* - ***** ****** to ****** ********** *** cardholder **** ** **** those *********** ***** *** requires **** ******
*.* - ********* ** access ******* ******(*) *** systems ********** **** ********* access ***** ** * user’sneed ** ****, *** is *** ** “**** all” ****** ************ *******.

****** **** *************, *** ******** ******** specific ************ *** ****** to ********.

Cabinet ********

******* ******* ******** ********** varies. **** ** *** technologies ** ***** ***:

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

******* ******** *** ***** secured **** ***** ******** locks ***/** ***** ******* that ****** **** *** used ** ******. ************, many ***** **** **** removable **** ****** ** rear ***** **** *** secured **** ******** *****.

********** ****** ******* ******* are ********* *** ******* cabinet *******, **** *********** swing ****** ***** *** cylindrical *********** ******** ***** from***,*******,*******, *** ******. **** of ***** **** ********** Wiegand **** ******* ******** on *** **** ****.

* *** ****** ** a */**" ****** ****** that ** * **** historically **** ** **** telephone/data ************ ********* (****). However, **** ******** *** this **** ********, ** well, ** ***** *** top ** *** ******* (possibly ** ******** ** a *******).

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

** ******, **** ***** racks *** **** ****** than ********, ** *******, power, *** ******** *** exposed ******* ** ****** in ** *********. ******* of ****, **** ***** racks *** ********* **** only ** ****** ***** such ** ****** *****.

***** *** **** ** lock **** **** *********** in **** ***** ***** from ****** *********, **** as ******** ****** ***** mount **** *** ***** of ********* (*****). *** determined ********* **** **** other *** ** ********** or ******* *********.

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

** ******** ** **** security, ***** ******* **** ***** ****** or ***** ***** *** switch *****. **** ******* *** a *********** ** ** outlet *** ***** ***** connector ****, **** * removal ***.

**** ** *** ************* that ***** ******* ******* are:

Rack ******

***** *** ** *** standards *** ***** **** piece ** ********* ** mounted ** * ****, as **** ************ *** equipment ******** ******, *** there * *** ******* guidelines ** ********:

  • ***** *** ********* *** heaviest ******** ****** ** any **** *** ****** be ******* ** *** bottom ** *** **** for *********.
  • ***** ***** ****** *** other ******** ***** *********** are **** ***** ******* at *** *** ** the ****, ***** **** are ******** **** **** frequently **** *******/****** ******* and ********.
  • ** * ***/******* *** used, **** ****** ** placed ** ******* ******, generally **-**" ** ** not ** ** *** high/low ** *********** ***.

*** ****** ** *** rack ***** ** **** most, ** ******* **** as ****** *** ***** panel *******, ****** ******** and ****, *** ***** devices ****** ******.

Cable **********

***** ********** ****** *** rack ** ** ******** as *** ***** *** in ******** ** ***** the *******. ** ** where *** **** *******, troubleshooting, *** ********* **** be ****. ******** ******* cable *** ******** *** also * ***** ********* of * ********** ******* with **** *** ****** technique.

***** *** *** ****** approaches ** ******** ******/***** panel ******:

  • ***** ****** *** ******** grouped:** **** ********, ***** panels *** ******* ******** to **** *****, ** our ********, *** ****** patch ****** **** ** connect ***** ****** ** switches. **** ******** ***** it ****** ** *** future ***** ****** ** switches, *** ****** **** be ****** *** *** more ********* ** *****.

  • ***** ****** ******* **** to ********:** **** ********, ***** panels *** ******** *** grouped ********, **** ******* patch ****** **** ** connect *** ***. **** method ******* *** **** for ********** ***** ********, since **** *** *****. However, ** ** **** flexible *** ****** ***** because **** ****** ***** may *** ** ******* adjacent ** ***** **** added ***** *** ******* installation.

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

******* ********* ******* ****** is **** ********* **** considering **** **** ** enclosure, *** **** *********** control ** *** *******.

  • **** **** ***** ** not ******* *** *** of ********** *** ********* hot ******* *** **** from *** ****** ****** air *** *********** ******* hot *** **** **** the ****, ***** **** be ******* **********.
  • ******** **** ** ***** mount ******* ******* *** be **** **********, **** many ********* ***** **** for **** ** *** top ***/** ****** ***** allow *** ** ** vented **** ****** ****** or **** *****.

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

**** ******* ** ****** manufacturer *** **** ********* specifications *** ****** *** exhaust ** ***** *********. They **** ***** *** "front **** ** **** side" ** "**** **** exhaust ** **** **** intake".

** ***** ************, "*****" means *** **** ** the ****** **** **** and ***** **********, ***** "back" ***** *** **** with *** ******* ***** - ******** ***** ****** fans *** **** ********* but *** ** ******* with ***** (** ***** connectors ****) *******.

**** ****** ************* *** rear *******, ** **** they ******* *** *** where *** ***** *** network *********** ***, *** intake ** *** ***** and *****.

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

***** *** *** ***** of ******* **** ** rack ************:

  • ******* ******* ***** ******* on ******* *** **** from *** ******* ** the ******* *** ******** to ***** **** *** to **** **** *** cabinet.
  • ****** ******* ***** ***** exhaust *** ** **** to ****** *** *** air **** *** **** area, ******** *** ****** of **** *** ** happen **** ***********, ******* equipment ******.

******* ******* ** **** common ** ***** **** closets ** ***-**** ****** environments, ********** * *** switches ** ******** ********* which ********* ** *** produce ******* ****. *** conditioning ***** **** *** into *** **** ******* either ********* **** ** building **** *** **** to **** *** ****** room ****. **** ** inefficient, *** *** ******* investment ****** ** **** network ********* **** *** functioning.

*** ****** ** ****** cooling ** *** ***** and **** ***** ***********, a ******* ******** ** modern **** ******* *** isolating *** **** ****** air **** *** *** exhaust ***, ** ******** the ******* ******* ********* ducting/chimneys *** * ****** ceiling *****. **** ******** a ********* ******* **** and * ****** ***** plenum ******.

*** ***** ******** ** any ******* **** ***** to ** **** ** the *** ***** ** the **** ** *** racks, **** ** **** in **** *** ******* conditions, ***** ** ******* F. ** **** ******** more ***** *** *** exhaust ******, *** ** a *** ** * server ** ****** *****, it **** ***** *** more **** ** ******* the ***, ** **** down *** *********, ****** catastrophic *********** ***** *****.

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

***** **** ******* ********* such ** ********, *********, servers, *** ***** ******, there *** ******* ****** rack ***********:

*** ********

**** **** ************* **** have ******** ******* ****** the **** **** ** grouping ** *****. ** place ** ******** ********, keyboards *** **** *** control *** ******* ** each ******, * *** (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) ****** ****** *** control ** ******** ******* from * ******* *****. The **** ****** **** is * ***** *** rack **** **** ******* monitor, *** *** **** be * ********** ****** with ******** *******, ***** and ********.

**** *******

**** ******* *** ***** used ** **** ********* which ** *** ******** intended ** **** *****, such ** ***** ******/*******, small *********, ** ******* PCs.

*******

**** ******* *** ******** used ** ***** ******, manuals, *****, ** ***** materials ***** *** ** frequently ******. ******* ***** from **-**, *********, *** up ** ~**" *****.

******

*******, **** ***** ****** may ** **** ** illuminate ******* ***** ** the *****/**** ** *****. This *** ** ********** useful *** ********* *** rear ** ******** ********, as ******* ***** ** the **** *** *** reach ***** *****.

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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