I’ve had all of my servers and networking equipment installed in a StarTech 12U rack for a couple of years now and earlier this year I decided to move my desktop computer into a 4U rack mount case to organize my workspace. Unfortunately, the 12U rack was already full so the “desktop” computer sat on top of the rack for months until i got around to expanding my available rack space adding a NavePoint 9U wall-mount rack and moved my network equipment to the new rack.
The 9U rack is actually a wall mount unit with a swing-out front panel that fits nicely on top of the existing 12U rack. The swing out feature doesn’t really work that well because the whole frame kind of bends and droops making it difficult to open and close. Maybe it would work better if it was actually wall mounted as intended. Other than that, the rack is sturdy and well built.
My network router, switches, and other devices take up 6U of the available space in the new rack leaving a couple of slots for future growth. I added filler plates to the empty slots to make the network rack look a bit nicer. The end result is a nice, reasonably well-organized server and network rack.
From the top down I have the following equipment installed in this rack:
- My cable modem and a pair of HDHomerun TV tuners
- Router (USG-Pro-4)
- 24 port switch (US-24-1)
- Patch panel
- 8 port POE switch (US-8-150W) and Cloudkey Gen2+
- Power strip plugged into the UPS sitting on the side of the rack
The bottom part of the rack is loaded with:
- 8 port KVM
- My desktop computer
- A pair of 2U SuperMicro servers
- Server UPS
Funny story – while I had the network down to move the equipment from the old rack to the new one, we had a power outage so I did most of the installation and re-wiring using whatever sunlight was coming through the windows during the storm. Untangling and reorganizing the mess of wires took a bit longer than I had planned but needed to be done. Cable management could still be improved but it’s a lot better than it was. Once the power came back on, I powered everything back up and it all came back to life.
I really like how this little project turned out. Having a separate network equipment rack certainly makes it easier to manage all of the wires and cables that were difficult to reach when it was all in the main server rack.