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Why you may need 19” Racks and Cabinets

What is it?
The phrase 19-inch rack or 19-inch cabinet refers to an equipment rack or cabinet that has at least two vertical rails with an industry standard width of 19 inches. The purpose of these rails is to allow the mounting of various types of equipment such as, but not limited to, network, computing, telecommunication, audio, video, industrial and automation equipment.
Commonly, IT personnel are in need of such 19” racks and cabinets and are knowledgeable about the product and its features. The purpose of this article is to provide useful information to those in need of a 19” cabinet or rack who seek additional knowledge about the types of racks and cabinets available as well as key points to consider when choosing a rack or cabinet.

The function of the 19” rack or cabinet is to accommodate, protect, and secure equipment, while also allowing access to authorized personnel for equipment maintenance or the recording of information.

Types of 19” Racks and Cabinets
There are different types of 19” racks and cabinets to choose from depending on the size and weight of the mountable equipment. It is also important to consider any specific requirements that might be applicable to the equipment as noted by the equipment manufacturer. The types of 19” racks and cabinets available in today’s market are: free standing racks, wall mount cabinets and versatile racks or cabinets, meaning that it is possible to place them on the floor to use them as free standing racks, mount them on the wall or use them as desktop cabinets or racks. Keep in mind that while wall mount cabinets will conserve floor space, they have weight restrictions that should be considered when making a decision about the type of rack to be used.

Common Features in 19” Racks and Cabinets
Height: The height of the mountable equipment is measured in multiples of 1.75 inches, a standard height also known as one sett1rack unit or "U" size. Therefore, the standard 19” cabinets and racks are offered in different U sizes such as 5U, 7U, 9U, 12U, 20U, 26U, 36U, 42U and more. The U size of the 19”cabinet or rack refers to the mountable usable height of the equipment intended to be mounted in the cabinet or rack. For example, if the equipment to be mounted in the rack or cabinet consists of three pieces with a height of 1U and two pieces with a height of 2U, the minimum mountable size (height) of the rack or cabinet needed is (3 pieces x 1U height) + (2 pieces x 2U height) = 7U.

Rails: Two-rail vs. four-rail cabinets or racks – While some cabinets and racks offer two vertical mounting rails, others have four. As previously explained, these mounting rails have a standard 19” width between them in order to allow mounting of the equipment. The 19” mountable equipment features a front panel that is 19 inches wide, including edges or ear tabs that extends out on each side which allow equipment to be fastened to the rack frame with screws. The length and weight of the equipment will dictate if two or four rails are needed to support the equipment and prevent any tilting.

Doors: Some 19” racks and cabinets offer perforated doors for better airflow and equipment ventilation. This is a feature to consider when mounting equipment that has a tendency to generate heat while in operation. Other 19” racks or cabinets may include a glass door, which allows a clear view of the equipment in order to record or monitor information.

Access: The amount of maintenance and access to equipment required is another consideration when choosing a cabinet or rack. In cases where mountable equipment needs frequent access, it is necessary to choose a rack or cabinet that contains access points to the desired areas. Some cabinets and racks feature four-way access to equipment via back, front and removable side panels.

Accessories: There are many accessories available for 19” cabinets or racks. Considerations should be taken for purchasing accessories designed for the specific cabinet or rack that you intend to purchase. The primary accessories that customers often purchase along with cabinets or racks are: cooling systems (to allow better ventilation inside the 19” cabinet or rack and prevent the mountable equipment from overheating), full size shelves, equipment shelves, casters, cable management panels, mounting kits, etc.

Quality: The construction and sturdiness of the 19” cabinet or rack is important as some are well-built and welded, others might be less stable and durable. Therefore, it is important to accommodate your valuable equipment in a quality cabinet or rack that will support the weight and protect your equipment.

SETT offers a wide variety of high quality 19” network cabinets and racks. We have included technical specifications and drawings for each specific model in order to provide you with information needed to select the optimal cabinet or rack. If you need any further assistance, our professional team will be happy to help you. Please visit us online at: to choose the 19 inch cabinet or rack for you. You may contact us during business hours at 215-322-9301 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
The SETT team has put together a few tips on how to choose a 19” cabinet or rack. Please read our Blog on ‘How to choose the 19” cabinet or rack you need’ at:


Network Racks and Server Racks from SETT!

SETT is one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of network racks, server racks and network cabinets.  Whether you need a wall mount cabinet or free standing network rack, you will find it here - from 5U cabinets to large 42U server racks.  For your convenience, SETT network racks may be ordered online and shipped nationwide.

Trusted worldwide, SETT server and network racks are built to last!