January 11, 2010 07:30 ET Cites 5 Key Considerations for Purchasing a Computer, Server or Device Rack or Enclosure System

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL--(Marketwire - January 11, 2010) - Rack mounting is an advisable way to enhance, organize and protect electronic equipment, whether housing home theater components or sheltering network equipment in the workplace. "But 'buyer beware,' as all products are not created equal," caution the experts at ( -- a leading provider of computer racks, cabinets, enclosures, wall mounts, LAN stations, workstations, security lockboxes and other commercial and residential cable, wire and equipment management solutions from industry leading brands such as Great Lakes, Kendall Howard and Chatsworth.

"Whether you're looking for open or closed server racks, cabinets or other enclosures, there are 5 key considerations for making an office computer network or home theater system the best it can be," said Christina Hansen, a product specialist.

Hansen suggests consumers heed these 5 tips before making a purchase decision relating to 19" server rack enclosures, computer and server cabinets, wall mounts, LAN stations, workstations and security lockboxes:

-- Rack Style: Open or Enclosed? If you want continuous, easy access to your rack mounted equipment and don't mind it being in plain sight, an open rack is a straightforward, and often cost-effective, option. Or, if you prefer to keep your electronic components concealed and/or to give them extra protection against moisture, chemicals and dust, an enclosure would better meet your needs.

-- Ventilation: To extend the life and improve the performance of your home theater or network equipment, the most important thing you can do is keep it cool and well-ventilated. If you're considering using an open rack in a temperature-controlled room, then your ventilation problem is already solved. However, because enclosures tend to trap heat, if you opt for one you'll need to take a few thermal-management measures. Rack mount fans, ventilation units and vented panels or enclosure tops will help to move warm air out and cool air in.

-- Construction: Will your rack system arrive to you already welded together, or will you have to apply some elbow grease and assemble it yourself? Most steel enclosures, like the ones available at from Quest, Great Lakes, Kendall Howard and Bud Industries, come pre-assembled and ready-to-use, straight from the box. Most open racks, though, are what are often referred to as knockdown-style, which means that it's time to break out the tool box! While many knockdown-style racks can be simple to assemble, look into the difficulty level ahead of time to assess whether or not you'll need (or want) to pay someone to do it for you.

-- Shelf Adjustability: Whether you're considering an open rack or an enclosure, the adjustment capability of your rack system's shelving is something you'll definitely want to give some thought to. It goes without saying that fixed shelves afford you the least access to equipment. This isn't much of a problem if you decide to use an open rack, since your electrical components will be more or less exposed all of the time. However, if you're leaning more toward an enclosure, sliding or swing-out shelves will make a world of difference in how easy it will be to access your home theater and network equipment when it needs to be serviced.

-- Customization: With regard to enclosures especially, when you're choosing which vendor to purchase from, weigh into account whether or not the company allows for customization. Why purchase a basic enclosure and do the customization work yourself if you can have the manufacturer install rails, fans, vents and cable management exactly where and how you want them? Enclosures by Middle Atlantic and Great Lakes, available at, feature exactly those types of options.


Founded in February 2002 and headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is a premier cable and wire management-related product vendor. Among other honors, was named among Inc. Magazine's Inc. 500, Internet Retailer magazine's 2007 "Top 500" and earned a Stevie® Award as the "Best Overall Company of the Year - Non-Services Businesses - Up To 100 Employees." Visit the company online at

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    Merilee Kern
    Kern Communications
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