Introduction to Server Rack Rails
Posted by NavePoint on May 21st 2021
Server rack rails are a 4-Post equipment mounting type accessory. Server rack rails are similar to 4-Post shelves but with no connection between the sides. It is often used to mount equipment that is roughly 19” wide and cannot be mounted directly to the vertical mounting rails like UPS with bent or missing mounting brackets, network server chassis, or A/V amplifiers. In this blog, we will talk about the two types of rails and what you need to know about Dell’s rail kits.
Similar to fixed 4-Post shelves (click here to view our previous blog about Top Three Things to Know About Fixed 4-Post Shelves), static rails provide a static fixture to your equipment. It is simple and offers a higher weight capacity than sliding rails.
At NavePoint, we have two types of adjustable static rails, full-depth or partial-depth. NavePoint 1U Adjustable Rack Mount Server Shelf Rails have adjustable mounting depths between 16.13" and 33.25" with 20” of bottom support from the front. NavePoint 1U Adjustable Rack Mount Server Shelf Rails Full Depth also have adjustable mounting depths between 16.13" and 33.25", but it comes with full bottom support from the front to the rear. It is important to know that full bottom support isn't always better than partial bottom support. To allow for adjustable mounting depths, most full bottom support rack rails in the market have a design where the front rail and the rear rail overlap each other. The overlapping becomes an issue when the total height of your equipment and the thickness of two bottom plates exceeds the height of a rack unit and starts to occupy two rack units.
Similar to sliding 4-Post shelves (click here to view our previous blog about Top Three Things to Know About 4-Post Sliding Shelves), sliding rails allow the server to be pulled out of the rack from the front. Sliding rails make it easy to fully extend your unit for servicing when the need arises, but it compromises weight capacity. Unfortunately, 3rd party sliding shelves are often not available, meaning, the popular method is to buy the sliding shelf from the OEM brand of the server chassis.
Dell Rail Kits
Dell is a popular brand in the server industry, and they offer many types of rack rails. Dell offers static rails in both the Stab-In and L bracket format. When installing Dell’s L bracket rails, you’ll attach the unit using a bracket. When installing Dell’s Stab-In rails, you attach the side rails to the designated rack unit and then “stab” the unit into the rails mounted in your rack. Dell has two types of static rail kit mounting interfaces. The first is Dell Rapid Rails that are designed to be installed into a square hole 4-Post rack interface. This rail is “Rapid” because it has hooks on each end that allow it to be installed into a square hole without the use of tools or screws, aka a Tool-Less Install. Dell Versa Rails are designed to be the rail kit that works in all racks that do not support the Dell Rapid Rail kit. The Versa Rail Kit only works in a 4-Post rack interface that has round, non-threaded holes.
The next option would be Dell’s sliding rail kit mounting interfaces. There are two versions, Dell ReadyRails and Dell ReadyRails II. Dell ReadyRails is compatible with the square hole rack interface as well as the round hole rack interface. Clearance hole racks have a non-threaded, 0.25″ round hole. The attachment of the rail to the rack is on the front mounting surface instead of the rear which has been the typical attachment method of Dell rails in the past. Both have tool-less installations. Unlike the static rail kits described above, ReadyRails can be adapted to 2-Post or 4-Post racks, and you can choose between buying static rails or sliding rails.
Server rack rails are often used to mount equipment that is roughly 19” wide and cannot be mounted directly to the vertical mounting rails like UPS with bent or missing mounting brackets, network server chassis, or A/V amplifiers. 3rd party server rack rails can come with full or partial bottom support. In some cases, partial bottom support versions can be a better fit than full bottom support versions. Static rack rails offer good performance for the value but lack the ability to pull the server out to the front for ease of maintenance. While sliding rack rails offer ease of access to your server equipment, there are limited 3rd party options in the market so you often have to go with the OEM brand of your server chassis. Dell is a popular server brand and they offer many types of rack rails including static or sliding, tool-less installation or not, 2-Post, or 4-Post.
Contact NavePoint’s sales or customer service team at 888-505-1363 to learn more about how we may be able to help with your specific needs!
Copyright © 2021 Infinite Electronics International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.