Sliding Shelf Versus Fixed Shelf: Which Is Right For Your Server Rack?

The IT tech guy is knocking on your office door again, asking when the new server racks will arrive. You assure him that the racks are on the way, while secretly doing a keyword search on your computer. In all the hustle and bustle of running the company, you haven’t ordered the racks. Even worse, you are confused over which racks to get. Should you buy the ones with the fixed shelves or the sliding shelves?

Fixed Shelves And Sliding Shelves For Racks

2 Post Rack Shelf - 21" Heavy DutyThere are numerous benefits to both a fixed shelf and a sliding shelf to your server rack. To understand the benefits, you need to understand the differences between the two shelves.

Fixed Shelf: Also called a stationary shelf or flat shelf, fixed shelves are secured to all 4 rails inside a 4-post rack. Fixed shelves are not designed to be moved as they can hold varying weights from the standard 150 lbs up to 300 lbs. A fixed shelf will usually take up less than 1U (1.75″) of space inside the rack. Heavy duty fixed shelves will take up a full 1U of space. Adjustable shelves and ventilated fixed shelves are also available.

Sliding Shelf: Just as the name implies, a sliding shelf mounts to the 4 posts inside the server rack as you can pull the shelf partly out. Some sliding shelves are designed to hold keyboards that fit inside the rack. There are also rotating sliding shelves when the IT technician wants to rotate the keyboard. Sliding shelves can hold 50 lbs up to 150 lbs of weight.

Which Shelf Is Right For Your Rack?

You can have a server rack with both sliding shelves and fixed shelves to hold equipment. The type of shelf you will need will be based on the type of equipment in the rack and where the shelf is placed. For equipment you won’t move often, such as a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) system, a fixed shelf works fine. Server equipment that may need repaired or upgraded should be placed on sliding shelves as the IT technician simply pulls it out for easy access. 

Light Duty, Sliding, Seismic, Transport Shelf w/ CMAYou may also want to take into consideration the type of rack you use. If you have server racks with no side panels, then fixed shelves may work best as the equipment can be accessed from the side. For fully enclosed server racks, sliding shelves will allow access to equipment inside. Sliding shelves are also convenient when you have equipment that cannot be mounted in the rack, such as monitors and keyboards.
Sliding shelves should be placed within arms reach to prevent IT technicians from straining to reach equipment up high or standing on shaky ladders. Consider using a fixed shelf for any equipment that will be placed at a height above the head of the IT technician.

Get Both Fixed Shelves And Sliding Shelves For Your Rack

Sit down with your IT technician and find out which shelves would work best for the rack equipment. With the technician’s information, purchase the shelf that will allow them to have an easier time completing their work for your company.

Featured images:
  •  License: Image author owned 
  •  License: Image author owned 

+Katrina is a product specialist for rack solutions solving issues for your computer server and power needs

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