top of page

Open or closed – which is better for a server rack?

With all the equipment that goes into the setting up of a data center like servers and uninterruptible power supplies, server racks may sometimes not be given the attention they deserve. But here are some points to consider when it comes to racks because they can make all the difference in terms of cost, accessibility, airflow, and security.

Here is a quick guide:

Points to note

Open frame

Closed frame


Do not have sidewalls and are open

Cabinets are closed on all sides


Costs about one-third as its equivalent in a closed frame option

Cost more than open frames on account of the additional materials required to build the product


No obstruction to airflow. There is less build-up of heat as ambient air flows through the equipment continuously

Heat can build up here, but with the addition of the right cooling accessories such as fans active and passive airflow can be managed

Dust build-up

Does not offer much protection from dust and debris. Frequent cleaning will be required

The protected cabinet helps ward off dust, debris, moisture, and other particulates that could potentially damage the hardware


Being open, it offers easier access to equipment inside. Especially helpful when emergency maintenance or repair is needed. Installation is also easier

Installation and maintenance of the equipment are more difficult as it is a closed frame. But the use of the right racks, sliding rails, shelves, etc is recommended to improve accessibility


As all the equipment is exposed, it is susceptible to theft as well as accidental damage

Equipment can be locked up and kept safe. Also reduces tampering and accidental damage


Can appear messy as cables, shelves, rails, etc are out in the open. But choosing the right cable management system can help avoid this

With the cables and other accessories neatly packed inside you’ve got yourself an organized server enclosure


Lighter as it does not have sidewalls

Would typically weigh more

If you need help deciding on a rack that suits your needs, contact Hardy Tacks today. Hardy Racks is a server and network rack manufacturer based in India, delivering high-quality data center accessories ranging from enclosures racks, cable management systems, and power distribution units.


bottom of page