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Will my server rack fit in? Here’s a guide to calculating server rack dimensions

Selecting a server rack frame is a very important part of the designing phase at a data center. Too big, and you may not be able to fit it in. Too small, and you may be wasting physical space, which today is a premium. Server racks, much like Goldilocks’s porridge, need to be “just right”. So, how do you get it “just right”?

Height and width

Server racks can stand tall at over 7 feet. Since these are large items they will require effort when moving, rounding corners, lifting them up stairs, or fitting into small spaces. That’s why you need to double-check check height dimensions of your racks before purchase. The most common standard rack width is 19 inches.


Some server racks can weigh more than 160 kilos. And most server rack cabinets support up to 300Kg of internal weight. Determine whether your rack cabinet is designed for light or heavy usage.


Some rack enclosures come fully assembled. There are some removable components, such as side panels, but these do not change the external dimensions of the rack frame. Still, check all product dimensions before purchase.

Internal dimensions

Internal height is measured from the highest point of a side rail to the bottom chassis, while internal depth is measured from the insides of both front and rear doors. Internal width is measured between side panels. When assessing rack mount needs, internal dimension measurements should also take into consideration as this way, additional space can be modified during rack manufacturing to allow for side, rear, and front-mounted rack equipment.

Type of equipment

Tally the total amount of rack units needed while keeping future expansion in mind. Cabinet rack units cannot be added on once a server rack is fabricated. So, if rack mount accessories such as environmental monitoring, remote power management, etc are required, extra front and rear cabinet space may be required.

Room space

How big is the room? Evaluate environmental factors such as ceiling height and clearance regulations at the data center. Also, measure dimensions of stairways and freight elevators if server racks need to be transported through them for final placement.

Servers are crucial to day-to-day operations and the right-sized server racks provide the requisite space for them, but unfortunately, they are often overlooked until delivery. It is important to ensure the finalized external and internal dimensions of the server rack are a perfect fit at your data center. At Hardy Racks, our executives can work with you in customizing your requirements for data center accessories. Contact us today.


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