How to Distinguish Network Cabinet from Server Rack Cabinet


Sometimes it is hard to distinguish network cabinet from server rack cabinet when you want to install a new server or networking equipment in the office and decide what kind of equipment is suitable for you. From the appearance point of view, they are almost the same since both network cabinet and server rack cabinet come in uniform sizes, such as 42U. They still have some specific differences. In this article, we will reveal these distinctions of network cabinet versus server rack cabinet to help you choose a proper cable management expert.

What Is Network Cabinet

A network cabinet is usually used to store routers, patch panels, switches, and other types of networking equipment and accessories. In most cases, a network cabinet will be shallower than a server rack cabinet. These cabinets are usually shallower than server rack cabinets, and they are often less than 31” in depth. Because the thermal requirement is not typically an issue with the equipment stored in the network cabinet, they are more likely to have a glass or a sturdy plastic front door instead of a perforated one.

What Is Server Rack Cabinet

Server rack cabinet is mostly applied to install servers, UPS ES, monitors or similar equipment. It is available in a wide array of heights, widths and depths for rackmount compatibility in standard IT equipment. Take 42U server rack as an example, it is generally 24 inches wide and 36 inches deep by industry standards. Some companies can also offer other measurement options to meet various demands. This kind of cabinet usually has a perforated front and rear door for ventilation to maintain a suitable environment for the heat-generating equipment inside.

Network Cabinet vs Server Rack Cabinet Differences

For the differences between network cabinet and server rack cabinet, you may get a basic impression and draw inspiration from what we have discussed above. Now let us make a summary about their major distinctions.


The major difference between the two revolves around airflow and depth. Because the server cabinets are going to house network equipment that is longer and needs a deeper cabinet depth, a server cabinet is going to be deeper than a network cabinet. Network cabinets are used to house routers, patch panels and other networking equipment that is significantly shorter in depth (often a difference of 1200 mm to 800mm in terms of the depth).

Due to the depth of the hardware, you need to know what sort of equipment you are using with your networking and data storage system in order to know whether or not you need server rack cabinets or network cabinets.


Most servers will produce a considerable amount of heat. The type of equipment generally housed in network cabinet does not generate the same amount of heat as that housed inside a server rack. In order to help facilitate airflow over the hotter servers, a server rack cabinet is going to be designed out of a perforated material with vented fronts and backs.

With a network cabinet, the equipment housed inside such as routers and patch panels do not generate very much heat in comparison, so often times the network cabinets are designed out of a solid tempered glass or Plexiglas for the front door and a solid material for the rear panels.