DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

Are you interested in building out your own at-home server rack? In this guide I’ll walk you through what you need.

What Is a Rack Unit or “U” ?

Before I list the equipment you need, let’s quickly define what a rack unit is. You’ll often see this term as just a plain “U” and if you’re unsure of its meaning the remainder of the article will be confusing.

A rack unit (or U) is a measurement defining standardized mountable height — in other words, this is a height-measurement for server racks. As an example, 25U is taller than 12U.

More precisely, 1U is defined as 1.75″ (inches) or 4.4 cm.

You’ll see on some server racks small carved out squares to the right and left of its appliances — 1U is represented by 3 squares.

The Server Rack Accessory List

The following server rack is 25U and by design comes bare, that is, without a power strip. Since you can’t do much without one, I’d opt for the more granular 8-device power strip listed below. This way you can control exactly which devices gets power making management of some devices a little easier.

Interestingly enough, power strips are sometimes referred to as PDCs — power distribution centers.

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

StarTech 25U Open Frame Server Rack or StarTech 12U Open Frame Server Rack

The following power strip allows you to control power to eight different devices instead of using a monolithic on/off switch, or having to reach around the back of it to switch off a specific device.

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

ADJ AC Power Strip, 8-Devices

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

Cable Matters Rackmount 24-Port Keystone Patch Panel

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

VCE CAT6 Keystone Coupler RJ45 Female to Female Insert Coupler (15-Pack)

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

NavePoint Adjustable Rack Mount Server Shelf Rails 1U Full-Depth (3-Pack)

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

Monoprice CAT6 Ethernet Patch Cable 0.5 Feet, Black in Color, 550MHz, UTP, Pure Bare Copper Wire, 32AWG, Micro SlimRun Series

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

Attmu 100 PCS Reusable Fastening Cable Ties, Black in Color

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)

StarTech 2U Server Rack Shelf

For convenience, you may want to opt for a rackmount console. Two really good options are provided below.

DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)DIY Server Rack (How to Build Your Own)
  1. Crystal Image Tech 1U Rackmount Console, 19″ Rackmount Monitor
  2. Dell 1U Rackmount KMM (Keyboard, Monitor, Mouse) Console

If any of this is confusing, please watch the video below. Lawrence outlines exactly how to install each accessory.

DIY Home Rack Build (Video)

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