The Quest For Decent, Low-Priced Server Cases & Racks/Cabinets

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 27 February 2015 at 08:42 AM EST. 22 Comments
Here's another quick update on the process of building out the new open-source benchmarking server farm... The construction of the room is going along nicely and I'm currently evaluating a few different server chassis and racks/cabinets.

For those that didn't see the article from last weekend, the previous update is at Progress On The New Phoronix / Linux Benchmarking Test Farm so check that out first. Since then I've been hanging drywall and mudding. That work should be done by the start of next week and hoping to have the first servers operational in the new farm by the end of next week.

Hence why there isn't as many featured articles this week on Phoronix still, due to busy building out this Phoronix / Phoronix Test Suite farm expansion in order to keep costs at a minimum and construction work being another hobby and stress reliever.

In replacing many of the desktop ATX cases and tables currently making up the setup, I've been trying to decide what server chassis and open rack/cabinet to use. For the case, I'm currently trying out six (four already arrived and two are en route) of some low-cost Logisys 4U ATX cases.

I went with these Logisys cases (there's two slightly different models) due to their low-cost (around ~$50), I went with the 4U size to retain compatibility with the many ATX desktop PSUs and some of these systems have large CPU coolers, and should work out decent. In eventually needing 20~30 of these, price was the biggest factor in choosing this case. Once having more time with the cases, I'll write-up a review on Phoronix to share more of my thoughts. I might end up ordering a few other low-cost server cases too in trying to find an optimal choice.

For housing all of the systems I went for a StarTech 42U open-server equipment rack cabinet. I was able to find this rack for under $300 USD and customer reviews from the various Internet retailers seem to put this product in good light. I'll be assembling it today and if I like it end up ordering a second rack, as in the end will need 2~3 42U racks for the current number of systems running in the open-source / Phoromatic test farm. Like the cases, once I have more time with these StarTech 42U racks I'll write about them on Phoronix.

Stay tuned for more updates soon. If anyone else has any other recommendations for low-cost server enclosures and racks, feel free to post any thoughts in the forums or via Facebook or Twitter. If you wish to support the Phoronix Linux hardware testing work, consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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