As technology advances, the infrastructure that supports it must also evolve. This is particularly evident in the realm of network equipment, where network switches have grown in power consumption, and hence Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) battery backup systems have seen significant increases in size and weight to supply this power. This growth has a direct impact on the size and mounting options for network equipment racks, presenting new challenges and considerations for schools and businesses.

The Upscaling of Network Switches

Traditionally, network switches have been relatively compact, with depths ranging from 16-19 inches. However, the latest models have expanded to approximately 20-23 inches in depth. This increase is not without reason; as switches become more powerful and feature-rich, they require additional space for advanced components and cooling systems.

The Weight Factor

Alongside the increase in size, the weight of UPS systems has also risen dramatically. It’s not uncommon for these devices to weigh between 150-250 pounds. This added heft is due to the need for larger batteries and more robust materials to support enhanced performance and reliability. Lithium ion batteries have mitigated this weight growth a bit, but we still see much heavier UPS’s and battery packs designed to handle the increased current load of PoE network switches.

Rethinking Mounting Solutions

The implications of these changes are significant when it comes to mounting solutions. Wall-mounted equipment racks, once a staple in many installations, are becoming less feasible due to the increased depth and weight of the equipment. The strain placed on wall structures by heavier equipment can pose safety risks and may lead to structural damage.

The Shift to 4-Post Floor-Mounted Racks

To accommodate these heftier devices, schools and businesses must look towards more robust mounting solutions. The answer lies in 4-post floor-mounted network equipment racks. These racks are designed to be stronger and more rugged, capable of holding the increased weight without compromising on stability or safety.

Generator power can mitigate weight increase

Using an outside electrical generator can mitigate this weight increase, since you will no longer need such large battery packs to run the network infrastructure for an extended period of time. You will only need to size the UPS to handle the electrical load for the 5 minutes or so it takes for the generator to kick in and take over the electrical load.

Planning for the Future

The transition to floor-mounted racks requires careful planning. Network equipment closets must be designed with enough space to house these larger racks, and considerations for airflow and accessibility must be taken into account. Organizations should anticipate these needs in their infrastructure planning to ensure a seamless integration of new network equipment.

In conclusion, the evolution of network equipment demands a reevaluation of mounting and housing solutions. By embracing 4-post floor-mounted racks and planning for future needs, schools and businesses can ensure that their network infrastructure remains secure, reliable, and ready to support the technological advancements of tomorrow.


This blog post aims to shed light on the changing landscape of network infrastructure and the importance of adapting to these changes. As we continue to rely on technology in every aspect of our lives, it’s crucial that the backbone of our networks evolves in tandem.

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