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I'm wondering because we're moving our rack to a co-location but we have LOTS of space behind our rack so I mount our switches on the backside for easier cabling. But i've seen a lot of pictures where the switches are mounted on the front. Is this because access from the back of the rack is mostly limited in datacenters? Sounds like a PITA.

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switches sometimes their air vents backside, so installing them at the back of the rack may decrease cooling efficiency. –  petrus Mar 11 '11 at 12:31
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Full access to the rack is of course a must in order to put devices in and properly cable them, but the standard setup is to have switches mounted on the front for easier inspection and patching; having to go around the cabinet, open it and look inside only to see if a switch light is blinking is a lot more troublesome than glancing at it from the front, even if you have full access from every direction.

With proper internal cabling, a switch on the front is no pain at all.

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Thanks man. I'll try my best to manage the cabling in a sane way. –  LonelyLonelyNetworkN00b Mar 11 '11 at 13:16
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