A client have a couple of racks in a shared server room facility. The racks have wheels on them and they are worried anyone could simply access the server room, unplug all cables and roll out the racks within few minutes.

Does anyone know of any standard security practices one could take in securing a rack in place? Preferably without removing the wheels.

Currently some solutions are to chain them together or chaining them to some infrastructure piece in the room, however I would think that some racks come with ways to secure them from being easily moved?

  • 1
    Talk to the operator of the facility. Sep 26, 2012 at 6:28
  • 13
    Take the fucking wheels off. Sep 26, 2012 at 7:02
  • 1
    Put a couple of bricks in the bottom.
    – boburob
    Sep 26, 2012 at 8:12
  • 1
    Don't just take the wheels off, get some solid angle brackets and bolt the rack to the floor. Won't stop them but it will sure slow them down. Sep 26, 2012 at 9:54

2 Answers 2


Sounds like quite the argument for not using a shared server room facility, but what you can/should do to fairly easily avoid this problem is:

  1. Physical access controls on the server room.
    • Could be as simple as a good lock and a key, an RFID badge, or even biometric scanners, but make it something.
    • If you prevent who has access to the room with a good door, decent lock(s), and control over who has the key/badge/biometric clearance to get in, you drastically limit who'll even be in a position to be able to steal your gear.
  2. Audio/video surveillance (AKA security cameras).
    • People are much less likely to try to steal something when there's a camera staring them down the whole time.
  3. A monitoring system.
    • Get a monitoring system for your gear, so if someone unplugs everything, all the alarms and alerts go off, and everyone starts looking for what's wrong.
      • Couple with a remotely viewable security camera or cameras, and if such a thing happens, you'll be able to know what's going on nearly instantly.
      • Something fairly easy to do, that you should be doing for other reasons anyway, honestly.
  4. Physical access controls on the rack and gear in it.
    • Generally, the locks that come on server racks or are used to lock servers into a rack aren't going to stop a determined attacker, but if you're doing the other things right, someone will notice and stop a stranger taking a crowbar to your rack to steal what's inside.
  5. Physically secure the rack.
    • Assuming you're in an actual server room or data-center environment you can get cable locks (or even use a long chain and a padlock) you attach to the rack, and run under the raised flooring to prevent the rack from being wheeled away.
      • (EDIT): If you're not in a "real" server room/data-center environment, then yes, this would mean chaining the rack to some piece of infrastructure. It's what you're effectively doing with a chain or cable lock under the floor anyhow (securing the rack to the sub-floor infrastructure your tiles sit on).
  • 1
    In regards to the monitoring system, there are also anti-tamper alarms that can send alerts via SMS. Handy in case nobody is within earshot of the alarms. Sep 26, 2012 at 9:56
  • Also, your security should not stop at the rack. Your data may be more valuable than the equipment it runs on. Encrypt the drives of anything with valuable or sensitive data.
    – Chris Nava
    Sep 26, 2012 at 15:34
  • @JohnGardeniers Good point, though I was actually thinking of an IT monitoring system along the lines of Nagios or SolarWinds Orion, etc., that sends alerts about system events via email and/or SMS. They make it pretty easy to be informed when someone cuts power to one of your racks, whether accidentally, or for purposes of theft. Sep 26, 2012 at 15:35
  • I'd use both. Nagios or similar to detect tampering (in addition to it's normal monitoring functions) with the computer/network side and the other device to detect physical movement of the rack. Some are small enough that they can be installed virtually undetected. Sep 26, 2012 at 21:35

Speak to Rittal, they make racks that can be bolted to the tiles or floor under a rack plus lots of customisable anti-intruder electronics such as vibration detection, remote door opening/alerting and internal cameras. We have these and they're great, not even too expensive either.

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