How to Connect Patch Panel to Switch?

Some people say that patch panel is a waste, and only a network switch matters. Others, however, hold firmly that patch panel is a significant gadget without which you can hardly imagine how the network cabling will look like. As far as I am concerned, we should view it accordingly.

Why We Should Use Patch Panel?

Apart from the easier cable management it provides, its function resembles the railroad switch. And let’s compare the cables to rails to see how it works. With a railroad switch(patch panel), the train(data) can travel from A to B, C and even more destinations, otherwise it can only go from A to B, or C to D. This article, What Is a Patch Panel Used for?, has explained it thoroughly. In addition, FS.COM offers extensive selection of patch panels.

patch panel

How to Connect Patch Panel to Switch?

Having made clear of the function of patch panel and the switch, let’s see together how do they connect in the network cabling in case of mistakes in the layout process. Assume that we have a two 24 port feed through patch panels and two 24 port switch, and all the devices mentioned below. We don’t take the punch down panel here is because it has to be punched down first then to connect the cabling system. If you use a punch down patch panel, the methods and procedures to punch down it have been listed in my previous article—How to Punch Down Cat6 into Patch Panel.

  • Step 1

Find a cabinet large enough to accommodate both the patch panel and switch. And mount the 24 port patch panels and switches all in the same rack. The order from the top to the bottom is like this, patch panel 1, spacer, switch 1, patch panel 2, spacer and switch 2.And prepare the cables in a proper length.

  • Step 2

Prepare the cable in a proper length to avoid the mess.

  • Step 3

Use the top 12 ports on the patch panel for the bottom 12 ports on the switch, and the bottom 12 on the patch panel for the top 12 ports on the switch. The one set of patch cables would be just a bit shorter than the other 12.

  • Step 4

Connect the modulars on the rear side of the patch panel with the cables that go to each unit or room.

OK, congratulation. Now you have a very neat and beautiful cabling system. When powering on, the whole system will work orderly in their own places.

Conclusion

All in all, a patch panel is more of an extension of your Ethernet cables. It’s used for the purpose of neatness and the achievement of data crossover. A switch connects your devices into a network allowing them to communicate and share files with each other. To help you better understand the ways to connect the two, we are planning to produce a video to illustrate the steps in details. You can refer to FS.COM for more information and follow us for the further knowledge.

Characteristics of 10GBASE-T Technology

The rapid development of telecom technology is driving the increasing need for higher bandwidth in data center. In recent years, 10GBASE-T technology, which uses twisted-pair copper cabling and RJ45 interfaces, has been utilized by many data center managers. When it comes to 10GBASE-T, we firstly think of Ethernet network cable, such as Cat6 UTP cable and Cat6a cable which support 10G speed over 55 meters and 100 meters respectively. They are cheap and easy to run in data center. And this is just one of the most prominent characteristics of 10GBASE-T technology. This article is going to give a detailed introduction to characteristics of 10GBASE-T.

Background of 10GBASE-T

In data center, fiber optics also generally gain popularity because of their high speed and low latency. Many data center managers choose to use a combination of Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cables for short distances (up to 7 meters for Top-of-Rack connections) and fiber optic cabling for longer distances (for End-of-Row connections) to fulfill the migration to 10GbE networks. However, the costs associated with a Top-of-Rack switch and expensive cabling and optics limited the widespread adoption, especially in data centers where 1GbE is already broadly deployed. On the contrary, 10GBASE-T is backward compatible with 1000BASE-T, and it can be deployed in existing infrastructures that are cabled with Cat6 and Cat6a or greater cabling, helping data center managers to keep costs down while offering an easy migration path to 10GbE. Therefore, 10GBASE-T technology is extensively used. From the chart below, we can clearly see the growing trend of 10GBASE-T.

10G fiber optics vs. 10GBASE-T technology

Characteristics of 10GBASE-T

Reach: DAC cables support 10Gbps over very short distances, while 10GBASE-T technology can reach much longer reach with Cat6a cable, up to 100 meters. This makes 10GBASE-T cabling with Cat6a the best universal solution for 10GbE requirements in today’s data centers.

Backward compatibility: 10GBASE-T is backward compatible with 1000BASE-T, so it can work with existing structured cabling system. Unlike SFP+ cabling, a 10GBASE-T connection can auto-negotiate and auto-select the proper port speed when plugged into a GbE port. This gives data center managers much flexibility in cabling system.

Installation: Fiber optic cable is easily damaged, while Cat6 cable and Cat6a cable are easy to manage. Even if you want to DIY your own cable length, you just need bulk Ethernet cable, crimping tools and RJ45 connectors. As RJ45 connectors are compatible with existing 1GbE infrastructure, the installation of Cat6 and Cat6a cable is easy.

Power: When 10GBASE-T standard was released at the beginning, 10GBASE-T PHYs consumed too much power which limited its widespread adoption. With process improvements, both the power and cost of the latest generation of 10GBASE-T PHYs have reduced.

Cost: Fiber optic cable is more expensive than Ethernet network cable, and usually fiber optic cable is used for long transmission distance application. While Cat6 cable and Cat6a cable are low cost, which can provide cost-effective and easy-to-use solution for 10GBASE-T short distance network deployment.

Conclusion

10GbE has been the mainstream of telecom data center right now. The low cost and easy installation of 10GBASE-T makes it widely applied. In addition, 10GBASE-T provides investment protection via backward compatibility with 1GbE networks. On the market, there are not only Cat6 cable and Cat6a cable for 10GBASE-T cabling, but also some other 10GBASE-T products, such as 10GBASE-T switch and 10GBASE-T adapter. These simplifies data center networking deployments by providing an easier path to 10GbE infrastructure. These characteristics of 10GBASE-T will help drive 10GBASE-T to a prominent place in the data center. FS.COM is a reliable manufacturer which provides high quality Cat6 cable and Cat6a cable at customized length. Also, there are 10GBAST-T RJ45 transceivers. For more details, please visit www.fs.com.

Talk About 2.5G And 5G

Network technology is developing rapidly. To keep up with the trend, data centers are required to upgrade constantly, from 10G to 40G, 40G to 100G and even 100G to 400G. However, for some small business data centers with 1G infrastructures, directly migrating from 1G to 10G is a little fast. Is there any slower Ethernet standards to fill the gap between 1G Ethernet and 10G Ethernet speeds? The answer is Yes—2.5 Ethernet and 5G Ethernet. This article will talk about 2.5G and 5G.

Overview of 2.5G And 5G

The physical (PHY) layer transmission technology of IEEE 802.3bz is based on 10GBASE-T, but operates at a lower signaling rate. By reducing the original signal rate to  1/4 or  1/2, the transfer rate drops to 2.5 or 5 Gbit/s, respectively. The spectral bandwidth of the signal is reduced accordingly, lowering the requirements on the cabling, so that 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T can be deployed at a cable length of 100 meters on unshielded Cat5e cable and Cat6 cable, respectively. The following figure shows the comparison of twisted pair based Ethernet technologies.

comparison of twisted pair based Ethernet technologies

Cons And Pros of 2.5G/5G Ethernet Standards

As 2.5G and 5G Ethernet standards came out after 10G Ethernet standard, there are mixed reviews for them. This part will focus on cons and pros of 2.5G/5G Ethernet standards.

Cons of 2.5G And 5G

When 2.5G Ethernet and 5G Ethernet standards came out, many people didn’t think much of them. They commented that:

  • 5GBase-T and 5GBase-T are more going to be used for wifi rollouts. And they are pretty much strictly for enterprise wireless deployments.
  • 10GbE is getting pretty cheap. Lots of new desktop motherboards now have 10G NICs inside them and the premium seems to be less than $100 too, which isn’t too bad. What’s missing is a bunch of 10G home switches and routers.
  • As for the availability, the 10G has 2 models out while the 2.5G and 5G are both “coming soon”. Due to the economies of scale and the penetration, 10G already has IMO. While 2.5G and 5G will never be widely adopted or supported.
  • There are not that many chip sets that support 2.5G Ethernet and 5G Ethernet yet as they really only got finalized. Also, most cards that support them right now also support 10Gbe.
Pros of 2.5G And 5G

What exists is reasonable. One estimate is that there are 70 billion meters of Cat5e and Cat6 cabling have been sold between 2003 and 2014. With such a significant amount of existing infrastructure at stake, it’s hardly surprising that most enterprises want to extend the existing cabling, component and equipment investments in the standard Ethernet wireless closet. Therefore, it is not difficult to find that 2.5G Ethernet and 5G Ethernet standards have their advantages.

  • Cat5 and Cat6 cabling can’t support 10G Ethernet up to 100 meters, but they will be able to support the emerging 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps standards, thereby preserving the value of the existing copper cable plant.
  • Adopting new 2.5G and 5G can satisfy the need of increasing data rates of wireless networking. The new 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard increases wireless bandwidth, supporting Ethernet speeds of 1.7 Gbps to 2.5 Gbps. With the coming of the next generation of wireless networking, 802.11ac Wi-Fi Wave 2, wireless network speeds could increase to as high as 6.8 Gbps.
  • Besides the need from the Wi-Fi industry, a 2.5G/5G version will also aid in other applications such as enterprise infrastructure, cellular Wi-Fi offloads, small cells, security cameras, multiple industrial uses and PoE technology.
  • These two new Ethernet standards have plenty of attributes to ensure success, such as ease of use, backward compatibility, faster speeds without requiring a cable upgrade, incremental speed upgrades, multi-vendor interoperability, not to mention optimized cost and performance.
Conclusion

From the above content, we can conclude that 2.5G/5G Ethernet standards have both pros and cons. For those who want to upgrade cabling system to 10G, 2.5G/5G is not useful. While for small business and home network, 2.5G/5G is a cost-effective solution. No matter what your cable plant is, choosing a suitable migration path is the most important thing. FS.COM can provides high quality components for your cable plant, such as Cat5e cable, Cat6 cable, wireless access point and PoE switch. For more details, you can visit our site.

Deploy Network in A New House

Network has changed our lifestyle and it has become an important part of our daily life. Therefore, home network deployment is a very common project. When it comes to the components required for the network deployment, many people would say Ethernet cable and router, without hesitation. However, when you start the project, you will find it is not that simple. To deploy network in a new house, future-proof cabling and cost-effective components are two essential elements. And this article will share some tips with you based on these two elements.

home network deployment

Run Conduit

We know that conduit can protect cable from damage, in addition, it will allow you to pull new wiring in the future. No matter what wires you require in the future, you can easily replace them. Remember to run more conduit than you think you need. Run conduit to every room. Typically, run it to whichever wall you’re thinking of placing your equipment. Also, run it to locations in hallways and on floors where you may place future routers/access points for wireless networking. You will find that Power over Ethernet is useful for this.

Cat6 Cable Is Fine

For Ethernet cable, Cat6 cable is fine for all current standards unless you have a giant mansion. Cat6 cable is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet and it is backward compatible with the Cat3, Cat5 and Cat5e cable standards. In addition, Cat6 cable provides performance of up to 250 MHz and is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet), and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet). For transmission distance, Cat6 cable can reach 100 meters for slower network speeds (up to 1,000 Mbps) and higher network speeds over short transmission distance—it can achieve only 55 meters at the speed of 10 Gbps and 33 meters in high crosstalk conditions. You only need Cat6a cable if you plan to run cable at 10 Gbps and longer than 55 meters (180 ft). Also, remember to have “extra” cables which will save you enormous hassle and expense.

Dual Band Router Will Be Better

We know that wireless network utilizes either 2.4 GHz frequency band or 5 GHz frequency band. The 2.4 GHz wireless network covers a larger range than 5 GHz wireless network, but 5 GHz band can provides faster speed. In wireless home network, many older Wi-Fi devices do not support 5 GHz band. It is not difficult to find that 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz have their own advantages. As a result, dual band router will be better for your home network deployment.

Utilize PoE

If you want to set up multiple access points and IP cameras, PoE technology is a good option which can realize the power and data transmission over the same Ethernet cable at the same time. PoE devices utilize the original PoE standard, IEEE 802.3af, which provides up to 15.4W of DC power to each device. In addition to wireless access point and IP camera, there are some other PoE devices on the market, such as IP phone and PoE switch.

PoE technology

Conclusion

In fact, once you have decided to deploy network in your new house, there will be a lot of things that you have to think about, such as which type conduit to run, how long cable to buy, where to place the router, how many access points to set up, which kind PoE switch to buy, and so on. But there is another important thing that you must pay attention to, that’s where to buy what you need. FS.COM can provide you high quality products at low price, such as 305 meters (1000 ft) is US$ 120.00, 8 port PoE switch is US$ 159.00. For more details, you can visit our site.

10GBASE-T Cabling Vs. 10G SFP+ Cabling in 2017

When it comes to 10G network, we usually make a choice between 10GBASE-T cabling and 10G SFP+ cabling. In fact, many people still prefer 10G SFP+ cabling that uses SFP+ DAC cable, because they think it matches better for the requirements and emerging trends of today’s data center. Now the 10G network is quickly becoming mainstream, especially on consumer desktop systems. That means the cost of 10GBase-T switches will need to come down. Also, other “IOT” home components that decide to offer 10G will probably go for 10GBASE-T, such as game consoles, streaming boxes, etc. So, do you still recommend 10G SFP+ over 10GBASE-T nowadays for network deployment? This article will discuss this topic.

10GBASE-T Vs. 10G SFP+

Vote for 10GBASE-T
  • The 10GBASE-T ports are physically smaller which is important for non-data center devices. They are also easier to use. You just plug in an ethernet cable and it works. No need to deal with optical transceiver compatibility and all of those problems.
  • 10GBASE-T cabling is backwards compatible with 1G ports which will still be used for things like IPMI and other low bandwidth devices. You could just get one 10GBASE-T switch and connect up everything you have to it. Going with 10G SFP+ makes it difficult to find something that juggles enough of both kinds of ports for all of your 10G and 1G devices.
Vote for 10G SFP+
  • 10G SFP+ is better for future-proof cabling system. You can migrate to 40G QSFP+ smoothly and keep the existing cables. Even OM4 can do 100Gbps up to 150 meters. It is not known if Cat6a, Cat7 or even Cat8 will be able to pull off anything above 10Gb. And this will be stuck at 10G for quite some time.
  • 10G SFP+ interface that has been widely deployed for 10G ToR switches continues to use less power, typically less than 1 W per port. It also offers better latency—typically about 0.3 microseconds per link. While 10GBASE-T latency is about 2.6 microseconds per link due to more complex encoding schemes within the equipment.
  • 10GBASE-T switches are still expensive and there is a very limited choice of those that actually work. Also 10GBASE-T NICs add a premium over 10G SFP+. From a cost perspective, it is cheaper to go the 10G SFP+ cabling since you can find so many used 10G switches for deals, along with decent NICs. In addition, there is more support, driver wise for 10G SFP+ NICs than 10GBASE-T.

By comparison, we find that if flexibility and scalability are more important, 10GBASE-T cabling is a better option; but if power consumption and lower latency are critical, 10G SFP+ cabling may be more suitable. We also find that the cost of 10GBASE-T cabling is no longer in the ascendant. If 10GBASE-T want to acquire an absolute advantage, the primary goal now is to get 10GBASE-T cheaper and more power efficient and bring the cost way down so it can finally replace Gigabit as the next base level networking.

A Third Choice

If you do not have to choose vanilla or chocolate, you could have both 10GBASE-T and 10G SFP+ in the same switch, such as Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 16 XG and UniFi Switch 16 XG. Both of them feature twelve 10G SFP+ ports and four RJ45 10GBASE-T ports to efficiently deliver and aggregate data at 10G speeds. But some people point out that the 10GBASE-T ports on the Ubiquiti switches actually don’t work reliably at 10Gbps speed. Therefore, before you buy it for those four RJ45 10GBASE-T ports, you have to make sure that they can work without issues. Here is a figure of them for you.

Ubiquiti EdgeSwitch 16 XG and UniFi Switch 16 XG

Conclusion

If you were building out a 10G cabling system from scratch today, which technology would you choose for your 10G network connectivity? Both 10GBASE-T cabling and 10G SFP+ cabling have their own advantages. And both of them occupy an important position in the future of network design and best practices. As for which one to choose, it all depends on your specific need. FS.COM can provide cost-effective solution for your 10G network deployment, such as Cat5e bulk cable, 10G SFP+ transceiver, 10G SFP+ DAC cable, 10GBASE-T SFP+ Transceiver and so on. For more details, please visit our site.