Will Cat6 Patch Panel Work with Cat6a Cable?

As information technology develops, we have to upgrade our network products such as the cables, patch panels, etc. Besides, to reduce our data center’s cost, we are tempted to use the old and new ones to make a mixed connection. For instance, run Cat6a cables on Cat6 patch panel. However, does it work? Is it a reliable connection? Here we’ll discuss it in this article.

Comparison of Cat6 and Cat6a Cabling

Cat6a and Cat6 are both designed for Gigabit Ethernet. They can handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-TX, and 10GBASE-T rate. Cat6 and Cat6a sound almost the same, but a single lowercase “a” sets the two terms apart. The word “a” stands for augmented, which makes them behave differently in performance, size and so on.

Cat6 usually has 23 AWG wire conductors, and can support transmission speed of up to 10Gbps at 250MHz. But the theoretical top distance with 10Gbps speed is only 33-35 meters. While Cat6a also has 23 AWG wire conductors, but doubles the capability by delivering data at 500MHz. Moreover, it supports 10Gbps standard over the full 100 meter distance. Note that Cat6a is usually thicker than Cat6 cables, because Cat6a uses extra thick plastic. Therefore, Cat6a takes more space in a patch panel than Cat6.

Can I Use Cat6a Cables on Cat6 Patch Panel?

Ethernet patch panel is the easiest method currently for your networking needs by providing a reliable and neat Cat6 and Cat6a cabling. Usually, we use Cat6 patch panel to connect Cat6 cables, and Cat6a patch panel is for Cat6a cables. However, there isn’t much practical difference between Cat6 and Cat6a patch panel. Then how about installing Cat6a on cat6 patch panel, will it work? There are several things to consider before answering it.

cabling of Cat6 patch panelExample of Cat6 Cabling

Do the Connectors Match?

Cat6a is the updated version of Cat6, they share the same RJ45 connectors. Therefore, it’s no doubt that Cat6a cables can be plugged into the Cat6 patch panel.

Is It Safety?

Cat6a cable’s size is bigger, so the corresponding minimum bend radius is larger, which will change installation requirements for routing and handling as well as design of pathways and spaces. For example, when we install Cat6a on a 48 port Cat6 patch panel, the larger wire may end up bending. So it’s not entirely safe to wire Cat6a on the 48 port patch panel, you have to manage it with much more patience and caution.

It Might Work

Commonly, conductors determine whether the connection works or not. Thus, in this respect, Cat6 patch panel will work with Cat6a cables, since they have the same RJ45 conductors. But from the above we know it’s not safe enough to do so.

Conclusion

To sum up, Cat6a cables are able to run on Cat6 patch panel. However, there are some disadvantages exist in this job. So I’d like to suggest that if you just want to make an experiment at home, it’s surely OK. But if you want to use Cat6 patch panel with Cat6a in your data center, that’s not inappropriate. Because the cables may be out of work, which will cause damages to your business. If you would like to know more about designing or choosing the right cabling infrastructure, please contact us via sales@fs.com.

Related Article: Does Cat6 on Cat5e Patch Panel or Cat5e on Cat6 Patch Panel Work?

All About Cat7

Network has become an indispensable part of our daily life. Many homes and businesses today deploy network with either a wired network connection or a wireless connection. These two network connection methods have their own advantages: wired connection is typically faster than wireless connection and has lower latency. However, the wireless connection makes it easier to get access to the network from nearly any convenient location. As network technology has kept stepping forward, these two types of network hardware also continue to advance, satisfying the requirements of users. Take wired connection as an example, now a newer cable category is Cat7 ethernet cable. This article will focus on Cat7 cable and share the advantages and disadvantages of this cabling.

Overview of Cat7 Ethernet Cable

This ethernet cable is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA, but it is designed to support 10G Ethernet with distance up to 100 meters. It can offer transmission frequencies of up to 600 MHz, which is 6 times larger than Cat5e and 2.4 times larger than Cat6. And it contains four twisted copper wire pairs, just like the earlier standards, and shielding has been added for individual wire pairs and the cable as a whole. In addition, this type of ethernet cable is terminated with GG45 (GigaGate45) connector, which is still compatible cat5e cable and cat6 cable with RJ45 connector.

Cat7 Ethernet cable

Advantages And Disadvantages of Cat7 Cabling

Though it’s a newer cable category, it is not the best choice for all network deployment. Why? Keeping reading and you will find the answer in the following part.

Advantages
  • Cat7 Ethernet cable has a higher bandwidth of up to 600 MHz, which is 6 times larger than Cat5e (100 MHz) and 2.4 times larger than Cat6 (250 MHz).
  • Cat 7 has an overall shield as well as individual shielding of every pair. It performs better to protect against outside interference. Therefore, it is suitable for installing in a strong RFI & EMI environment.
  • Cat7 is thicker, more bulky, and more difficult to bend.
  • Cat7 is regarded as the most durable cable and has a longer lifespan of fifteen years than cat5e cable and cat6 cable.
  • Cat7 is compatible with preceding Ethernet cable standards like Cat5e and Cat6. As a result, users can move Cat5e cable or Cat6 cable from existing copper based LAN and install Cat7 without having to change the existing electronics.
Disadvantages
  • Cat7 ethernet cable is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA. It is not a solid, established industry standard.
  • Cat7 is very heavy. Individual pair and overall shielding increase the overall weight and size of this cable, which makes it not a job for cabling. Larger & stronger pathway and more stringent bend radius (100 mm or 4 inch) are required.
  • Cat7 is more expensive. Individual pair and overall shielding also mean higher labor costs and more work towards cable termination.
  • Cat7 cabling may cause ground loop problems. If both ends of the cable are connected to ground, it will lead to ground loops which are a major cause of noise, hum, and interference in audio, video, and computer systems. They can also create an electric shock hazard, since ostensibly “grounded” parts of the equipment, which are often accessible to users, are not at ground potential.

Conclusion

For home network deployment, it is not a great option, because it is more expensive and Cat7 cabling is complicated. However, this type of cable is suitable for the place where needs high speed data transmission and is a high EMI environment. Therefore, in order to get a successful network deployment, you have to make a careful plan, be familiar with the environment, confirm the requirement of network deployment and choose the right transmission media. FS.COM offers the best and most versatile copper cables including Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7 Ethernet cable. For more details, please visit our site.

Related Article: Running 10GBASE-T Over Cat6 vs Cat6a vs Cat7 Cabling?

Which Do You Prefer: 10GBASE-T or SFP+ DAC?

A variety of technological advancements and trends are driving the increasing need for 10 GbE in the data center. IT managers are now faced with the challenge of selecting the appropriate 10-gigabit physical media, as 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GE) is offered in two broad categories, optical and copper, with the latter being the most commonly used means for connectivity in data centers. This article addresses the tradeoffs between the effective choices in copper connectivity 10GBase-T and SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC fiber).

What is 10GBASE-T and Why Choose It?

10GBASE-T is an IEEE 802.3an standard which supports the creation of technology that is capable of transmitting 10 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters over four pairs of CAT5 balanced copper cabling system. It is an exciting technology that provides end users with cost-effective media to achieve 10Gbps data rates.

Like all BASE-T implementations, 10GBASE-T works for lengths up to 100 meters, giving IT managers a far greater level of flexibility in connecting devices in the data center. With flexibility in reach, 10GBASE-T can accommodate either top of the rack, middle of row, or end of the row network topologies. This gives IT managers the most flexibility in server placement since it will work with existing structured cabling systems. Because 10GBASE-T is backward-compatible with 1000BASE-T, it can be deployed in existing 1 GbE switch infrastructures in data centers that are cabled with CAT6 and CAT6A (or above) cabling, enabling IT to keep costs down while offering an easy migration path to 10 GbE.

What is SFP+ DAC Fiber and the Benefits of It?

SFP+ direct attach cable (DAC) is a fixed assembly that is purchased at a given length, with the SFP+ connector modules permanently attached to each end of the cable. SFP+ DAC provides high performance in 10 Gigabit Ethernet network applications, using an enhanced SFP+ connector to send 10 Gbps data through one paired transmitters and receivers over a thin twinax cable or fiber optic cable. The 10G SFP+ DAC is designed to use the same port as an optical transceiver, but compared with optical transceivers, the connector modules attached to the cable leave out the expensive optical lasers and other electronic components, thus achieving significant cost savings and power savings in short reach applications.

SFP DAC fiber H10GB-CU5M

SFP+ DAC is a low cost alternative to traditional fiber and twisted-pair copper cabling in data center deployments. SFP+ DAC provides better cable management for high-density deployments and enhanced electrical characteristics for the most reliable signal transmission.

10GBASE-T vs 10GBASE SFP + DAC

SFP+ DAC fiber has significantly lower overall cost when you include switch, NIC and cable, however, 10GBase-T has more flexibility and can reach longer distance. For data centers, the advantages of SFP+ with DAC are a very good match for today’ s requirements and emerging trends. That’s why SFP+ DAC is being adopted rapidly as best practice for new data centers. For wiring closets, 10GBase – T will be the obvious choice once the demand for bandwidth becomes more acute and once the price and power for 10GBase-T technology comes down.

As one of the most professional optical manufacturers in China, FS solutions for 10 Gigabit Ethernet include 10G SFP+ DAC fiber, 10G SFP+ direct attach copper cable. Besides, we also provide high-quality 10G SFP transceivers, like EX-SFP-10GE-LR, SFP-10G-LR-X, SFP-10G-SR-X, etc.

Related Articles:
What’s DAC Cable And Why Choose It Over Fiber Transceiver?
Running 10GBASE-T Over Cat6 vs Cat6a vs Cat7 Cabling?