Patch Panel Cabling—the Right Choice

What Is a Patch Panel?

The patch panel is a device that integrates both cable management and termination functions. The patch panel cabling is conducive to the structured cabling as the cables are put orderly on the patch panel. As the interface between multiple optical fibers and optical equipment, it serves as a termination unit that helps networking and fiber distribution from wiring closet to various terminal applications.

Lying on the front of it are an array of ports where we insert the cables. The ports in the back will lead to a server, switch, or another type of device. Each port in the front will have a cable coming from a PC, phone, fax, or any other device that needs to be networked together. Each port on the patch panel labeled with a number will connect via an Ethernet cable punch down on the back, through the wall, cross space or added to another location in the house.

Benefits of Patch Panel Cabling

It lets you use the proper type of cable in the proper place. Other than the point-to-point cabling, the patch panel contributes to a structured cabling, representing you a professional and neat look. In a large home or office with lots of connections, patch panels make quick work of re-configuring networks by enabling operators to identify where the cable is coming from and going to. By managing varying port densities and speeds in a single high-density patch panel, you save valuable rack space, helping to lower data center costs. A single patch panel can manage as many as (168) 10Gb ports.

Patch Panel Recommendations

We all know that the fiber transmits data faster than copper does. But the role of patch panels is to direct signal traffic rather than send the signal at a certain speed. Both copper and fiber panels are governed by the same TIA/EIA standards(the highest level of criteria that products must perform to) required to produce speed and signal performance for the rest of the cabling network. Patch panels must coerce data into performing up to the standards.

The 24 ports Cat5e shielded feed-through patch panel, a star product in FS.COM, can be mounted in to 1U racks. The shielded patch panel can minimize the crosstalk between cables, ensuring the smooth transferring of signals. It features with number coding, removable rear cable manager and rear cable management bar.
cat5e shielded patch panel

1U 19″ high-density fiber patch panel offered by FS.COM can hold up to 48 fibers with 24 ports. High quality steel adapter panel is suitable for 1U 19″ frame rack mount or cabinet, designed for backbone-to-backbone and backbone-to-horizontal fiber cabling. It is fully loaded with fiber couplers to save much cost.

fiber patch panel

Conclusion

A patch panel allows you great flexibility to move, add and change cables. It gives you the neat look and a simple way to manage and configure and reconfigure your network. If coordinated with a cable manager, the patch panels will do better in cable management since the cable manager has both horizontal and vertical options while the patch panel is only designed in horizontal type at present. It can be easily installed into the wall mount enclosure and rack mount enclosure. What’s more, the whole rack will be much nicer and the networks will work orderly. Remember that 30% space in the cable managers should be left for future growth.

Create Your Structured Cabling Solutions

Have troubles in vertical or horizontal cable management in your data center? Confused at the cables’ destinations and start points? With slack cables hanging here and there in server rack, blocking and pathway? Well, all these issues brought by point-to-point cabling will become the thing of the past as the structured cabling comes into being.

What Is Structured Cabling?

Before the 1990s, data and cabling system were proprietary which means they were vendor specified, each vendor had his own cabling system design and it was hard to have products from different vendors to work together. In the mid 1980s, the EIA was asked to develop a specification that would encourage structured standardized cabling. In 1991 the TIA published the first version of the commercial building telecommunications cabling standard, better known as TIA/EIA-568.

In the United States, we follow TIA/EIA-568-C as the structured cabling standard. It covers subsystems of structured cabling, installation methods and practices, connector and pin assignments, media types and performance specifications for horizontal and backbone cabling, connecting hardware performance specifications, recommended topology and distances, and the definition of cable elements (horizontal cable, cross-connects, telecommunication outlets, etc.)

structured cabling solution

How to Design Your Own Structured Cabling Solution

Presume that we have an empty building of four storeys, we need to design a structured cabling solution for different uses in it. One solution we must apply, also one of the subsystems of structured cabling, is horizontal cabling which can not be skipped in each floors. Horizontal cabling is the cabling that extends from horizontal cross-connect or main cross-connect to the work area and terminate in telecommunications outlets. Horizontal cabling includes the following: 1.Cable from the patch panel to the work area; 2.Telecommunications outlets; 3.Cable terminations ; 4.Cross-connections(where permitted); 5.A maximum of one transition point; 6.Cross-connects in telecommunications rooms or enclosures.

Furthermore, to achieve the connection between different floors, we need the backbone cabling, also known as vertical cabling. We can adopt it to to connect entrance facilities, equipment rooms, and telecommunications rooms and enclosures. Backbone cabling consists of not only the cables that connect the telecommunications rooms, equipment rooms, and building entrances, but also the cross-connect cables, mechanical terminations, or patch cords used for backbone-to-backbone cross-connection.

The work area is where the horizontal cable terminates and wall outlets also called the telecommunications outlet. In the work area, the users and the telecommunications equipment connect to the structured cabling infrastructure. The work area begins as a telecommunications area and includes components such patch cables, modular cords, fiber jumpers, station equipment such as computers, telephones, fax machines and so on.

The telecommunications rooms and telecommunications enclosures are the location within the building where cabling components such as cross-connects and patch panels are located. These rooms are where the horizontal structured cabling starts from. The telecommunications room and enclosure may also contain networking equipment such as hubs, switches, routers, etc.

The equipment rooms is a centralized space specified to house more sophisticated equipment than the entrance facility or the telecommunications rooms. Most often, telephone equipment or data networking such as routers, switches, and hubs are located there. Backbone cabling is specified to terminate in the equipment room.

The entrance facility specifies the point in the building where cabling connects with outside world. All external cabling such as campus backbone, inter-building, and telecommunications provider should enter the building and terminate in a single point.

Digital data is growing faster than any other commodity and its importance to businesses of all types cannot be underestimated. To learn how you can use structured cabling to better manage your data center, contact the experts at FS.COM.

Assist of Patch Panel—Innovative Horizontal Cable Manager with Brush Strip

The hot-debated topic—cable management, is a critical part when planing a data center. Failure in cable management will expose cable to high fatigue rates, hinder people to identify cables or even bring difficulties when expanding or upgrading equipment. To meet the management needs, tools like patch panel, cable managers, and cable rings are brought in to life. Cable manager, the subject of the article, comes in varied types, among which I’d like to introduce the upgraded one—1U brush strip horizontal cable manager designed for server racks.

Brief Introduction of the Patch Panel Assistant

The patch panel is partly a cable manager, but it also has other functions. With the brush strip horizontal cable manager, the cable management can be perfectly maintained. The new cable manager is made of refined metal and comes in different heights like 1U and 2U. Compared with original 1U plastic single sided horizontal cable manager with finger duct, it is a flat panel greatly saving the steel. The panel is designed to be mounted on any 19in EIA style rack or cabinet and features built-in brush that allows passage of up to 25 cables while blocking airflow.

brush strip cable manager

What Are the Advantages of the New Type of Cable Manager?

Compared with ordinary cable manager with a certain number of ports, the brush strip cable manager can allow for relatively flexible cable management, and the cables that come from or to patch panels is less likely to be rubbed when passing through the brush. What’s more, it can minimize the risk of unnecessary bending or subject cables to heat sources or sharp edges, thus enabling the cables to live longer.

It comes with high-density nylon brush separating and organizing cables that increases overall air flow within your network cabinet while improves the efficiency of your cooling system by covering unused rack space. The sturdy steel structure and black powder coat finish fights presents durability, resists corrosion, and keeps your rack looking smooth and professional.

The Way It Helps With Patch Panel

Using four screws, it can be installed above or below the rack patch panel, and the two can coordinate seamlessly to present neat cabling. Just as the below video shows, brush strip panel is used to allow the passage of patch leads from the rear of the cabinet and then the patch cables are connected to the slots on the patch panel. They are installed within a data rack to neatly draw cables away from equipment. This type of management is typically slotted directly in front of equipment. The slots are masked with ‘brush’ strips which allow cables to pass through while presenting a tidy appearance and avoiding the cables dropping back into the rack.

Conclusion

1U brush strip horizontal cable manager can organize cables while keeping dust and dirt out of the rack. FS.COM produces a wide variety of cable management accessories specially designed for use in various cabinet and enclosure systems. These accessories include everything from vertical and horizontal cable managers, cable rings, and Ethernet patch panel to more easily route cables through the cabinet and preserve signal strength and data transmission. All these devices enable you to identify and track cables easily, while maintaining the freedom to remove or change cables with ease whenever necessary. FS.COM are always here for your suggestions and comments.

Multimedia Modular Patch Panel: Mix and Match Fiber & Copper

Sometimes one cannot have his household products all fiber-related, and there are always some copper cables or jackets remained by generations. In such cases, people have to buy at least 2 patch panels of different kinds. In order to satisfy various needs in cable management, the multimedia modular patch panel comes into being. How this little device helps and works?

What Is Multimedia Modular Patch Panel?

First and foremost, we have to figure out what a modular patch panel is. The fist glance at it we may find 6 ports on it. They are used to accommodate adapters and jacks, suited for Cat6a/6/5e/5 Ethernet cables and LC/SC/MTP fiber patch cables. The FS.COM modular patch panels accept all modules in copper and fiber which snap in and out for easy moves, adds, and changes, offering exceptional versatility and robustness to your system.

6 port multimedia modular patch panel

Why Should We Use Multimedia Modular Patch Panels?

Because they let you support legacy, current and emerging applications; they provide an easy upgrade path without requiring excessive recabling or changes in hardware; you can wire a single outlet for different applications; and you can often use standard and proprietary inserts, if necessary. The first patch of purchasers have posted feedbacks that it is worthy of trying. It is easily fit to your existed FHD 1RU rack mount enclosure and 1U metal cable management panel.

How to Use The Multimedia Modular Patch Panel

When we get a multimedia modular patch panel like the type shown above, we need to prepare at least 6 specially designed plastic clips (FS.COM provides them freely) to hold various fiber optic adapter on the panel. Insert the fiber optic adapter into the clip, then snap the clip on the adapter panel. A fiber optic interface is easily installed. The attached plastic clips offered by FS.COM fit a variety of fiber optic adapters, such as LC OM3 adapter, MTP/MPO adapter and LC OS2 adapter. In addition, copper unshielded keystone modules can be directly installed onto the panel. When the modular patch panel is completely loaded, we can apply it to a 1U fiber enclosure. And plug the copper and fiber cable into copper and fiber adapter respectively.

To provide you with a more authentic experience, we have produced a short video for your reference.

Conclusion

It is really a cost-effective invention that it not only saves the cabinet space, but also spares you the additional expense for another kind of patch panel. With flexible and modular design, multimedia modular panel enables optimum use of rack space. It can be installed quickly into the front of FS.COM FHD rack/wall mount fiber enclosure. Together with our horizontal cable manager, it makes your rack neat and fresh when deploying fiber and copper aggregated link. Whether you are looking for a modular panel with reasonable price or a device enabling better cable management, FS.COM 6 port blank multimedia panel is a good choice.

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.