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Will Single-mode Fiber Work Over Multimode SFP Transceiver?

Network installers usually come across a situation that device you have in your network does not always fit and work perfectly with the fiber. They plan to make a cable plant based on the multimode cabling, but owing to the link limitation or other reasons, they have to connect multimode equipment with single-mode devices. Is it feasible? Or put it more specifically, can I use the multimode SFP over single-mode fibers or vice versa? This article will give you a detailed illustration about the feasibility of the solutions, and introduce two relevant devices (mode conditioning cable and multimode to single-mode fiber media converter).

Single-mode Fiber Over Multimode SFP—You Can If You Are Lucky

This is the question that has been asked so many time, but no one can give the exact answer—yes or no. Hence, let’s illustrate it in details.

Most people think single-mode and multimode fibers are not interchangable because of the wave length of the laser and core size of the fiber. Single-mode fiber (MMF) uses a laser as a light source (the light beam is very concentrated), while multimode fiber (MMF) uses an LED to generate the signal. This would require two significantly different devices to generate the signal.

The core sizes are drastically different between SMF and MMF. SMF is 9 micron and multimode is 62.5 or 50 micron. If users try to mix the single-mode and multimode cabling in the same network, they might have trouble dealing with the two different types of signal.

However, it is possible to interconnect two devices using SMF interfaces at one end and MMF receiver at the other end. Keep in mind that it depends on the devices, so you can if you are lucky. When plugging LC single-mode duplex fibers on the multimode fiber transceiver (1000GBASE-SX) in the network, you will find the link came up (the light on the switch turns green). Therefore, the multimode fiber transceiver connected by the single-mode fibers works for short-reach application. The following image is the real screenshot of the single-mode fibers inserting into the 1000BASE-SX SFP.

real screenshot of inserting single-mode fiber over multimode fiber transceivers

While it should be stressed that the link is not reliable and it only works for particular brand devices with a very short link length. Many sophisticated vendors like Huawei, Alcatel or Cisco do not support it. Nevertheless, owing to the differential mode delay (DMD) effect, signal loss of this connection is not acceptable, either.

To sum up, this might be feasible but not advisable. If you need to make a connection between single-mode and multimode interfaces, you’d better use the intermediate switch that is able to convert the signals between single-mode and multimode fibers. The following part will introduce two solutions that might be helpful for the multimode and single-mode conversion.

Solution 1: MCP Cable—Single-mode In and Multimode Out

As to the multimode fiber with single-mode SFPs, most people mention the mode conditioning patch (MCP) cables. The MCP cable is launched to support 1000BASE-LX optics over multimode cable plant. The mode conditioning cables allow customers to successfully run Gigabit Ethernet over our multimode cable using single-mode fiber transceivers, Cisco 1000BASE-LX/LH SFP is the special type of transceiver that can both support single-mode and multimode fibers. The image below displays the difference between standard SC multimode patch cable and SC mode conditioning patch cable.

comparison between standard SC multimode fiber patch cable and SC MCP cable

Then, in this situation, you can run successfully from a single-mode fiber transceiver over multimode fiber with the use of MCP cables, but the distance will not exceed the link specification for multimode transceivers. Otherwise, there will be much signal loss in the cable run.

In general, if you want to run multimode fiber optic cable over 1000BASE-LX SFPs, you can use the mode conditioning cable. However, mode conditioning patch cords are required for link distances greater than 984 feet (300 meters). For distance less than 300 m, please omit the mode conditioning patch cords (although there is no problem using it on short links).

Solution 2: Fiber to Fiber Media Converter—Conversion Between Multimode and Single-mode Fibers

As noted before, mode conditioning cables, to some extent, can realize the connection between single-mode to multimode, but you can not say that you can convert single-mode to multimode or vice versa. Mode conversion between multimode and single-mode fibers often requires fiber to fiber media converters or the single-mode to multimode fiber converter.

F2F-10G-Multimode-to-Single-mode

In the above diagram, two Ethernet switches equipped with multimode fiber ports are connected utilizing a pair of fiber-to-fiber converters which convert the multimode fiber to single-mode and enable network connectivity across the distance between Gigabit switches.

Conclusion

It doesn’t really make much sense to use the single-mode fiber transceivers with multimode fibers in your network or vice versa, although the link will come up. Like I said above, you can if you are lucky connect. MCP cables and fiber to fiber converter are the two available options for single-mode and multimode connection. If you bought the wrong fiber optic cables, just replace it into the right one. Fiber optic cables and optical transceivers modules nowadays are very cheap. You won’t need to risk of mixing them in the same network.

Original Source : Single-mode Fiber Work Over Multimode SFP Transceiver

QSFP+ to SFP+ Adapter (QSA) Module Vs. QSFP+ to SFP+ Breakout Cable

People frequently ask about feasible solutions between 10G and 40G servers. QSFP+ breakout cables like QSFP+ to 4 SFP+ cables and MTP to 4 LC harness cables are the commonly used equipment to connect between QSFP+ ports and SFP+ ports. But recently, Cisco launched a new type of product—QSFP+ to SFP+ Adapter (QSA) module that could provide a smooth migration to 40 Gigabit Ethernet. Is it a better solution for the 10G to 40G migration? Should I use the QSA module or 40G QSFP+ breakout cable? This article will answer the above questions and provide some suggestions to you.

QSA Module—Is It a Better Solution for the 40G Migration?

The QSFP+ to SFP+ Adapter module, specified by Cisco, is the module built in QSFP+ form factor with a receptacle for SFP+ cable connector at the back (seen in the below image). When connecting the QSFP port to an SFP+ port, QSA module usually acts as an interface for SFP+/SFP cables. That means you can effectively plug in an SFP+/SFP optics operating at a 10 Gbps port on this module, then inserting the module into a QSFP port cage to realize the 40G Ethernet transition. QSFP+ to SFP+ adapter module ensures the smooth connectivity between 40 Gigabit Ethernet adapter and 10 Gigabit hardware using SFP+ based cabling. Therefore, once the QSA module came out in 2016, it was soon considered as the effective solutions for converting 40G ports to the 10G ports.

Cisco QSFP+ to SFP+ adapter cable

40G QSFP+ Breakout Cables Overview

People usually use either the QSFP+ to 4 SFP+ breakout cables or MTP to LC harness cables to convert the downlink 40G port of ToR (Top of Rack) access layer switch into 4x10G fan out mode, then connect to the 10G cabinet server port. QSFP+ to SFP+ breakout cable including the direct attach copper cable (DAC) and active optical cable (AOC) consists of a QSFP+ connector on one end and four SFP+ connectors on the other end. The cables use high-performance integrated duplex serial data links for bidirectional communication on four links simultaneously.

QSFP+ to SFP+ breakout cable

While the MTP to LC harness cable have one one MTP cables on the one end and four LC connectors on the other end. This type of cable is recommended to be used in the same rack within the short distance. The picture above shows the direct connectivity between the QSFP+ transceivers and SFP+ transceivers by using the MTP to LC harness cable.

QSA Module or QSFP+ Breakout Cable

In this part, I will make a comparison between QSFP+ to SFP+ adapter modules and QSFP+ breakout cables from the aspects of cost, performance and compatibility.

Cost—QSFP+ Breakout Cables Wins

QSFP+ to SFP+ adapter module is not certificated by Multi-source Agreement (MSA), but a sole source paradigm defined by few vendors. The only vendor owns its patent, so the QSA modules on the market are quite expensive. Nevertheless, QSFP+ breakout cables covered in the MSA standard, support both copper and optical connectivity, which are much cheaper than QSA modules. Cost comparison between QSA module and QSFP+ breakout cable (DAC, 1m) is listed in the below table.

cost comparison between QSA module and QSFP+ breakout cable

Performance

With QSA module, users have the flexibility to use any SFP+/SFP optics to connect to the 40Gbps data rate with a single 10G connection. However, QSA module only exists in 10G-40G speed, which also explains the reasons of its unpopularity of the market. QSFP+ to 4 SFP+ breakout cables split the 40G channel into 4x10G channel which provide four times more data transfers than QSA module does.

Compatible Switch and SFP/SFP+ Modules

QSA modules, according to Cisco, are available in 40 Gigabit Ethernet compatibility matrix. Cisco SFP/SFP+ transceivers that can be plugged into the QSA modules are concluded as Cisco 10GBASE-SR, LR, ER, ZR, DWDM SFP+, FET-10G and 10G SFP+ cable as well as SFP (1000BASE-T, SX, LX, EX, ZX). As for the QSFP+ to SFP+ breakout cables, different vendors have different compatible issues. Keep in mind that you should find the reliable fiber optic transceiver manufacturers.

Reminder:

  • Before using the QSA modules or the QSFP+ breakout cables to connect a 40 Gigabit Ethernet port to a 10 Gigabit SFP+ port, you must enable the fan-out mode of your devices.
  • Not all the 40G cards and switches can be split into 4x 10Gb mode, for example, the Mellanox QSFP cards do not support the QSFP to SFP+ breakout, but their switches can.
  • With the QSA module, you can directly use the SFP+ modules in a QSFP+ port, but you cannot use the QSFP+ optical cables in a QSA setup.
  • Telecom industry has been modified rapidly. Hence, it is more cost-effective to make additional investment in high-speed switches instead of breakout cables and expensive QSA modules.

Conclusion

Both the QSFP+ breakout cables and QSA modules provide a smooth migration to the 40 Gigabit Ethernet. With these optics, you can reuse the existing 10G SFP+ cables, optical transceivers and switches when upgrading to 40G Ethernet. QSFP+ breakout cables is regarded as the cost-effective and reliable solutions for the most situations, but QSA module is preferable for the application with a single 10G connection.

Original source: QSA Module Vs. QSFP+ to SFP+ Breakout Cable – Chinacablebuy

Can I Use QSFP+ Optics on the QSFP28 Port?

100G Ethernet will have a larger share of network equipment market in 2017, according to Infonetics Research. But we can’t neglect the fact that 100G technology and relevant optics are still under development. Users who plan to layout 100G network for long-hual infrastructures usually met some problems. For example, currently, the qsfp28 optics on the market can only support up to 10 km (QSFP28 100GBASE-LR4) with WDM technology, which means you have to buy the extra expensive WDM devices. For applications beyond 10km, QSFP28 optical transceivers cannot reach it. Therefore, users have to use 40G QSFP+ optics on 100G switches. But here comes a problem, can I use the QSFP+ optics on the QSFP28 port of the 100G switch? If this is okay, can I use the QSFP28 modules on the QSFP+ port? This article discusses the feasibility of this solution and provides a foundational guidance of how to configure the 100G switches.

For Most Switches, QSFP+ Can Be Used on QSFP28 Port

As we all know that QSFP28 transceivers have the same form factor as the QSFP optical modules. The former has just 4 electrical lanes that can be used as a 4x10GbE, 4x25GbE, while the latter supports 40G ( 4x10G). So from all of this information, a QSFP28 module breaks out into either 4x25G or 4x10G lanes, which depends on the transceiver used. This is the same case with the SFP28 transceivers that accept SFP+ transceivers and run at the lower 10G speed.

QSFP+ can work on the QSFP28 ports

A 100G QSFP28 port can generally take either a QSFP+ or QSFP28 optics. If the QSFP28 optics support 25G lanes, then it can operate 4x25G breakout, 2x50G breakout or 1x100G (no breakout). The QSFP+ optic supports 10G lanes, so it can run 4x10GE or 1x40GE. If you use the QSFP transceivers in QSFP28 port, keep in mind that you have both single-mode and multimode (SR/LR) optical transceivers and twinax/AOC options that are available.

In all Cases, QSFP28 Optics Cannot Be Used on QSFP+ Port

SFP+ can’t auto-negotiate to support SFP module, similarly QSFP28 modules can not be used on the QSFP port, either. There is the rule about mixing optical transceivers with different speed—it basically comes down to the optic and the port, vice versa. Both ends of the two modules have to match and form factor needs to match as well. Additionally, port speed needs to be equal or greater than the optic used.

How to Configure 100G Switch

For those who are not familiar with how to do the port configuration, you can have a look at the following part.

  • How do you change 100G QSFP ports to support QSFP+ 40GbE transceivers?

Configure the desired speed as 40G:
(config)# interface Ethernet1/1
(config-if-Et1/1)# speed forced 40gfull

  • How do you change 100G QSFP ports to support 4x10GbE mode using a QSFP+ transceiver?

Configure the desired speed as 10G:
(config)# interface Ethernet1/1 – 4
(config-if-Et1/1-4)# speed forced 10000full

  • How do you change 100G QSFP ports from 100GbE mode to 4x25G mode?

Configure the desired speed as 25G:
(config)# interface Ethernet1/1 – 4
(config-if-Et1/1-4)# speed forced 25gfull

  • How do you change 100G QSFP ports back to the default mode?

Configure the port to default mode:
(config)# interface Ethernet1/1-4
(config-if-Et1/1)# no speed

Note that if you have no experience in port configuration, it is advisable for you to consult your switch vendor in advance.

Conclusion

To sum up, QSFP+ modules can be used on the QSFP28 ports, but QSFP28 transceivers cannot transmit 100Gbps on the QSFP+ port. When using the QSFP optics on the QSFP28 port, don’t forget to configure your switch (follow the above instructions). To make sure the smooth network transmission, you need to ensure the connectors on both ends are the same and no manufacturer compatibility issue exists.

Original source : http://www.chinacablesbuy.com/can-use-qsfp-optics-qsfp28-port.html

100G QSFP28 PSM4 to Address 500m Links in Data Center

100G QSFP28 PSM4 optics is a type of 100G optical transceiver that provides a low-cost solution to long-reach data center optical interconnects. 100G PSM4 (parallel single-mode 4 lane) standard is mainly targeted to data centers that based on a parallel single-mode infrastructure for a link length of 500 m. Compared with the hot-selling 100GBASE-SR4 and 100GBASE-LR4 optics, 100G QSFP28 PSM4 recently wins the popularity among the overall users. This article will provide a complete specification of the 100G QSFP28 PSM4 transceiver and explain the reason why people would need QSFP28 PSM4.

QSFP28 module

QSFP28 PSM4—A Low-Cost but Long-Reach Solution

100G QSFP28 PSM4 is compliant with 100G PSM4 MSA standard, which defines a point-to-point 100 Gb/s link over eight parallel single-mode fibers (4 transmit and 4 receive) up to at least 500 m. PSM4 uses four identical lanes per direction. Each lane carries a 25G optical transmission. The 100G PSM4 standard is now available in QSFP28 and CFP4 form factor. Table 2 shows the diagram of the 100G QSFP28 PSM4 Specification. 100G PSM4 is a low-cost solution. Its cost structure is driven by the cost of the fiber and the high component count. FS.COM offers the Cisco compatible 100G QSFP28 PSM4 at US$750.00.

diagram of QSFP28 PSM4

As you can see in the above image, 100G QSFP28 PSM4 transceiver uses four parallel fibers (lanes) operating in each direction, with transmission distance up to 500 meters. The source of the QSFP28 PSM4 module is a single uncooled distributed feedback (DFB) laser operating at 1310 nm. It needs either a directly modulated DFB laser (DML) or an external modulator for each fiber. The 100GBASE-PSM4 transceiver usually needs the single-mode ribbon cable with an MTP/MPO connector.

Why Do We Need 100G QSFP28 PSM4?

100G PSM4 is the 100G standard that has been launched by multi-source agreement (MSA) to enable 500m links in data center optical interconnects. But as we all know, there are several popular 100G interfaces out there on the market, such as QSFP28 100GBASE-SR4, QSFP28 100GBASE-LR4, QSFP28 100GBASE-CWDM4, and CFP 100GBASE-LR4, etc. So with so many options, why do we still need 100G QSFP28 PSM4?

To better help you make up your mind, you need to figure out the following questions:

Q1: What are the net link budget differences between PSM4, SR4, LR4 and CWDM?
Table 3 displays the detailed information about these 100G standards.

100GBASE-PSM4 100GBASE-CWDM4 100GBASE-SR4 100GBASE-LR4
4-wavelength CWDM multiplexer and demultiplexer No need Need No need Need
Connector MPO/MTP connector Two LC connectors MPO/MTP connector Two LC connectors
Reach 500 m 2 km 100 m 10 km

Note: the above diagram excludes the actual loss of each link (it is the ideal situation). In fact, WDM solution are at least 7 db worse link budget than PSM4. For a 2 km connectivity, a CWDM module will have to overcome about 10 db additional losses compared to PSM4. And the 100G LR4 optics at 10 km is 12 db higher total loss than PSM4.

Q2: What power targets are achievable for each, and by extension what form factors?
According to the IEEE data sheet, the WDM solutions cannot reasonably fit inside QSFP thermal envelop, while PSM4 can fit inside the QSFP thermal envelope. That means you would need the extra power for the WDM solution of your network. But if you use the QSFP PSM4, this won’t be a problem.

All in all, a 100G QSFP28 PSM4 transceiver with 500m max reach is a optional choice for customers. Because other 100G optics are either too short for practical application in data center or too long and costly. QSFP28 PSM4 modules are much less expensive than the 10 km, 100GBASE-LR4 module, and support longer distance than 100GBASE-SR4 QSFP28.

Summary

QSFP28 PSM4 is the lowest cost solution at under one forth the cost of either WDM alternatives. 100G QSFP28 PSM4 can support a link length of 500 m, which is sufficient for data center interconnect applications. 100G QSFP28 PSM4 also offers the simplest architecture, the most streamlined data path, higher reliability, an easy upgrade path to 100G Ethernet.

Compatible Test of Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 Optics

When purchasing the third party optics, customers usually suffer from the poor quality and compatibility issue, which is the major obstacle of OEM market. Just as a saying goes, what is good is not cheap. However, this article will prove that the cost-effective OEM optics from FS.COM are well worth the penny.

FS.COM, as a professional and reliable manufacturer and supplier of compatible optical transceiver, provides a series of self-developed products which can be highly compatible with many major brands, such as Cisco, HPE, Juniper, Brocade, Arista, etc. In this blog, we are going to present a compatibility testing of our hot-selling Cisco compatible QSFP-40G-SR4 optics on Cisco Nexus 9396PX.

Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 Optics

Before we come to the major part, let’s have a brief overview of the 40G QSFP-40G-SR4 and the Cisco Nexus 9396PX switch. Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 Compatible 40GBASE-SR4 QSFP+ transceiver is a short-range transceiver for 40 Gigabit Ethernet. It supports link lengths of 100m and 150m on laser-optimized OM3 and OM4 multimode fiber, respectively. Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 enables high bandwidth 40G optical links over 12-fiber parallel fiber terminated with MPO/MTP multifiber connectors, which is also optimized to guarantee interoperability with any IEEE 40GBase-SR4 and 10GBase-SR.

Our Cisco compatible QSFP-40G-SR4 optics is fully tested with most Cisco platforms to ensure compatibility and compliance. Thus, it can be supported on a wide range of Cisco equipment, such as Cisco ASR 9000 series, Nexus 9000 series, Nexus 6000 series, and so on.

Cisco Nexus 9396PX Switch

Cisco Nexus 9396PX belongs to the Cisco Nexus 9000 series. It delivers a comprehensive line-rate layer 2 and layer 3 featuring in a two-rack-unit form factor. It can support 1/10/40 Gbps of switching capacity with forty-eight 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet SFP+ port and twelve 40 GE QSFP+ nonblocking ports. The main advantage of this switch is that you can reuse the existing 10 Gigabit Ethernet multimode cabling for 40 Gigabit Ethernet by connecting the 40Gb bidirectional transceiver. Figure 1 shows the Cisco Nexus 9396PX switch.

cisco-nexus-9396px-ports-information

The Testing Procedure of the Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 on Cisco Nexus 9396PX Switch

In FS.COM’s test center, we care of every detail from staff to facilities to ensure our customers to receive the optics with superior quality. Just take our hot-selling Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 optics as an example, the procedure can be quite simple that can be concluded in three steps:

1. Plug the Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 compatible QSFP+ into the 40-Gbps ports of the Nexus 9396PX

2. Plug the cleaned MTP patch cord into the optical ports of the transceivers

3. View the state of LED light and more information in the CLI.

Besides the above procedures, we also have a testing demo of QSFP-40G-SR4 Cisco compatible module testing on Nexus 9396PX.

Conclusion

At the end of the article, you must know the reason why FS.COM is the number one choice of compatible optical transceivers. Not only the Cisco QSFP-40G-SR4 optics, but other reliable compatible fiber optic transceivers from FS.COM are the best-seller products over the past years. If you are the major brand user like Cisco, HPE or Juniper, and want to cut down your budget this time, you might want to have a look at our cost-effective compatible fiber optic transceiver.

Introduction to Horizontal and Vertical Cable Manager

For many IT manager or data center professionals, one of the most difficult task is to keep cables in proper order. Image that you walk into a sever room to troubleshoot cables because of the bad cable management, you see the cable here, cable there, cable everywhere. Can you walking through this without crying?

bad cable management

Now that you have looked at the horrible cable management, it is time for you to do something to avoid joining the terrible cable management hall.

From the above image, we can see that there are bunches of cables in one sever room, which includes power cables, network cables, and in some cases, keyboard or mouse cables. In this situation, proper rack cable management is absolutely essential. Without it, you will need to trace out every cable in the rack anytime, this, of course, can be very time consuming and difficult.

Fortunately, there are many excellent products available on the market, such as cable manager, wire duct, patch panel, cable ties and so on, which can help make cable management in rack environments much faster, easier and more effective. Whether you handle running cables for a massive corporate data center or for a small business, learning more about cable management can be very helpful. This article will have a brief introduction to the vertical and horizontal cable managers.

Vertical & Horizontal Cable Manager

Good cable management is essential. When installing cables in a sever rack, you will undoubtedly have to run them both vertically and horizontally. The best solution for this cabling is to run all the cables horizontally from the sever directly to the vertical cable management rack. In this case, you would need the cable managers to hold the cables smugly and safely. This vertical and horizontal cable manager provides plenty of room for all the cables.

Vertical cable manager just as seen in the below image, utilizes the additional space to manage the slack from patch cords, and make sure that they can easily route the largest cable diameter in your plan. For static environments, you can consider installing another vertical cable manager behind the racks, which does not block access to components in the space between the racks. Vertical racks can be also installed under a desk or against a wall and accommodate networking equipment up to 4 RU.

vertical cable manager

Horizontal cable managers allow neat and proper routing of the patch cables from equipment in racks and protect cables from damage. If you are using flat-faced patch panels or network switches that cable from above or below, horizontal cable manager will complete the support pathway for patch cords between the cabling section and the exact connection point (port) on the patch panel or switch. Alternately, horizontal management can be used to create rack-to-rack pathways for patch cords. The following image shows the 2u horizontal cable manager panel.

horizontal cable manager panel

Select a style of horizontal cable management that complements the cabling section (vertical manager). Generally, it is good practice to plan 1U of horizontal cable management for every 2U of connectivity. Cable fill should equal at minimum, half of the ports supported by the cable manager. This method assumes that patch cords enter from both sides of the rack. Capacity should equal port density when cables enter from one side of the rack only.

In some case, vertical cable manager and horizontal cable manager are often used together. The vertical cable manager guides cables to the floor and horizontal cable management draws away from equipment.

FS.COM Cable Manager

FS.COM cable management provides an engineered solution for managing high-density cabling applications, delivering increased performance to match the demands of data center applications. Use FS.COM Vertical and Horizontal Cable Managers on the sides of racks to manage premise cables, patch cords and jumper cords.

Features include:

  • Four styles: Finger duct, D-rings, Brushed, Telephone Line
  • Structure: Single-sided, Double-sided
  • Available in a variety of heights, depths and widths (rack up to 45 U)
  • Material: plastic, metal, semimetal
  • Vertical manager door opens to right or left with single knob; horizontal manager has snap-on cover
  • Rigid vertical manager trough minimizes movement when installed on the end of a row or racks; full rectangular base supports heavy cable bundles
  • Vertical cable managers feature panels that support various optional cable management accessories to divide the interior space and manage cable slack
  • The panel on dual-sided vertical managers are movable and allow for flexibility in the volume of cable management space
  • Wide variety of accessories include cable ties, cable management rings, cable lacing bars, J-hook and wire loom.

Conclusion

If you have picked the right rack cable manager (whether the vertical cable manager or the horizontal cable manager), the next important thing you should do is make sure you make a good preparation before deploying. Plan out every detail of the installation will help to ensure the cable management activities perform as quickly and easily as possible.

An Eye on the Copper Patch Panels

Are you tired of messy network? As the world embraces the increasingly faster data-rate network, IT managers felt great stress over the inability to organize and create a neat rack mounted environment. Patch panels allows the easy management of patch cables and link the cabling distribution areas, which paves the way for a refreshing new approach to a neat optical network.

Patch panels are usually installed on enclosures or racks to provide an easy way to organize connections. Patch panels are available in many different variations. Key design variations include:

  • Jack module type
  • Patch panel material type
  • Unshielded patch panels vs. shielded patch panels
  • Flat patch panels vs. angled patch panels
  • Standard patch panels vs. high-density patch panels
  • Port labeling

Patch panels also allow several cable connectors to be used (LC for fiber and RJ45 for copper). Today’s article will be concentrated on the illustration of the copper patch panels, especially cat5e patch panels and cat6 patch panels.

Copper Patch Panels

The cat5e and cat6 shielded and unshielded patch panels are the commonly used copper patch panels on the market that are suitable for communication socket interconnection between equipment room, working area and crossover terminal connection. This patch panels use the copper patch cord to contains ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing Ethernet cables. Besides the shielded and unshielded patch panels, copper patch panels include flat and angled types from appearance design.

Flat patch panels help horizontal cable managers to organize and route cables into vertical managers. Angled patch panels are easy for cable termination and can improve patch cord routing. They serve as alternatives for management that need no rack space for horizontal management. The angled design increases rack density, managing high-density applications in one-fourth the area needed for conventional cable management systems. But angled panels are not good for cabinet installation due to the front depth requirements.

angled patch panel

Figure 1 shows the angled patch panels that allow cables to be mounted directly into the vertical cable manager. Angled patch panels do not need the additional cable manager to be installed above and below the patch panels, which makes them perfect for high-density areas. Next part will go on to talk about the cat5e and cat6 patch panels individually and specifically.

Cat5e Patch Panels

Cat5e patch panels allows fast and easy installation and cable management to copper Gigabit switches. It is compliant with TIA/EIA 568 industry specifications and features both T-568A and T-568B wiring configurations. Cat5e patch panels are ideal for Ethernet network applications. Figure 2 displays the 24 Ports Cat5e Feed-Through Patch Panel, UTP Unshielded, 1U Rack Mount.

cat5e patch panel

This type of patch panel mount the patch panel using four rack screws. With the module design, feed-through module can easily achieve high density access. No punch down is required as well. Last but not the least, UTP network cable inserts directly, simple operation, to achieve seamless integration between cables.

Cat6 Patch Panels

Cat6 patch panels deliver a steady 250 MHz connection to copper Gigabit switches. Ideal for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet and Copper Gigabit Ethernet (1000Base-T) network applications. Backward compatible with Cat. 3, 4, 5, and 5e cabling. Cat6 patch panels also meet the TIA/EIA 568 industry specification. Each patch panel terminates with standard 110 termination tools on the rear, which allows quick installations. Cat6 patch panels are available in 6-port and 8-port module groupings, in 8, 12, 24, and 48-port sizes.

Conclusion

This article provided some detailed information about copper patch panels. When selecting between the cat5e and cat6 patch panels, you should consider the density supported (24 ports or 48 ports), shielded or unshielded and the compatibility with your racks. FS.COM provides the cost-effective cat5e and cat6 patch panels in 24 ports, 48 ports per 1U or 2U panel. If you have any interest, please contact us directly.