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Crash Course in Copper & Data Infrastructure Installations Part 1

Introducing the part 1 of 2 to your crash course in copper and data infrastructure installations. In this lesson, we’ll learn more about data communications protocols such as things you need to know about RJ45 patch panels and patch cord management.

Lesson 1: Should I use straight or angled RJ45 patch panels?

First – let’s make sure we all understand the use of patch panels. Patch panels are the physical interface between the copper cabling and the network connected to it. We commonly hear “we will just use RJ45 Crimps and plug in directly to the hardware”. An option, yes. However, not the preferred method by corporate businesses and Data Centre operators. RJ45 patch panels are recommended to maintain the resistive integrity of the solution and is best practise.

So now let’s answer the question.  Do we use straight or angled patch panels?

This is usually determined by the following

  • The equipment rack size
  • The amount of cabling within the equipment rack
  • The available area or RU (Rack Unit) space available
  • The accessibility for the patching of services.

Straight panels with a low density of cabling work well along with horizontal patch cord management whilst angled Patch Panels allow a greater RU (Rack Unit) density of cabling as the horizontal Patch cord management is not required in most cases. This decision needs to be made very early on in the design phase as cable quantity and equipment rack density will drive this element and influence the costs. All premium product vendors can provide both angled and straight patch panel solutions.

We recommend talking to us at Fast Track to help you with the early decisions. It affects the rest of your deployment so get it right at the beginning.

Lesson 2: In Rack patch cord management. Yes or No.

Equipment Racks come in a variety of sizes. The size depends on the specific design and application of the installation. Along with the equipment rack comes all the accessories including the Patch cord management which is very often left out or forgotten about at the design stage.

There are many different manufacturers and many different methods to manage Patch cords. The 2 main methods are:

  • Horizontal patch cord management
  • Vertical patch cord management

When utilising straight patch panels, both are required for a premium and easy to manage patching solution. When utilising an angled RJ45 patch panel solution, generally, only the vertical patch cord management is required. This allows for the cords to be installed and managed in a neat and tidy manner making changes easy and, in most cases, effortless. In any case having a patch cord management design ensures the ease of installation and removal of Patch cords in a professionally managed solution.

So, that’s the crash course in copper & data infrastructure installations part 1. Read part 2 here to know what to keep an eye on RJ45 patch cords and the protocols to managing your patching after cutover.

Fast Track is your professional team, and we love what we do. Talk to us before you start and save yourself some pain. If what you have needs fixing, we will be happy to help. If you’d like to talk to one of our professional team members about the best solution for your requirements, then fill out the form here and contact us today, we are here to help!

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