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Crash Course in Copper & Data Infrastructure Installations Part 2

Learn what to keep an eye on RJ45 patch cords and the protocols to managing your patching in copper and data infrastructure installations.

If you haven’t read through Lessons 1 and 2, you should absolutely do so before moving forward. It covers important information on RJ45 patch panels and patch cord management.  Read more here.

In this crash course, we’ll cover lessons 3 and 4 of copper and data infrastructure installations. Here, we’ll discuss what to keep an eye on RJ45 patch cords. In addition, we’ll also cover the protocols to managing your patching after cutover.

Lesson 3: RJ45 Patch cords – Keep an eye on these.

The RJ45 patch cords are often the last thing considered. If ignored, it can be the root cause of many variations to the cost of your project. They are an expensive last-minute addition, if not allowed for, in your project budget and this comes down to the quantities normally required. Don’t get caught.

As with many cabling solutions, there are many variants in Patch cords. Standard patch cords are normally the preferred. However, in some high-density solutions, a slim line patch cord is available. Utilising the standard solution Patch cord within the end-to-end solution keeps the integrity of the solution and all the required resistive qualities.

Whilst this is the recommended method, in some cases where space within equipment rack- and therefore patch cord management -is a premium, the slim line Patch cords are available for these scenarios. In most cases, this is ok. However, in some installations, there is a requirement to downgrade the level of installation applied.

Your trusted installation partner and product vendor can confirm this during the design phase.

Lesson 4: Managing your patching after cutover – protocols

Whilst your brand-new installation looks fantastic at handover, as soon as the equipment is installed inside the racks, everything can quickly change and often for the worse.  Managing the patching process while hardware is installed can be the difference between a 3-minute patching change and a 15-minute tracing exercise.

It is vital to include some patching protocols and implement a management process to save you time, money, and frustration in the unfortunate event of an outage. Sadly, outages are inevitable. Reducing the time to resolve is EVERYTHING. Pressure to fix and restore production networks is always worse when you need to trace your cabling before you can start to repatch.

There are many software driven patch management systems to choose from. You should confirm that the vendor product you choose has this capability from day one.  Sometimes, these can be retrofitted with minimal financial impact. Therefore, make sure you have a plan for this in your project plan or in your maintenance plan.

If this is not an option, here are some simple steps that can be taken to ensure your patching stays in check.

  1. Minimise the access to the patching areas
  2. Ensure you use the correct length leads to patch the services
  3. Use different coloured patch leads for different services and;
  4. Outsource your patching needs to a reputable installation contractor to keep your cabling formally documented and easy to manage.

How did you find the 4 key lessons in copper and data infrastructure installations? We hope you came away with some new knowledge!

Want to learn more?

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. Certainly, talk to one of our professional team members about the best solution for your requirements. Fill out the form here and contact us today. As always, we are here to help!

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