Category Archives: Cable Management

FS 42U Network & Server Cabinet: an Ideal Solution

With the urgent needs of computing power and space in data centers, network cabinet or server cabinet is always chosen as an ideal solution for enterprises from telecommunication industry. But one product alone can not fulfill the demands of all, so it’s necessary to find one that can perform both sides. At FS.COM, we succeed in finding 42U network & server cabinet, which provides the best performance. In this article, we will give an all-round introduction to FS 42U network & server cabinet.

What Is 42U Network & Server Cabinet?

42U network & server cabinet, as the name implies, is a multifunctional device. It can be both used as 42U network cabinet and 42U server cabinet. One part as the network cabinet, it is commonly used to house routers, switches, patch panels and other similar networking equipment. Another part as the server cabinet, it’s applied to server installations, house UPSes and monitors as well as other similar equipment. So FS 42U network & server cabinet combines the advantages of both. It’s a distinctive, robust cabinet solution that supports and protects rack-mount servers, storage and network equipment in multi-tenant and enterprise data centers, computer rooms and network facilities.

altFS 42U Network Server Cabinet:an Ideal Solution

Components of FS 42U Network & Server Cabinet

  • Perforated doors: provide massive ventilation for servers and networking equipment.
  • Removable hinge system: hinge pins allow easy removal during maintenance.
  • Top panel: six brush-covered cable openings in the top panel provide easy access for overhead cabling.
  • Grounding system: utilize quick-release ground wires that detach from the front and rear doors.
  • Equipment support: can be adjusted in half-inch (12.5mm) increments.
  • Side panels: locking removable side panels keyed alike with doors.
  • PDU brackets: allow for easy integration of rack PDUs and cable managers.
  • Vertical cable managers: allow for easy organization and location of large cable bundles.
  • Casters & Leveling feet: casters & levelers are removable.

altFS 42U Network Server Cabinet:an Ideal Solution

FS 42U Network & Server Cabinet Highlights

  • It has adjustable depth mounting rails that support a wide range of equipment, even up to 1500kg (3307 lb) of equipment.
  • Cable and power management accessories create separate pathways for cables.
  • Heavy-duty cold-rolled steel construction with a black powder-coated finish for durability.
  • Server cabinet is able to provide a variety of air segregation strategies, such as cold aisle containment, hot aisle containment, cabinet-level containment.
  • The top panel is designed to maintain proper hot aisle or cold aisle flow. The split side panels are locking removable with half height. Thus, the size and weight can be both reduced for an easier operation and access to equipment.
  • The innovative frame design maximizes RU utilization. Each configuration accelerates deployment and promotes rapid upgrades without reconfiguration and downtime.
  • The cabinet can be locked, which might avoid visitors or other unauthorized people accessing the equipment.
  • With doors and side panels, the cables in the cabinet has much less access to outside air. So it helps to reduce the risk of getting damaged by contaminants.

Conclusion

From the above highlights, we can know that FS 42U network & server cabinet is beyond our expectation for combing both advantages of network cabinet and server cabinet. It simplifies rack equipment installations and rack equipment maintenance, serves as the ideal solution for secure, high-density server and networking applications in IT environments. It is also compliant with lots of standards such as, ANSI/EIA RS-310-D, IEC297-2, DIN 41491; PART1, DIN41494; PART 7, GB/T3047.2-92, ETSI Standard. Data, security, audio visual and telecommunication areas, you will find FS 42U network & server cabinet covers a wide range of applications. If you need one, you can contact us at FS.COM. Our business radiates globally, we are sure your demands can be satisfied.

Related Articles:
Data Center Server Rack Wiki: Definition, Types and Buying Guide
Fiber Distribution Panel Wiki, Types and Buying Tips
Considerations for Choosing the Right Network Rack or Cabinet

Comparison of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure

Since the demands for high-density cabling increase, data center operators should look for devices that can provide higher performance without expanding physical space. Now as a necessary fiber cable management component, the 1U rack mount fiber enclosure is widely used in data centers to house, organize, manage and protect fiber optic cables. The 1U rack mount fiber enclosure comes in different types. Today we will make comparisons of three types of FS 1U rack mount fiber enclosures as an example to give you some professional buying guidance.

What Is 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure?

The rack mount fiber enclosure is generally made for 19 inch rack mounting and comes in rack units of 1U, 2U, 3U, 4U, or more rack units depending on the number of required connections. It offers full front and rear access with a drawer that slides forward and backward. FS 1U 19 inch rack mount fiber enclosure is generally loaded with four fiber optic patch panel, cassettes or modules. There are also two ways of pulling out the tray, cover removable type and slide-out type. The slide-out type is more expensive but is more convenient for high-density cabling deployment. The slide-out rack mount fiber enclosure features the pull-out sliding trays, so there is no need to remove the whole fiber enclosure from the rack to gain internal access.

Types of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure

There are three types of FS 1U rack mount fiber enclosures, FHZ premium fiber enclosure, FHX series fiber enclosure and FHD series fiber enclosure.

FHZ Series Fiber Enclosure

FS FHZ premium fiber enclosure provides solid fiber-optic-link protection and space-saving cable management. The highest fiber densities and port counts contribute to maximizing rack space utilization. FS FHZ series 1U rack mount premium ultra HD fiber enclosure use the FHZ cassette platform to provide a premium ultra high density solution for inter-connects or cross-connects between backbone horizontal cable and active equipment. It’s ideal for ultra high density fiber applications in data centers, equipment rooms, and central offices.

altComparison of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure FHZ Series Fiber Enclosure

FHX Series Fiber Enclosure

FS FHX 1U rack mount fiber enclosure houses 3 independently sliding drawers, each drawer is able to hold 12-port cassettes or panels by default. Also, FHX fiber enclosure can be converted to support 8-port cassettes by moving and changing the dividing rails. FHX fiber enclosures provide a system for managing fiber terminations, connections, and patching in all types of applications. They are ideal for fast, flexible and reliable patch field solutions within main, horizontal and/or equipment distribution areas (MDA, HDA and EDA). For ultra high cabling density, FHX fiber enclosure is an efficiency, flexibility and easy way for fiber cable management in data centers.

altComparison of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures FHZ Series Fiber Enclosure

FHD Series Fiber Enclosure

There are two different types of FS FHD fiber enclosures: FHD-1UFMT-N and FHD-1UFCE.

FHD-1UFMT-N

FHD-1UFMT-N can house 4 pcs FHD series MTP modular cassettes or fiber adapter panels. Equipped with a cover removable drawer, it provides a high-density flexible system for managing fiber terminations, connections, and patching in data center application to maximizing rack space utilization and minimizing floor space.

altComparison of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures FHZ Series Fiber Enclosure
FHD-1UFCE

FHD-1UFCE is designed to accept up to 4 series MTP modular cassettes or fiber adapter panels within a 1U space. It provides a modular system for managing fiber connections and offers best-in-class cable management for every installation. Equipped with a new-design parallel sliding drawer, FHD-1UFCE can be pushed or pulled more stably as well as faster. It also serves as a transition from backbone cabling to distribution switching, an interconnect to active equipment, or as a cross-connect or interconnect in a main or horizontal distribution area.

altComparison of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures FHZ Series Fiber Enclosure

Comparison of FS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosure

We may conclude from the above introduction that all the four types of FS 1U rack mount fiber enclosures share similar attributes to data centers but they do exist some slight differences. You can see more specific information from the chart below.

altFS 1U Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures

Buyer’s Guide

Here we list three main factors for your consideration when purchasing a 1U rack mount fiber enclosure.

Scale Requirement

Firstly you should know the external specification you need, such as height, width, numbers of ports. Rack mount fiber enclosure usually comes in 48/96/144 ports. The more ports, the more expensive the enclosure will be. We suggest that you choose a bigger one for your existing requirements considering the near-future growth.

Accessibility Requirement

Secondly you should think about cover removable type or slide-out type enclosure to better suit your situation. Cover removable type enclosure can fit your current situation, but takes more energy and time to add, move or change cables without moving or disturbing active fibre cables in the future. While slide-out type provides larger adjustment space.

Budget

Most importantly, whether to choose a cost-effective one for current situation or a expensive one with high-quality for future. You should balance factors that matters to you and make the final decision.

Conclusion

Now that you have a comprehensive understanding of four different FS 1U rack mount fiber enclosures. I believe that you are able to choose the most suitable enclosure for yourself. If you have made the decision, you can visit FS.COM and bring your favourite enclosure home.

Related Articles:
Rack Enclosure Basics and Buying Guide
Which Type of Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures Should You Choose?
FS 1U Rack Enclosure Types and Selection Guide

Ethernet Cable Management Solutions

Ethernet cable management, also called network cable management, has been a necessary part for any structured cabling system. However, do you know why Ethernet cable management is needed and how many wire management ways can be exerted, and what their differences are? To know the answers, you can follow this post.

Why Need Ethernet Cable Management?

With a large number of input and output patch cords in racks or cabinets, the patch cord management can effectively provide a stable cabling system for applications of the data center. It can help to prevent unnecessary cable damages and dust, improve cooling and airflow, reduce signal interference and downtime, save space and cost, etc. In most cases, the solution to Ethernet cable managing relies on organizing devices, like patch panels and cable organizers.

Ethernet Cable Management Solutions

Figure 1: Ethernet Cable Management Solutions

Ethernet Cable Management Ways

Customarily, based on how you use network cable organizing devices, the way to manage network cables can be divided into two types: horizontal cable management and vertical cable management. Surely, depending on specified network conditions and special needs, you are allowed to choose the matching type. Sometimes, it’s still possible for you to apply these two types together in cabling.

Horizontal Cable Management

In Ethernet cabling, horizontal cable management is often applied as the 1U cable management. 1U, the acronym of one unit, stands for the height of the racks or cabinets, usually 1.75 inches. The size has been officially set as the standard vertically usable space for 1U. As its name shows, this type of management requires you to place proper managing devices on front racks or cabinets and manage Ethernet cables in a horizontal way. For the 1U horizontal cable managers, the plastic single sided horizontal cable manager with finger duct and the metal horizontal cable manager with five D-rings are the most popular types. While considering Ethernet patch panels, Cat5e patch panels, Cat6 patch panels, and blank keystone patch panels are the commonly used types.

Horizontal Cable Management Devices

Figure 2:Horizontal Cable Management Devices

Vertical Cable Management

Comparing with the horizontal type, the vertical cable management requires you to place organizing devices, usually the cable organizers, at both sides of the racks and secure them in a vertical way. For vertical cable managers, single D-ring vertical cable manager and 5U plastic vertical manger with bend radius finger are the top two types in the market.

Vertical Cable Management Managers

Figure 3:Vertical Cable Management Managers

Summary

In networking cabling, no matter in your homes or office buildings, the Ethernet cable management has been an irreplaceable solution to deal with messy network cables. Choosing what kind of managing method, horizontal cable management, vertical cable management, or the combination of the two types totally depends on your needs.

Networking Patch Panel Wiki, Types, and Purposes

Networking patch panel has been an indispensable part in daily cabling. Whenever setting up connections for all sorts of devices, like servers and switches, you have to deal with a large number of input and output cables. Under such a circumstance, the patch panel for networking will do help to effectively manage those cumbersome cables. Then, a series of questions about patch panel in networking ensued. In this post, what a networking patch panel is and why it is needed will be answered.

Network Cabling

Figure 1: Network Cabling

What is the Networking Patch Panel

Networking patch panel, a kind of cable organizer, is designed to connect and manage copper or fiber optic cables coming in or out. Usually, in networking patch panel cabling, the panel will be attached to racks or enclosures in wiring closets or on walls. Then, patch cords will be used to connect ports in patch panels to ports in servers or network switches.

Types of Networking Patch Panel

Basically, according to the cables connected, there are two types of networking patch panel: Ethernet patch panel and fiber optic patch panel.

Ethernet Patch Panel

Ethernet patch panel, also called copper patch panel, provides interconnections for Ethernet applications in local area network. There are many types of Ethernet patch panels, among which Cat5e patch cable, Cat6 patch cable, and Cat6a patch cables are commonly used in network cabling. As for ports of the copper patch panel, various options also can be found, such as 24 ports and 48 ports. If you want to buy an Ethernet panel, you still have to consider its designs: shielded or unshielded, flat or angled, punch down or feed-through, and loaded or unloaded. With various options, you can always find a needed type.

24 Ports Blank Keystone Ethernet Patch Panel (Left) and 24 Ports Cat6 Shielded Feed-Through Patch Panel (Right)

Figure 2: 24 Ports Blank Keystone Ethernet Patch Panel (Left) and 24 Ports Cat6 Shielded Feed-Through Patch Panel (Right)

Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Fiber optic patch panel, the other branch of networking patch panel, is designed to organize fiber cables. Similar with Ethernet patch panels, the fiber optic patch panels also are varied in designs, such as adapter types, fiber types and fiber count. Conventionally, fiber optic patch panel is commonly used as rack mount fiber patch panel or wall mount patch panel, which also applied for the Ethernet patch panel.

Blank Fiber Patch Panel (Left) and FHU 1U 48F SC Patch Panel (Right)

Figure 3: Blank Fiber Patch Panel (Left) and FHU 1U 48F SC Patch Panel (Right)

Benefits of Patch Panel in Networking

Knowing what the networking patch panel is just partly solves the concern, what is the purpose of patch panel in networking? Understanding the benefits of network patch panel, the question can be solved. Commonly, there are four major benefits shared by networking patch panels:

First, saving time. With a patch panel in networking, changes and repairs of cables are much easier for IT technicians. They don’t need extract time to clear and identify cables.

Second, space saving. Without messy cabling, you can organize cables in a neat and orderly way. Especially, for high-density cabling, a networking patch panel can help you save a lot of space.

Third, reducing the signal interference. When cables separated in an organized way, it will greatly lower the chance for crosstalk and interference between them. As a result, the networking performance will also be enhanced greatly.

Fourth, cost reducing. With previous benefits, it will definitely bring about cost reduction. You don’t need to spend extra money on repairing, managing and future network expansion.

Summary

After revealing what the patch panel is and why it is used, it’s easy to find the networking patch panel is the best solution to manage cables, no matter in the office or home network. As we mentioned, there are various benefits of networking patch panels. However, if you want to make a full advantage of those benefits, a wise use of patch panels is needed. For detailed information about how to wisely use patch panel manage cables, you can refer to the article: Best Patch Panel Cable Management Techniques.

How to Use Cat6a Patch Panel for Network Cabling?

Cat6a patch panel, a kind of copper patch panel has been an important contributor in 10 Gigabit Ethernet for network connection. Nowadays, it has been in a widespread deployment in Ethernet network cabling. With such a great importance, it’s necessary for us to know how to terminate Cat6a patch panel.

Cat6a Patch Panel Cabling

Figure 1: Cat6a Patch Panel Cabling

An Overview of Cat6a Patch Panel

Cat6a patch panel, an improved version of the Cat6 patch panel, is also a mounted hardware assembly containing ports to connect and manage the incoming and outgoing copper cables. Supporting different kinds of Cat6a cables and any earlier generation of Cat cable, it confirms with cabling specifications, like 802.3an (10GBase-T) and TIA Augmented Category 6. By the way, if you want to know more details about Cat6 vs Cat6a patch panel, you can refer to the article, Cat6 Patch Panel vs Cat6a: Difference and Usage.

With different components, there will be corresponding subbranches of the patch panel Cat6a version. If you put ports as a selection basis, there are Cat6a patch panel 12 ports, Cat6a patch panel 24 ports, and Cat6a patch panel 48 ports.

When it comes to the design for high EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) environments, Cat6a shielded patch panel and unshielded patch panel Cat6a version are found in the market. Moreover, options for connecting methods are also available. You can choose a punch down Cat6a patch panel or a feed-through patch panel Cat6a version.

How to Install Cat6a Patch Panel

Having an overview of the patch panel Cat6a version will be the preparation step to use Cat6a patch panel. As has mentioned in the last part, many types of this cable organizer are available in the market. Different designs come in different wiring methods. The most obvious installing difference lies between punch down Cat6a patch panel or a feed-through patch panel Cat6a version.

Punch Down Cat6a Patch Panel

For the punch down type, on its front plate, it comes in RJ45 ports to directly connect Ethernet cables. While on its rear side, the plate module is set with color markings for punching down Ethernet cables. If you are holding a patch down patch panel Cat6a version, you can follow the steps listed as below one by one:

24 Ports Unshielded Punch Down Patch Panel

Figure 2: 24 Ports Unshielded Punch Down Patch Panel

First, strip about 3-6 inches of the outer jacket from the end of each cable with a cable stripper.

Second, separate cable wires. After removing the outer jacket, four twisted pairs of exposed wires will be found. You need to split each pair into two single wires.

Third, set all the cable wires into its own slots of the patch panel. Please note that don’t make wires exposed too much or twisted in case of the signal weakening.

Fourth, terminate each wire. Use a 110 punch down tool to press down on each wire and cut the excess wire.

Using Punch Down Tool to Terminate Wires

Figure 3:Using Punch Down Tool to Terminate Wires

Fifth, if there is a need, you can write specific information on labels for identification. For example, you can mark the terminated incoming cables with a label to indicate where the cable is from.

Sixth, inspect the wire. After terminating, you need to use a cable tester to check whether all the wires are terminated correctly.

Feed-through Cat6a Patch Panel

As for the feed-through Cat6a patch panel, its installation will be much easier than that of a punch down type. Since the front and the rear plates of the feed-through patch panel Cat6a version are both configured with RJ45 ports, you can directly insert all the cables into the slots of the panel. For a feed-through Cat6a patch panel, you can take the following steps:

First, hold the drawer of patch panel at the height of the layer of the rack you need to set and push it forwardly.

Second, use the appropriate machine screws to attach the patch panel assembly to the rack.

Third, insert cables into the matching port one by one. After that, you can use a strap to secure the cables.

Fourth, it’s an optional step. Similar with punch-through type, you also can write specific information on labels for identification.

Fifth, you still need to make a visual inspection to ensure the safety of all the network environment.

Conclusion

In this article, you will have a full learning of the Cat6a patch panel from its background information to user guide. As for terminating a patch panel Cat6a version, it is not so troublesome as you have imagined.

Wall Mount Patch Panel Basics and User Guide

Patch panel, an indispensable cable managing device, has been divided into wall mount patch panel and rack mount patch panel for different applications. In the previous article, we have explored the rack mount patch panel. Therefore, in this time we will continue to explore the other branch of patch panel: wall mount patch panel.

What Is Wall Mount Patch Panel?

Similar with rack mount patch panel, the wall mount patch panel is also a mounted hardware assembly containing ports to connect and manage the incoming and outgoing fiber or copper cables. The different point is that as its name shows, the wall mount patch panel is a patch panel fixed on the wall instead of in a rack. The patch panel in wall version is regarded as a perfect solution for networking and fiber distribution from the vault or wiring closet to the user’s terminal equipment.

Types of Wall Mount Patch Panel

Conventionally, based on different application environment, the wall mount patch panel is divided into wall mount fiber patch panel and wall mount Ethernet patch panel.

Wall Mount Fiber Patch Panel

For a fiber patch panel in wall mount version, it consists of two parts: the fiber adapter panel and a fiber optic wall mount enclosure. The fiber wall mount enclosure usually collocates with two or four adapter panels. Featured with its flexible and compact design, the patch panel of this type offers a perfect choice for securing and protecting fiber connections in telecommunications closets or other installation areas where wall space is limited.

Wall Mount Fiber Patch Panel

Figure 1: Wall Mount Fiber Patch Panel

Wall Mount Ethernet Patch Panel

When it comes to the wall mount Ethernet patch panel, it also involves in two units: an Ethernet path panel and a wall mount panel bracket. Sharing the same blood with the copper patch panel, the panel of this type is also used in a local area network(LAN) and supports both shielded and unshielded copper cables. In most applications, Cat5e wall mount patch panel and wall mount patch panel Cat6 version are the most favored types.

Cat5e Wall Mount Patch Panel

Figure 2: Cat5e Wall Mount Patch Panel

User Guide for Wall Mount Patch Panel

After knowing some basic information about the wall mount patch panel, here comes another practical question-what should we notice when we buy or use it? Here are two major points:

Size

Here, the size does not only refer to the height, depth, width, and weight of the patch panel, but also the space for the installation of a wall mount patch panel, especially the wall mount fiber patch panel. You need to consider the space for opening and removing the doors of the enclosure.

Loaded or Unloaded

The loaded panel means it’s pre-installed with fiber adapter panels or keystone jacks. Take Cat5e patch panel as an example, it refers to the Ethernet patch panel inside the bracket has been pre-loaded with Cat5e jacks. While the unloaded type is an empty fiber panel or a wall mount keystone patch panel. With unloaded patch panels, users have to install required adapters or keystone jacks before installing the patch panel in the wall.

Conclusion

As a branch of cable management, the wall mount patch panel provides a good solution to optimize your work space by keeping equipment off floors and desks. In order to maximize the benefits of this device, please remember to have a full consideration of all aspects before you use it.

How to Install a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

When looking at the title, especially the words “Rack Mount Patch Panel”, will you hesitate for a moment? Yes, I do. I am thinking what the blood tie does it have with a patch panel and whether it needs to be installed differently. Taking this chance, we will have an exploration for these doubts.

What is a Rack Mount Patch Panel?

It’s easy for us to understand what is a rack mount patch panel. Firstly, you need to bear in mind it’s definitely a patch panel. Sharing the same blood with a patch panel, patch panel rack version is also a mounted hardware assembly containing ports to connect and manage the incoming and outgoing fiber or copper cables. Then, you need to differentiate the rack mount patch panel with wall mount patch panel, the other type of patch panel. When a patch panel associated with the rack mount, it refers specially to a kind of patch panel connecting with racks or rack mount enclosures in a typical data center network.

Rack Mount Patch Panel Cabling

Figure 1:Rack Mount Patch Panel Cabling

Types of Rack Mount Patch Panel

Basically, the rack mount patch panel consists of fiber optic patch panel and copper patch panel used for different applications.

For a rack mount fiber optic patch panel, it is mostly designed for the standard 19-inch rack. Depending on the number of connections required, it is often available in 1U, 2U, 4U configurations with flat or angled design. Typically, the rack mount fiber patch panel has four empty slots where LC/SC fiber adapter panels or cassettes can be installed prior to or during deployment. All in all, according to the space and requirements of your project, there will always be an optical fiber panel suiting for you.

The other type is the copper patch panel. The copper patch panel can be inserted with both shielded or unshielded copper cables like cat5e, cat6, cat6a, and cat7. Among all these types, the cat6 patch panel is the most favored one used for the Gigabit Ethernet high-density cabling. In addition, all these types of rack mount copper panels are available in 24 ports and 48 ports in the market.

24 Ports 1U Rack Mount Fiber Optic Patch Panel (Left) and 24 Ports 1U Shielded Cat6 Rack Mount Patch Panel (Right)

Figure 2: 24 Ports 1U Rack Mount Fiber Optic Patch Panel (Left) and 24 Ports 1U Shielded Cat6 Rack Mount Patch Panel (Right)

Steps of Installing Patch Panel in Rack

Clearing about the rack mount patch panel is just a warming-up step for a better installation. Generally, there are three main steps for users to install a blank rack mount patch panel. If a pre-loaded rack mount is held, you can directly start from the second installation step.

Preparation

Before installation, the user should evaluate how many rack units are going to be used. Then you can decide the number and the size of the patch panel. After that, you need to choose the jacks that you are going to use. Then you can install the jacks into the patch panels.

Installation

First, you can hold the drawer of patch panel at the height of the layer of the rack you need to set and push it forwardly. Then you need to use the appropriate machine screws to attach the patch panel assembly to the rack.

Installing Rack Mount Patch Panel

Figure 3: Installing Rack Mount Patch Panel

Second, insert cables into the matching port one by one. After that, you can use a strap to secure the cables. Typically, for fiber optical cables, we would prefer to use a Velcro cable tie to strap; while copper cables, we would use Nylon cable tie.

Third, if there is a need, you can write specific information on labels for identification.

Validation

Finishing the second step, you still need to make a visual inspection to ensure the safety of all the network environment. After following all these three steps, the installation can be finished.

Conclusion

Rack mount patch panel is the most popular solution to manage cables in dater center network. Especially, there are plenty of types of rack mount patch panel for choosing, which have been proved to be a kind of future-proof management. It’s practical and wise for us to learn how to use it.

How to Install a Keystone Patch Panel?

In this article, we will focus on the installation of keystone patch panel. Previously, we have introduced many solutions for cable management, such as horizontal/vertical organizers, patch panels, rack mounted enclosures, etc. In this post, we will take the keystone patch panel as a case to illustrate how to install it.

An Overview of Keystone Patch Panel

Before the installation, let’s have an overview of the keystone panel. This is also regarded as the preparation stage, which has a great impact on your following installation.

What is Keystone Patch Panel?

Keystone patch panel, also called blank patch panel or unloaded patch panel, is a kind of Ethernet patch panel. Unlike the pre-loaded patch panel, the keystone panel is not configured with built-in RJ45 ports. To set keystone jacks such as Cat5e and Cat6, the keystone panel is often available in two types: 24-port patch panel and 48-port patch panel.

48 Ports 1U Blank Keystone Patch Panel (Left) and 48 Ports 1U Blank Keystone Patch Panel (Right)

Figure 1: 48 Ports 1U Blank Keystone Patch Panel (Left) and 48 Ports 1U Blank Keystone Patch Panel (Right)

Types of Keystone Patch Panel

With different standards, such as ports and keystone jacks, the keystone panel can be classified variously.

According to ports, there are 24-port keystone patch panel and 48 ports panel version. Usually, the 24-port patch panel version is an unshielded/shielded Ethernet patch panel in a compact 1U with STP/UTP. It can accommodate all keystone jacks, including RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI audio/video, voice and USB applications. While the 48 ports panel version can be used as 1U rack-mount unshielded multimedia blank patch panel, also compatible with all keystone jacks.

Classified by keystone jacks, we can also get different types. When the keystone panel is inserted with jacks, we also call the panel as keystone jack panel. Among all kinds of RJ45 keystone jacks, Cat5e and Cat6 keystone jacks are used frequently.

48 Ports Blank Keystone Patch Panel Cabling

Figure 2: 48 Ports Blank Keystone Patch Panel Cabling

Installation Guide

After the preparation step, it’s time for us to move to the installation stage.

First, proper RJ45 jacks should be chosen. As we mentioned before, unlike pre-loaded or fixed patch panels, keystone patch panels have no built-in ports. Therefore, you need to decide the type and quantity of the jack at first.

Second, insert the RJ45 jacks. After choosing the proper RJ45 jack, it’s time for you inlaying the jacks into the slots of keystone  panels, from the rear panel to the front.

Third, install the equipped Ethernet patch panel into a 1U rack with the help of screws and screwdriver.

Fourth, plug cables that you have chosen into corresponding jacks you have inserted into the keystone patch panel.

Fifth, manage cables with the help of cable management accessories such as cable managers, lacing bars and cable ties.

If you are still unclear about the installing process, you can refer to the following video made by FS: Blank Keystone Patch Panel for Cat5e/Cat6 Ethernet Cabling.

Conclusion

Keystone patch panel just likes a joker for its easy matching. It can be customized for users’ cabling requirements. Moreover, installation is also easy to catch. In any case, the keystone panel is a wise choice for anyone requiring easy and direct access for Ethernet cabling.

Horizontal Cable Management VS Vertical Cable Management: Which to Choose?

Efficient cable management has been an indispensable aid for the cable organization, no matter it is vertical cable management or horizontal cable management. Owing to the more and more complicated network, a well-managed cabling has been a pressing job for most network installers and IT technicians. Therefore, a proper cable management means a lot to them. However, faced with two frequently used options, what on earth should they choose: vertical cable management or horizontal cable management

Vertical Cable Management Basics

Conventionally, the vertical cable management refers to a solution to secure, bundle and route the cables at both sides of the racks, cabinets, or enclosures. In this management, cable managers can provide a vertical pathway for large numbers of cables from switches to patch panels in the rack system. These vertical cable managers are generally designed in height sizes up to 48U and width size up to 10 inches. The 3” and 5” are the most prevalent width sizes. In addition, the vertical cable managers are often made of metal and plastic. With a range of types of vertical cable management, the most popular vertical cable managers are 5U plastic vertical cable manager with bend radius finger, single D-ring vertical cable manager, and 45U 4.9″ wide plastic vertical cable manager. You can refer to the Figure 1 for these three types as below.

Vertical Cable Managers

Figure 1: Vertical Cable Managers

Horizontal Cable Management Basics

In a horizontal cable management, it allows cable managers, placed in front of cabinets or racks, to manage all sorts of cables, like fiber, coax, patch cables, etc. In that way, cables can be well-organized and protected. It is typically one or two rack units high, or even higher if necessary. In the market, the horizontal cable management 1u version is easily found. Altogether, there are three common types of horizontal cable manager: horizontal cable managers with D-Ring, finger duct, or Brush Strip. You can refer to the Figure 2 as below.

1U Horizontal Cable Managers

Figure 2: 1U Horizontal Cable Managers

A Comparison of Strengths

As a buyer, if you want to choose a proper cable management, it’s a must to know their advantages and benefits of each type. Actually, for cable management, no matter a vertical or horizontal way, they both share similar features. For example, they both greatly improve network performance by enhancing airflow and cooling efficiency and protecting cables from potential damages and dust, like improper bends, movement or sharp edges. Moreover, a neat management will also add aesthetic value to the working place. Besides, the two management ways also bear with their unique traits.

Advantages of Vertical Cable Management

By reducing signal interference, the vertical cable management can greatly enhance the network performance. In a vertical cable management, it separates power with data cables within the racks, which greatly lower the chance for crosstalk and interference between them.

Additionally, cost reduction will also be the unique trait for vertical cable management. Vertical rack cable management with bend radius fingers is used with angled patch panel directly. In that way, the use of horizontal cable management panels can be reduced, which is a good way to save cost.

Advantages of Horizontal Cable Management

First, downtime minimized. Using a horizontal cable manager, cables can be settled in an ordered way instead of being tangled with each other. Especially, when something goes wrong, this will make technicians more easily to identify and access where goes wrong and fix it in far less time.

Second, growth promoted. By using horizontal cable managers, consolidating devices within racks or adding additional racks without messing up cables will no longer be a tricky task for IT technicians. Since cables are able to be identified easily, tracing what goes where in a move can be much easier at the time when you add new ports and cables. For your better understanding, you can refer to this 1u cable management device at below.

1U Horizontal Cable Management Panel with Finger Duct

Figure 3: 1U Horizontal Cable Management Panel with Finger Duct

Buyers’ Guide

Just as the saying, the information makes winners. If you want to be a winner in cable organizing, there are mainly three steps you can follow. First, you need to have a proper planning before installations. Decide the number of cables and connections needed, and where the cables should be routed within the rack. Then you need to have a command of industry standards such as ANSI/TIA and ISO/IEC, as well as any federal, state or local regulations regarding cabling. According to that, you can start to choose your cable organizers. In fact, it’s hard to conclude which type is best when considering their similarities and peculiarities. It depends on actual conditions of your network, such as installing space, cable numbers, and sizes of your rack, etc. Sometimes, you may even find that a combination between vertical cable management and horizontal cable management suits you best.

All You Need Is 1U Cable Manager

Have you been fed up with a frequently messy network, performance issues, and data transmission errors? 1U cable manager comes in, all your problems out. As its name shows, the 1U cable manager is a device placed in front of a cabinet or rack and manage all sorts of cables, like fiber, coax, patch cables, etc. In that way, cables can be well-organized and protected. Here, “1U” refers to the height of racks or cabinets of a standard unit, usually 1.75 inches height. Therefore, 1U cable management also refers to the horizontal cable management.

Types of the 1U Cable Manager

Altogether, there are four common types of 1U horizontal cable manager in the market: horizontal cable managers with finger duct, D-ring, brush strip, and the L-shaped horizontal cable manager. Each type has its own traits and applications.

1U Horizontal Cable Manager with Finger Duct

The horizontal cable management device of this type is one of the most popular solutions to organize cables in the market. This 1U cable manager consists of three parts: 1U cable management panel with pass-through holes, finger ducts, and a removable top cover. The finger ducts and the pass-through holes are designed to route cables and reduce the cable strain. As for the removable cover, it makes bundled cables to be easily added or removed; besides, it protects cables from damage or dust. In most cases, this cable manager is made of plastic and is available in single-sided or dual-sided. The dual-sided horizontal cable organizer can support for front and back cable management in a more flexible way.

figure 1 single-sided and dual-sided 1u cable managers with finger ducts

Figure 1: Single-sided and dual-sided 1U cable managers

1U Horizontal Cable Manager with D-Ring

The horizontal cable manager with D-ring usually consists of the horizontal lacer panel and D-rings, and sometimes D-rings will be set with a 1U patch panel and a lacing bar. In most cases, it is made of steel providing great durability. And the robust ring can route large amounts of cable through it. Cable managers of this type can be used in multi-media applications with all coax, copper, and fiber optic cables. This 1U cable manager provides an open-access management tool with great flexibility. That is to say, following the demand to add or reduce cables, the D-ring can be added or removed as the requirement.

Figure 2: Different horizontal cable managers with D-rings

Figure 2: Different horizontal cable managers with D-rings

1U Cable Manager with Brush Strip

Horizontal cable manager with brush strip is often made of high-quality steel and high-density nylon bristles. This type is designed to increase overall airflow within the cabinet network, helping to prevent equipment from overheating, dust, dirt. This 1U cable manager is the best choice for routing cables from the front of the rack to the rear in a simply organized way.

figure 3 1u cable manager with brush strip

Figure 3: 1U cable manager with brush strip

L-Shaped 1U Horizontal Cable Manager

L-shaped horizontal cable manager or L-shaped horizontal lacing bar is made of high-quality cold-rolled steel plate. It is an efficient tool for rack or enclosure cabling. The manager’s angled “L” shape can ensure a proper cable bend radius so that it can greatly avoid cable strain and prevent damage to ports on your rack-mount equipment.

figure 4 L-shape-lacer-bar

Figure4: L-Shaped Horizontal Cable Lacer Bar with Angled 4” Offset

How to Choose a Cable Manager

There are various types of cable managers. Besides the 1U cable managers introduced as above, the vertical cable manager is also a common type found in the market. As for the vertical cable manager, it also consists of different kinds with different features for different applications. When you want to buy one, it’s easy for you to get lost. There are some tips that may help you with it. At first, you should have a basic idea of your situation of the equipment that the cable manager is going to place. Is the horizontal way or the vertical way more suitable for you? Then you should consider the cable you are going to manage, such as the quantity and the material. Are you going to handle with fiber, coax, or copper cables? Do you need a compact cable manager or a loose one? Would you prefer a single-sided one or a dual-sided one? Next, you still need to think about expecting functions for this manager. Apart from organizing cables, do you want to increase overall airflow, or prevent overheating and dust, etc? Then, you should take into account the size, making you managers’ sizes fitting for your cables and equipment placed with.

Conclusion

With 1U cable manager the messy network will no longer be a problem for us. It makes full use of our space in a scientific way. Making the network environment more organized and neat, and also avoiding some potential threats to out network safety. In addition, the cost for a 1U cable manager is within our reach. With so many strengths, you are never too early to buy one.