Nowadays how to achieve efficient cable management is an essential aspect of network cable installation. Patch panel, as a crucial element of an interconnected network cabling, is able to realize the connection, allocation, and scheduling of cable links easily. This post will introduce some information about patch panel which can help you get a further understanding of them.
Patch panels, also called jack fields and patch bays, are network parts held together within telecommunication closets that connect incoming and outgoing local area network (LAN) lines or other communication, electronic and electrical systems. If engineers want to set up a wired network which contains multiple wall ports in various rooms, patch panel can offer a simple, neat and easy-to-manage solution. There are various patch panels based on the number of ports like 12 Ports, 24 Ports, 48 Ports, etc.
When patch panels are deployed in network systems, its major function is to bundle multiple network ports together to connect incoming and outgoing lines. For example, when patch panels become part of a LAN (local area network), they can link computers to outside lines. And those lines, in return, allow LANs to connect to wide area networks or other Internet. With patch panels, engineers just need to plug and unplug the corresponding patch cords to arrange circuits, which improve efficiency greatly.
As we all know, patch panels are typically attached to the network racks, mostly above or below the network switches. They consist of ports to quickly connect cables. Available in different sizes and configurations, patch panel can be customized to fit different network requirements. But all patch panels have a similar feature that they are important for networks to configure new equipment or phase out old components.
Patch panels from main links are to collect data and route it to where its destination. They are so critical to a system that if anything goes wrong with them, the entire system may fail. That means that patch panels are very important to the network system.
Furthermore, although there are no physical limits existing for a patch panels’ size, many of them have ports from 24 to 96. And for a larger network, hundreds of ports may be needed, which is another important factor—as the network grows, more ports mean the ability to accommodate ever-expanding demand.
Besides, patch panels also help electricians and network engineers by offering convenient, flexible routing options. Because a patch panel has numerous ports in close proximity, cables can be routed, labeled and monitored easily and efficiently.
There is no doubt that patch panels are extremely important in cabling systems. And they are one of the few components used in both copper and fiber cabling networks.
The copper patch panel is typically made with 8-pin modular ports on one side and 110-insulation displacement connector blocks on the other side. Wires coming into the panel are terminated the insulation displacement connector. On the opposite side, the 8-pin modular connector plugs into the port which corresponds to the terminated wires. With the copper panel, each pair of wires has an independent port. And fiber patch panel needs two ports for a pair of wires, one for the transmitting end and another for the receiving end. Fiber panels tend to be faster to operate than copper ones. Of course, they are also more expensive.
Therefore, when it comes to the copper patch panel, each pair of wires has a port. While fiber patch panel requires two ports, but it is easier to be installed. What’s more, some professionals think there is no real difference in the performance and construction, while others have different opinions. They maintain that the fiber patch panels are better, even though they are more expensive than the copper counterpart. However, no matter what type of patch panels you choose, they must be based on practical situations.
As the growing demands for more effective cabling, patch panels also get more development. Manufacturers are now trying to produce more convenient patch panels such as front-access panels, which allow users to terminate and manage cables from the front. Getting a further understanding of patch panel can help you choose the suitable patch panel for your networks.