What is a Patch Panel?
A patch panel is a piece of networking connectivity equipment that contains various ports that organize cables from different locations. They can vary in sizes from small to large and can be used for fiber, category cables and more.
These panels connect different devices and can be used in a variety of IT environments. Each port within the panel comes from different locations within the facility. The patch panel bundles these connections to connect to the facilities network. Patch panels can help any company to save a lot of time and effort within their networking structure. Below we will go over some advantages and tips on how to use a patch panel most effectively.
What are the Advantages?
Patch panels have many advantages that are worth the costs and create a significant benefit to any organization or data center.
Expansive: Easy to add new devices without having to run cables end-to-end
Cost-Effective: Using a patch panel can allow shorter cables to run so which are cheaper than longer ones. Also, patch panels help to pass data so they are fairly inexpensive to purchase
Easier Maintenance: Patch panels help to reduce overall cable crowding and make it easier to perform overall maintenance tasks to the system.
How to keep Patch Panels Organized?
Depending on the environment there could be dozens or hundreds of cables running through these panels which can create chaos if not managed well. Here are some tips to help keep patch panels organized:
Color-coded cables: Color coding cables can help to quickly identify where the cable runs to when there is an issue
Labeling: Cables should be properly labels to help allow technicians to identify what is working properly, and also to know the cables are in the right location
Bundling: Zip ties are often used for cables going to the same server rack to keep them in order.