How to Troubleshoot Patch Panel Connections?

In the structured cabling system, patch panel serves as an important tool for good cable management, which can help to avoid fiber optic losses and troubleshoot the connection. However, each of the links is a potential point of failure. In most cases, the trouble is typically found in the connection wiring. When the connection is linked between the patch panel and switch, the failure link often lies in that the patch panel port is not working. Today’s topic will explore how to troubleshoot the patch panel connections.

Deciphering Patch Panel

(1) Fiber Optic Patch Panel

Fiber optic patch panel is a mounted hardware unit containing an assembly of port location for fiber cable management, so that it is often come with rack mount enclosure. The patch panel can terminate the fiber optic cable while providing access to the individual fibers for cross connection. The significant benefit of fiber patch panel is to eliminate the cable clutter and provide port expansion for future growth. Except that, the most common connection problem is caused by excessive signal loss of its connectors or faulty connection of fiber to the patch panel.

fiber optic patch panel with rack mount enclosure

(2) Ethernet patch panel

With the same function of common fiber patch panel, the Ethernet patch panel contains several ports to connect and manage incoming and outgoing Ethernet cables. The copper patch panel is designed in different styles: punch down or feed-through type. In recent years, the feed-through patch panel is more popular in the market since it is much easier to install with the loaded RJ45 ports. With a punch down patch panel, firstly you need to terminate all cables into the patch panel. In this respect, using T568A or T568B configuration is another important considerations. Usually, the connection failure of the copper patch panel is caused by the incorrect punch-down way. For more information about how to punch down a patch panel, please refer to Should We Choose Punch Down or Feedthrough Patch Panel?

Common Causes of Connection Failure in Patch Panel

Generally, the wired connection consists of three aspects: network switch, connection wiring (patch panel is used for cabling) and network device. When the trouble is found on the aspects of patch panel, there are several possibilities:

  • The patch cables going from the switch to the patch panel
  • The ports on the front of the patch panel
  • The RJ45 cable going from the patch panel to the wall outlet
  • The labeling of the patch panel port on the wall outlet

Basic Steps for Troubleshooting Patch Panel

If the failing link is specified at the side of patch panel, you can troubleshoot the connection problems step by step:

Step 1: Use cable testers to assess the condition of patch cords at both ends.

The visual fault locator (VFL) and OTDR are often used to troubleshoot the fault location and power meter of fiber optic cable. And the network cable tester is used for RJ45 cables.

Step 2: Check out the correct link to eliminate faulty patch panel connections.

The appropriate link mode is defined in the mated connection of modular plugs at the end of patch cords and the jacks at the patch panel. For fiber optic patch panel, there are different connector options, including SC, ST, MTP, MPO or LC fiber patch panel. So the corresponding LC, SC, ST, MTP, MPO fiber cables are needed to make the suitable connection. But for copper patch panel, the link problem is often caused by that the patch panel is punched down incorrectly. The TIA 568A/568B wiring standard should be followed. Inappropriate cable category is also appeared in copper patch panel environment (e.g. Cat3 in a Cat5e application).

Step 3: Proper labeling for the correct patch panel port.

Patch panel labeling is a common way to make the troubleshooting easier. A chaotic collection of patch cords can be brought into order with properly labeled patch panels. But in the process of labeling, we can easily get it wrong in a situation where routing the cables from port to port. So cables routed to wrong connection might cause the patch panel link failure. When it is sure that no problem occurs in the mentioned above, you need to check out the labels at both ends.

Conclusion

Diagnosing the failing links of patch panel is a decisive factor to ensure the link meets the required transmission performance. Although troubleshooting patch panel connections can often be frustrating, you will find and correct the cause of the trouble if you keep calm and be logical when problems crop up. By resolving the troubles or possible causes step by step, you can get the correct link quickly.

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How to Install 5U Vertical Cable Manager?

From the largest network infrastructure to the typical desktop computing set, cable management can be an underestimated portion of the overall deployment. In fact, creating a well-organized cable management at the rack will help to simplify access to network equipment, and streamline tracing of cables within the installation. Many options are available for rack cable management, including horizontal and vertical cable management panel, cable ties, cable labels, etc. Today’ topic will focus on 5U vertical cable manager.

vertical cable manager on the rack

5U Vertical Cable Manager Overview

Vertical cable manager is an essential component of a 2 or 4 post racking system, which is used to guide horizontal, backbone or patch cables along the vertical dimension of the rack. To satisfy various applications, the vertical cable management has numbers of options in a variety of styles, widths, heights, and depths. Most of the vertical cable managers are designed with bend radius fingers that provide proper bend radius support for cables. With 5U configuration, FS.COM is available with 3” (84mm) and 5” (128.5mm) wide vertical cable manager that allow for 23 and 38 Cat6 cables separately. The cable managers are made of plastic (ABS) material, and the flame-retardant grade is V-0. They fit all 19in or 23in EIA racks (2 or 4-post).

5U Vertical Cable Manager

The Installation Steps of 5U Vertical Cable Manager

Generally, the 5U vertical cable manager is shipped with M6 nuts and screws to allow installation in the rack enclosures. The following video is a 5U vertical cable management installation instructions:

Step 1: Fixing the M6 nuts on the standard racks.

Step 2: Tweaking the M6 screws into the nuts, but spare some spaces for the 5U finger brackets.

Step 3: Bringing the installation holes of 5U finger brackets and M6 screws into alignment.

Step 4: Make sure that the screws are tightened and the nuts are assembled correctly.

Benefits of Vertical Cable Management Systems

High-density Cable Management

With cable management fingers, the vertical cable manager can simplify cable routing during installation and maintenance. Moreover, it helps to use space efficiently and route more cables in less RU spaces.

Improve Cable Lifetime

Vertical cable management ensures that cables are installed properly from the beginning, so it helps to minimize the risk of excessive bending, or subject cables to heat sources or sharp edges. Come with Velcro cable ties to bundle cables together, it can increase the life of cables.

Minimize Downtime

Vertical cable manager can be easily installed for clean wire distribution along server rack. It helps to cut down the time on locating and identifying cables. Any removal or monitoring of equipment or cabling can be accessed much easier. Besides, different types of cables are easily kept apart with superior cable management, there is less chance of data losing integrity due to electromagnetic interference (EMI).

Superior Airflow

As cables are gathered tidily in a server rack by vertical cable manager, there is less risk of poor airflow. This can help ensure that the data center is run as efficiently as possible.

Aesthetics

On top of many other advantages, vertical cable management also improves the aesthetics of a data center. A data center where every cable is neatly in its place and can be traced easily reflects a well-managed organization.

Conclusion

Managing cables in the data center can seem like a daunting task. But with the vertical cable managers for the racks and enclosures, all of the features combine to provide the user with a vertical cable management solution that simplifies cable routing in a finished professional appearance. When used with patch panel, patch cord, and rack, the user receives a total system that satisfies functional and aesthetic requirements for data centers and telecommunications rooms. For more information, feel free to visit www.fs.com.

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Typical Fiber Patch Panel Types On The Market

With the Internet of Things on the rise, more and more electric devices such as building automation controls, LED lights are becoming IP enabled and linking to the cabling infrastructure. There may be scenarios where linked data cables are not seen everywhere when connecting all the devices. Instead, a mass of patch cables are terminated in the telecommunication rooms. Technicians choose different fiber optic patch panel types to terminate the data cables and provide access to the cable’s individual fibers for cross-connection. So what are the typical fiber patch panel types on the market? This article will help you find something.

Benefits of Using Fiber Patch Panel

Fiber patch panels provide a convenient way to rearrange data cable connections and circuits. Using fiber patch panels, network technicians can easily connect cable fibers via cross connection, test the patch panel, and connect it to lightwave equipment. These patch panels are also used as a link demarcation point and in labeling the cable’s individual fibers. All in all, using fiber patch panel can achieve cable management including cable identification, and cable pulling.

Typical Fiber Patch Panel Types On The Market

Commonly, typical fiber patch panels are divided in two types, the rack mount and wall mount type.

  • rack mount

Rack mount patch panel is generally made for standard 19 inch rack mounting. To provide the best products and services to the customers, FS.COM launches the FHD and FHX series products.

The FHD rack mount fiber patch panels are available in 1U, 2U and 4U rack. They are made of SPCC materials with the sliding types like a drawer. Sliding the panel open allows users to push or pull cables more stable as well as faster. There are trays and splice sleeves, accessories, inside the patch panel, which are designed to hold fiber adapter panels or MPO/MTP cassettes.

ack mount fiber patch panel

FS.COM releases the 1U FHX rack mount ultra high density fiber enclosure in order to meet the requirements of most extreme fiber density conditions. With 3 independently sliding drawers, it can support 12 port cassettes or panel. Therefore, in 1 rack unit, the FHX ultra rack mount enclosure can handle up to 144 fiber cables connections.

FHX ultra rack mount fiber enclosure

  • wall mount

Wall mount type is the fiber enclosure that can be mounted on walls. FS.COM offers FHD wall mount fiber patch panels which have the designs of 2 door 2 adapters and 2 door 4 adapters as the option. It’s usually equipped with high density cassettes fixed on walls. The cassettes are in a space-saving and mountable panel enclosure. Wall mount patch panel benefits from several aspects like space saving. For more details, you can refer to Introduction of FHD Wall Mount Patch Panel.

FHD wall mount fiber patch panel

Advice On Choosing Suitable Fiber Patch Panel Type

Choosing a suitable fiber patch panel type is the wise practice. Port density, rack size and space should be considered when buying fiber patch panel. Both rack mount and wall mount patch panel are the effective measures for cable management. If there is no enough space in network place and not too many fiber cables around, the wall mount fiber patch panel is a better choice. Otherwise, you will need a rack on which you can place your cable panel.

FS.COM offers different fiber patch panel types with super quality to help customers optimize the telecommunication project. Hope we are the priority selection when you purchase networking equipment.

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FHD High-Density Fiber Cabling Solutions

In recent years, the data center has experienced an upsurge in the amount of fiber optic cabling due to bandwidth and storage requirements. At this point, high-density fiber cable management has become more critical than ever in today’s data centers and SAN (Storage Area Networking) environments. To meet the demand for space-saving and easy-to-manage fiber cabling environments, FS.COM has introduced FHD high-density fiber cabling solutions, including FHD fiber optic enclosures, FHD MTP cassette, and FHD fiber patch panel.

FHD Series Fiber Cabling System for Next-Generation Data Center

FHD series provides a comprehensive line of solutions for fiber optic cabling. The combination of fiber enclosure and fiber patch panel or MPO/MTP modular cassette can deliver the easier MACs and the flexibility to migrate to higher data speeds. The FHD series high-density fiber cabling system includes:

 FHD Fiber Enclosure  FHD Fiber Patch Panel  FHD MPO MTP Cassette
FHD Fiber Enclosure FHD Fiber Patch Panel FHD MPO/MTP Cassette
(1) FHD Fiber Optic Enclosure for Superior Fiber Network Architecture

Fiber optic enclosures are usually used to house, organize, manage and protect fiber optic cable, terminations, splices, connectors and patch cords. FHD fiber enclosure shall accommodate all FHD fiber patch panel and MPO/MTP cassette. It comes in 1U, 2U, and 4U FHD rack mount enclosure and 2-door wall mount enclosure. The 1U rack mount enclosure has slide-out type and cover removable type which can hold 4 x fiber patch panels or MPO/MTP cassettes up to 96 fibers. The 2U and 4U rack mount enclosure feature a fixed slide-out design that can support 8 x FHD fiber patch panels or MPO/MTP cassettes up to 192 fibers, and 12 x FHD fiber patch panels or MPO/MTP cassettes up to 228 fibers separately. Besides, the 2-door wall mount enclosure can hold 2 or 4 patch panels for an option. These FHD fiber optic enclosures shall fit integral cable management and bend radius control for transition to vertical cable managers.

(2) FHD MTP/MPO Cassette for Breaking out Multi-fiber Cables

MTP/MPO cassette is widely used for high-density cabling in data centers. It is pre-terminated and pre-tested enclosed unit which can provide a secure transition between MTP/MPO and LC/SC discrete connectors. And it is usually structured with LC/SC adapters on the front side of the cassette and MTP/MPO adapters at the rear of the cassette. More importantly, it can break out MPO/MTP connectors into separate SC/LC ports. All of the fiber wiring is done internal to the cassette, so it meets the demand for quick and easy installation. FHD MTP/MPO cassette has three types: FHD MTP/MPO-24 cassette, FHD MTP/MPO-12 cassette, and FHD MTP/MPO-8 cassette in single mode and multimode version.

(3) FHD Fiber Patch Panel for Quick and Easy Connections

FHD high-density fiber patch panel is designed to provide easy management of MACs of connections in the data center. There are three different adapter types in 6, 12, and 24 fibers: FHD LC patch panel, FHD SC patch panel, and FHD MTP/MPO patch panel. Without taking up a lot of space, these FHD fiber patch panels are perfect for increasing the bandwidth and connection density of your fiber cabling.

FHD High-Density Fiber Cabling Solutions

Solution 1: Fiber Enclosure + MTP/MPO Cassettes

The FHD MTP/MPO cassettes are usually mounted in FHD fiber enclosure, which provides the interface between the MTP connector on the trunk and the LC duplex fiber jumpers for 10G to 40G or 25G to 100G application.

FHD High-Density Fiber Cabling Solution

Solution 2: Fiber Enclosure + Fiber Patch Panel

In addition to mounting with MPO/MTP cassettes, the FHD fiber enclosure can also be loaded with FHD fiber patch panels to serve 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. Besides, the fiber patch panel can also be mounted in with 1U horizontal cable manager panel or blank patch panel for cable patching.

Conclusion

FS.COM FHD high-density fiber cabling solutions offer the advanced performance and reliability for space-constrained installations. Using a comprehensive solution of high-density fiber enclosure with either fiber patch panels or pre-terminated fiber cassettes provides a complete fiber cross-connect/interconnect patching solution for applications where maximum density is required. For more information about FHD high-density fiber cabling solutions, please feel free to visit www.fs.com.

Related Article: FHX Ultra High-Density Fiber Patching Solution

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Utilizing Base-8 Structured Cabling for 40G-10G & 100G-25G Connectivity

Although data center is migrating from 10G/25G to 40G/100G and beyond, it is often necessary to connect 40G/100G equipment with existing 10G/25G equipment. Base-8 cabling system is the most commonly used for 40G to 10G and 100G to 25G short and middle distance transmissions. But cable spaghetti has often occurred in the high-density breakout cabling environments. Therefore, FS.COM provides FHD, FHX and FHU solutions for Base-8 cabling, including both single mode and multimode versions.

Solution 1: FHD Fiber Enclosure + FHD MTP-8 MTP/MPO Breakout Cassette

For 40G to 10G and 100G to 25G, FHD MTP-8 migration cassettes are available with 8 fibers MTP-8 to LC cassette and 24 fibers 3 x MTP-8 to LC cassette (a compact version). They are usually installed in the FHD high-density rack mount fiber optic enclosures which can hold four Base-8 MTP to LC cassettes. On the front side, LC fibers are used to connect the LC ports of Base-8 breakout cassette; On the rear side, MTP trunk cables are used to connect the MTP-8 ports. The following picture shows the high-density Base-8 cabling solution by utilizing FHD series components.

FHD series Base-8 Structured Cabling

Solution 2: FHX Fiber Enclosure + FHX MTP-8 MTP/MPO Breakout Cassette

The FHX MTP-8 cassettes is a kind of fiber cassette module that can convert a single lane of parallel optic signals into 4 discrete duplex LC channels. It is structured with LC adapters on the front side and MTP adapters at the rear of the fiber cassette. So this Base-8 MTP fiber cassette is designed to upgrade existing LC links to SR4 parallel optics without wasting any of the fibers inside the cable. Besides, the FHX MTP-8 MTP/MPO breakout cassette is always mounted into FHX fiber enclosure for high-density cabling in data centers, for the reason that the FHX ultra high-density rack mount fiber enclosure can hold up to 144 fibers in 1U space. The combination of FHX fiber enclosure and MTP-8 cassettes is ideal to deploy a Base-8 connectivity solution for use in main, horizontal and equipment distribution areas. The following picture shows the ultra high-density Base-8 cabling solution by utilizing FHX series components.

FHX series Base-8 Structured Cabling

Solution 3: FHU MTP-LC Base-8 Breakout Cabling Solution

FS.COM FHU 96 fibers MTP-LC breakout patch panels are specially designed for these Base-8 applications, providing up to 48 10G/25G distributions. The front panel consists of 12 groups of 8 LC adapters for 10G/25G, and the rear panel is 12 MTP-8 ports for 40G QSFP+ or 100G QSFP28. On the front side, LC fiber cables are used to connect 10G/25G ports; and on the rear side, MTP fiber cables are used to connect MTP-8 ports. With the certain optical equipment, higher-speed equipment can be connected to slower-speed equipment successfully. Therefore, this Base-8 breakout patch panel allows for an easy upgrade path moving 40 to 4 x 10GbE or 100 to 4 x 25GbE connectivity. By the way, this high-density breakout fiber patch panel is available with both single mode (FHU 96 fibers MTP-LC OS2 breakout patch panel) and multimode (FHU 96 fibers MTP-LC OM4 breakout patch panel) versions for specified applications.

Conclusion

Base-8 cabling system can accommodate transmission speeds of 10G, 40G, 100G and beyond. For 40G-10G & 100G-25G connectivity, Base-8 breakout cassette and patch panel are your primary option for direct connection between LC and SR4 link. It can not only improve the cable management and protection or save your valuable space, but also eliminate additional cost and insertion loss. All in all, Base-8 structured cabling is the best investment for the future proofing.

Related Article:
High-Density 40G to 10G Breakout Cabling Solutions

MTP-8 Solution: Future-Proof Connectivity in Data Center

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