Cat6 Patch Panel: Shielded vs Unshielded

Patch panel is a commonly used mounted hardware assembly that contains ports for connecting and managing incoming and outgoing fiber/copper cables. It is usually attached to network racks, either above or below network switches. According to the cable type, it can be divided into Ethernet patch panel and fiber patch panel. Ethernet patch panel is for copper cable management while fiber patch panel is for fiber cabling. There are also shielded and unshielded Ethernet patch panels for different kinds of twisted pair cables. This post will focus on Cat6 patch panel shielded vs unshielded.

Cat6 Shielded Patch Panel

Cat6 shielded patch panel often consists of a metal panel and Cat6 snap-in shielded keystone jacks, which is perfect for high RFI/EMI environments where interference is a risk. It is often used together with shielded Cat6 cable which has better signal transmission performance. Based on the number of ports it contains, shielded Cat6 patch panel can be classified into 48-port, 24-port and 12-port types. The following image shows a 24 port shielded Cat6 patch panel which features installer-friendly design for quick installation and organization of shielded copper cabling system.

24 Ports Shielded Cat6 Patch Panel

Cat6 Unshielded Patch Panel

Cat6 unshielded patch panel, on the other hand, is equipped with Cat6 snap-in unshielded keystone jacks. It is a more commonly used patch panel suited for most copper network systems. Like Cat6 shielded patch panel, unshielded Cat6 patch panel also has 48-port, 24-port and 12-port types. And the 24 port patch panel is the most popular one.

24 Ports Unshielded Cat6 Patch Panel

Cat6 Patch Panel: Shielded vs Unshielded

Cost—Cat6 shielded patch panel tends to cost more than the unshielded one. This is mainly due to more expensive Cat6 keystone jacks. And the use of Cat6 shielded cable will also add cost for the whole shielded cabling system.

Performance—Though the shielded Cat6 patch panel do cost more, it is better in helping to overcome alien crosstalk. In addition, it also provide such benefits as increasing immunity from outside electronic interference.

Can Unshielded Cat6 Cable Connect to the Cat6 Shielded Patch Panel?

In practical applications, there often arises some questions such as can I use unshielded Cat6 cables on Cat6 shielded patch panels? Can I use shielded Cat6 cables with cat6 unshielded patch panels? Or can I use Cat5e cables on Cat6 patch panels? Here will discuss these questions in details:

Generally speaking, if you are setting up a network with Cat 6 shielded cables, you should use shielded Cat6 patch panels, which ensures the entire line stays fully shielded and helps to prevent data loss. This rule shall be strictly followed where cables will be run very close to other cables or electronic devices. In environments where the amount of EMI or RFI is low, it is feasible to connect unshielded Cat6 cables to cat6 shielded patch panels or use shielded Cat6 cables with cat6 unshielded patch panels. As to connecting Cat5e cables to Cat6 Patch Panel, electrically it will make contact and work fine, though the Cat5e cable is “looser” terminated on a Cat6 jack. But you should only expect Cat5e performance on the cat6 patch panel.

Conclusion

Cat6 patch panel is the most popular cable management tool for Gigabit Ethernet copper network. And shielded Cat6 patch panels are ideal for high-speed networks such as data center. While unshielded Cat6 patch panels are for most home or small enterprise network applications. FS.COM supplies cost-effective Cat6 patch panels, shielded or unshielded, feed-through or punch down are all available.

Related Articles:

How to Select the Suitable Copper Patch Panel?

Should We Choose Punch Down or Feedthrough Patch Panel?

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EVPN vs VPLS: What’s the Difference?

EVPN and VPLS are two technologies that provide Ethernet multipoint services over IP/MPLS networks. And as everyone knows, VPLS has been available and widely deployed for many years. EVPN, however, is a new upcoming technology which is considered to be a more efficient and feasible alternative to VPLS. Even so, someone still configure VPLS on their networks and use it to good effect. Then what’s exactly the difference between EVPN and VPLS? Which one is better? This post will focus on EVPN and VPLS tutorials, and discuss EVPN vs VPLS differences.

EVPN vs VPLS: What Is VPLS?

VPLS, be short for virtual private LAN service, is a telecom carrier-provided service. It enables customer to create a logical LAN structure between geographically separate sites. Actually, VPLS creates a virtualized data switch at the service provider, which links multiple remote sites together as if they were connected to a same physical switch. This helps a lot in simplifying network deployment and management, especially for data center interconnection.

EVPN vs VPLS -VPLS

EVPN vs VPLS: What Is EVPN?

Like VPLS, EVPN also provides virtual multipoint bridged connectivity between different Layer 2 domains over IP/MPLS backbone network. it is typically composed of customer edge (CE) devices (host, router, or Gigabit Ethernet switch) and provider edge (PE) routers. The PE routers often include an MPLS edge switch (MES) such as a 10GbE switch, which acts at the edge of the MPLS infrastructure. The following is a typical EVPN deployment. Traffic from data center 1 is transported over the service provider’s network through MES1 to MES2 and then onto data center 2. DCS1, DCS2, DCS3, and DCS4 are the data center switches.

EVPN vs VPLS -evpn

EVPN vs VPLS: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, EVPN is a more recent technology which aims to overcome the challenges VPLS meets. So it is more advanced in the following aspects:

EVPN vs VPLS – Signaling Protocols

VPLS features two kinds of signaling protocols: LDP and BGP. EVPN, however, adopts BGP as the only one service signaling protocol.

EVPN vs VPLS – CE Multihoming

VPLS only implements single-active solutions. EVPN implements two CE multihoming solutions: single-active (one active, N standby) and all-active (with known uni-cast per-flow load balancing).

EVPN vs VPLS – MAC Learning

VPLS only supports data-plane MAC learning on its local Attachment Circuit (AC), which can easily lead to stale forwarding state. EVPN also performs data-plane MAC learning on its local AC, but it relies on control-plane MAC learning between PEs. This will reduce unknown uni-cast flooding and implement a flush mechanism in BGP.

Will EVPN Replace MPLS?

Though EVPN has much advantages than MPLS, it doesn’t mean it’s the best solution for everything. For example, VPLS is much less consuming in terms of control plane and it uses up more service MPLS labels than EVPN. In these circumstances, EVPN will not replace MPLS. EVPN vs VPLS, which will you choose for your network?

Related Articles:
VPN vs MPLS: What’s the Difference?

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AC Switch vs DC Switch: What’s the Difference?

The first step on integrating a switch into the network is to get it powered up. And as to power supply, there are AC and DC power for network switch, both of which are used for increasing network uptime. Then what’s the difference between AC power Switch and DC power switch? Which type shall we used for our network? This post will give a detailed introduction for the difference between AC Switch and DC switch, and set out how to make a proper decision over AC Switch vs DC Switch.

AC Switch vs DC Switch: What Are They?

AC powered Ethernet switch often has a fixed AC power supply connector, thus it generally gets powered up through power cables such as IEC power cord, NEMA power cord, etc. PoE switches are typical AC switches. Take FS 24 port PoE switch as example, which is equipped with a single 100-240V AC power supply connector (as shown below). It is easy to power up AC switch. All you need to do is connect it to the power socket with proper power cable. For some advanced network switch, turning on its power switch is also necessary.

AC switch vs DC switch

DC powered Ethernet switch can be configured with an internal or external DC power supply. And the external DC power supply is more popular nowadays, which is also known as redundant power supply. Modern fiber switch often has more than one redundant power supply (e.g the following FS 10GbE switch is equipped with two DC power supply). Except for powering up switch, the DC redundant power supply can also protect other power supply when it fails with shorted outputs.

AC switch vs DC switch

AC Switch vs DC Switch: What’s the Difference?

In the market, there are Ethernet switches that support only AC power supply or DC power supply, and there are also some switches which can be used with both AC and DC power supplies. However, the switch can only support one type of power supply at the same time. That’s to say, if you use DC power supply to power up your switch initially, the switch will detect it and operate with DC power. In this case, AC power supply installed in the switch will be disabled. Even if you try to install AC power supply when the switch is operating with DC power, it will also disable the AC power and generates an alarm. So remember not to mix AC and DC power supplies in a switch.

Conclusion

AC and DC power supplied Ethernet switches are all commonly used nowadays. You can select one or the other according to your own case and needs. FS provides both AC and DC switches. For example, we have AC switches such as 8/24/48 port PoE+ Managed Switches which support up to 600W. High quality DC switches are also available. Customers can also custom the power type of switches.

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VLAN vs Subnet: What Are Their Differences?

VLAN and Subnet are both developed to deal with segmenting or partitioning a portion of the network. And they also share such similarities as restricting broadcast domains or ensuring security through isolation of different sub-networks. However, there are obvious differences between them on operation, functionality and deeper objectives. This post will focus on VLAN vs Subnet: what’s the difference?

VLAN vs Subnet: What Are They?

Subnet is a small network composed by a group of IP addresses. It is part of a larger network. Any IP address within the same Subnet can communicate with each other without using routing devices. To be clear, we can think Subnet as the department of a company, people in the same department can talk freely without going out of their department. If you want to reach a address outside of your Subnet, you will have to go through a router or modern Gigabit Ethernet switch with router functionality. Since Subnet is related to IP address, it often works at layer 3.

VLAN, also known as virtual LAN, is a group of devices on one or more LANs in regardless of physical location. That’s to say, it allows devices to be grouped together even though they are not connected on the same fiber switch. However, it often requires the network hardware/software to support VLAN functionality, for example, VLAN switch is essential for setting up a VLAN network. In VLAN, configuration of the network can be done via software extensively. Basically, VLANs are used at layer 2 to break up broadcast domains.

VLAN vs Subnet: What’s the Difference?

As mentioned above, VLAN and Subnet are totally different things in a close look. The following chart lists the differences between VLAN and Subnet in details:

Parameter
VLAN
Subnet
Definition
VLAN is a logical LAN that contains broadcasts within itself, and only hosts belonged to that VLAN will see those broadcasts.
Subnet is an IP address range of IP addresses that help hosts communicate over layer 3.
Logical and Physical Network
VLAN allows us to create different logical and physical networks.
Subnet allows us to create logical networks through the same physical network.
Network Member Control
A VLAN is configured at server/router side. The one who controls the router/server decides which computer/port is assigned to which VLAN. For example, if you have a 24 port 10GbE switch, you can assign 12 ports to VLAN 1 and the others to VLAN 2.
A Subnet is determined by the IP you use and the IP can be chosen by the admin of a computer (or device). Therefore it is done on client side – you can not control it.
OSI Layer
VLAN is a layer 2 term where MAC addresses work.
Subnet is a layer 3 term where IP layer works.
Hardware/Software Based
More of software-based terminology.
More of hardware-based terminology.
Security & Control
VLANs perceived to be more secure and provide more robust control for the network.
Subnet has limited control in comparison to VLAN.
Major Benefit
VLAN is extremely flexible, it brings better work performance, less traffic, and more efficiency.
A Subnet will not be affected when other Subnets going down or having technical breakdowns.

VLAN vs Subnet: Which One Do You Like?

VLAN and Subnet both have their advantages and limits. For example, VLAN allows for creation of different logical and physical networks while Subnet only allows for creation of different logical networks. However, if a network sniffer is employed, users from one Subnet can discover the existence of other Subnets, this will not happen to users of different VLANs. So VLAN vs Subnet: which do you prefer?

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48-port Patch Panel Recommendations

With the emergence of Internet of Things (IoT), more and more network-connected devices are added into the existing network. Most servers and other devices have a limited number of ports available. A patch panel can be used to dramatically increase the number of devices that can connect to a specific piece of hardware. The 48-port patch panel is highly whetted users’ appetite for port expansion. There are many different types of the 48-port patch panel. Are all patch panels created equally?

48-port Fiber Patch Panel

High density 96 fibers or 48-port fiber patch panel is preloaded with either LC or SC keystone jacks to offer installers an economical and high-density fiber termination solution. With 1U detachable horizontal cable management panel, it can protect and organize fiber optic cable in your network. For implementations in 40/100G networks, 48-port fiber optic patch panel has MTP-LC breakout patch panel for an option. This 48-port patch panel is designed with 48 LC Duplex front ports and 4 loss optimized MTP Elite rear ports, which provides more fiber terminations up to 96 fibers than standard fiber panel. The 1U of rack space is perfect for limited-space environments or high-density structured cabling. FS.COM is available with 48-port LC fiber patch panel and MTP-LC breakout patch panel in single mode and multimode version.

48-port Patch Panel

48-port Ethernet Patch Panel

This kind of Ethernet patch panel features 48 unshielded or shielded keystone jacks for Ethernet connectivity, the high-density configuration of the jacks helps minimize the space of network. There are various network patch panels based on Cat cables like Cat5/Cat5e patch panel, Cat6/Cat6a patch panel, or Cat7 patch panel. For 1U patch panel, 48-port Cat5e patch panel and 48-port Cat6 patch panel are most popular in the market. The 1U 48-port patch panel has RJ45 female ports on the front and 110 punch-down style terminals on the rear. It is meant to be mounted on a 19” rack mount enclosure or cabinet and provides an easy method to terminate Cat5e and Cat6 runs. By the way, the Cat6 patch panel is rated up to 10Gbps.

48-port Blank Patch Panel

The keystone blank patch panel offers unlimited flexibility for customization of different applications. The port openings will accommodate all keystone jacks, including RJ45 Ethernet, HDMI audio/video, voice and USB applications. So the 48-port blank patch panel is ideal for integrating network multimedia in residential and commercial settings. The clear numbering on the front provides a quick, easy way to identify cable runs. This 48-port patch panel can mount on any standard 19-inch rack or cabinet.

48-port Blank Patch Panel

Conclusion

Choosing the right size for a given project is typically going to involve looking at how many connections you require today, and whether or not additional connections will be needed in the future. The 48-port patch panel is ideal for use in high-density applications with more connectivity in less space. If you are considering deploying 48-port patch panel, hope this post will be useful to you. For more patch panel solutions, feel free to visit www.fs.com.

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