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Data centers need to pay attention to Patch Panels – here’s why

Here’s the problem – while technology is sprinting ahead, quite literally, faster than the speed of light, data center cabling infrastructure is having a tough time keeping up. Many tools and solutions still in use were designed years ago, and as a result, are now slowing down data center builders and operators.

Technical expertise is needed for cabling management as this is critical to the functioning of a data center, almost like neurons are vital to help your body and mind stay connected. So, you’ve got to prioritize something as seemingly simple as cabling to ensure it is as high-tech as everything else at your hyperscale data center.

One of those points of focus is the patch panel, a piece of hardware with ports that organizes cables and connects IT devices. They are one of the oldest types of technical equipment but are still relevant today. They are simple in design and function but improve functioning of a data center.

Patch panels can be small, with just a few ports, or large, with hundreds of ports, and can be used for any kind of cable from fiber-optic to RJ45.

Three reasons why patch panels are important

  1. They can help with scaling up as they make it easier to add and remove cables end-to-end.

  2. They reduce cable clutter as they are located closer to equipment, making it possible to use shorter cables.

  3. They are inexpensive as they don’t perform any function other than facilitating the passing of data and allow for use of shorter cables, which cost less than longer ones.

Tips to make patch panels more efficient

  1. Label your cables: There are hundreds of cables coming into and out of a patch panel. Unorganized cables can lead to outages. Labeling cables at both ends will make it easy to troubleshoot.

  2. Color code your cables: This will make it easy to identify what type of cable is in each place.

  3. Zip tie your cables:Bundling cables going to the same server rack or other location with zip ties will keep the space neat and prevent mishaps due to wrong connections.

Hardy Racks offers several compact, efficient, and scalable cable management solutions such as fiber raceways customized to your requirements. Contact us today to learn more.


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