The Importance of Patch Panels
Patch panels are a crucial (and often overlooked) element of any interconnected network. Essentially, patch panels serve as a network’s central location for monitoring and connecting circuits. Often times, they’re used to connect and disconnect equipment. Picture a panel as a traffic signal, it’s the traffic signal that monitors and controls the flow of traffic through its intersection. A patch panel is an absolutely critical component for uptime, performance, speed and other important characteristics.
Available in different sizes and configurations, patch panels can be customized to fit your network’s unique needs. But all patch panels are similar in one regard – they’re important for any network’s ability to configure new equipment (and also phase out old components).
Patch panels are versatile enough to handle both copper and fiber cable networks. Each type has its own pros and cons. Some network professionals think copper-compatible patch panels have superior reliability and more secure connections, while others tout fiber’s fast speed and ability to easily upgrade existing networks. No matter the cable type, one thing’s for certain – no network can run well without a properly configured patch panel.
Also referred to as jack fields and patch bays, patch panels consist of ports to quickly connect cables. Patch cords are used for data streams entering and exiting the patch panel. While no physical limit exists for a patch panel’s size, most have anywhere from 24 to 96 ports. For larger networks, hundreds of ports can be used. That’s another factor in a patch panel’s importance – as your network grows, ports can be added to accommodate ever-expanding demand.
Cable management is another essential aspect for any properly configured network. Patch panels also assist electricians and network engineers by providing convenient, flexible routing options. Because a patch panel has numerous ports in close proximity, cables can be routed, labeled and monitored easily and efficiently.
Now that you’ve been exposed to Patch Panels 101, you can see the significance of having patch panels in place. Primus Cable offers an impressive assortment of patch panels to help your network achieve optimum performance. Please contact our customer service department with any question. We’re here to help!