To facilitate data center’s structured cabling, intermediate link connections are usually made at patch panels to accommodate reconfigurations. In a structured cabling, all switches, servers and storage throughout the data center are represented by individual ports on the front of the patch panels in a centralized patching location often called the main distribution area (MDA). Connecting two ports is accomplished by a simple patch cord on the front side of the patch panels at the MDA, allowing for instant device to device connectivity.
Common Fiber Patch Panels Used in Data Centers
Structured cabling is the key to cable plant that is easy to document, manage, and grow with the current and future demands of data center connections. Three most common fiber patch panels used in structured cabling are LC adapter panels, MTP to LC cassettes and MTP adapter panels.
- LC Adapter Panel – This type of patch panel module is also known as an LC-LC module and requires trunk cables with LC termination. The LC adapter panel offers the lowest connector loss of any of the patch panel modules.
- MTP-LC Module – This patch panel module is also called an MTP to LC cassette and converts MTP trunk cables to LC connections. This module type has LC connectors in front and MTP connectors in back.
- MTP Adapter Panel – This patch panel module supports MTP trunk cables and each MTP connection supports 8-12 fibers. The MTP adapter panel can easily support 12 MTP connections and 144 fibers or more.
Fiber Patch Panels Connections in Data Centers
In the 1 rack unit (1RU) patch panel drawn in figure below, LC adapter panel, MTP-LC module and MTP adapter panel are supported. These three types of patch panels support trunk cables terminated with MPO or LC connections. The trunk cables plug in the back of the patch panels and LC or MPO patch cords connect to the front of the patch panel. This modular patch panel architecture enables easy installation and scales well. With standard LC interfaces, this modular patch panel architecture supports 36 LC connections in a 1U patch panel. A 42RU rack full of these patch panel modules can support over one thousand fiber optic ports (42X36 = 1,512 LC ports).
Fiber Patch Panels Applications in Data Centers
Data centers often use four patch panel links that have two trunk cables radiate out from the patch panels in the MDA (shown in the figure below). In this case, each end of a trunk cable terminates in a patch panel, so four patch panels are associated with a link that has two trunk cables in it. Two of the patch panels are located in the MDA to connect any port to any port. One patch cord is needed in the MDA to connect the two trunk cables and another patch cord is needed on each end of the link to connect to the optical modules. This four fiber patch panel link has two trunk cables, three patch cords and four patch panels in all.
Fiber optic links are used to connect thousands of ports in massive data centers. Most data center links use MMF and support links with 2 trunk cables and four patch panels. In large deployments, more connections in more patch panels are also needed in a link and the insertion loss and link length must be managed. As the most three common patch panels used in data centers, LC adapter panels, MTP to LC cassettes and MTP adapter panels play a crucial role in structured cabling deployment. All these three patch panels are provided in FS.COM with high quality and low price. For more details, welcome to visit www.fs.com or contact us over firstname.lastname@example.org.
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