Which Type of Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures Should You Choose?
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Which Type of Rack Mount Fiber Enclosures Should You Choose?

Posted on by FS.COM

Fiber enclosures, as a general term for the hardware that are used to protect fibers or organize cables in fiber optic cabling and terminations, are widely used in various fields, such as data center, FTTx (Fiber to the x, e.g. Fiber to the Home), CATV (Cable TV), and so on. For rack mount cabling applications in data center, rack mount type fiber enclosures are usually used. But according to different configurations, various of types are available. So, which type should be used for your data center rack mount cabling?

Rack Unit Configurations of Rack Mount Enclosures

The rack mount fiber enclosure is generally made for 19 inch rack mounting. Depending on the number of connections required, they are available in one or more rack units (RU) height configurations, such as 1RU, 2RU, 3RU or 4RU, etc. See the following picture:


You should choose the most proper one depending on the space and port requirement of your project.

Cover Removable Type or Slide-out Type, or Swing-out Type?

1RU is the most commonly used size in data center server racks cable management. For convenient installation and cable management, there are three versions to choose from:

  • Cover Removable Type
  • Slide-out Type (or Sliding & Tilting type)
  • Swing-out Type

rackmount enclosure types

The cover removable type is an early type of fiber enclosures. If your budget is sufficient, I will recommend you to use the slide-out type or swing-out type though they are more expensive than the cover removable type. But you may get more benefits during installation and maintenance, as they respectively feature a convenient slide-out support tray and a integrated swing-out tray so that you don’t need to remove the whole enclosure from the rack to gain internal access.

Fixed Front Panels or Removable Front Panels?

As we know, fiber optic adapters are the key part of an enclosure to accept the various fiber optic connectors. Thus, to choose a proper front panel option is also important. For general rack mount enclosures, there are mainly two types—one type uses fixed 1U High 19″ front panel, and the other type incorporates three, or even up to five removable front panels. The latter is now becoming more popular with users, because a plug & play fiber adapter panel solution assures flexibility and ease of network deployment and MAC (moves, adds, and changes).

front panel options

Splicing or Pre-terminated?

Pigtail splicing and pre-terminated assemblies are the two basic way to do fiber termination. Depending on which method you choose, there are some differences in the rack mount enclosure selection. For pigtail splicing, you may need a rack mount panel with fiber splice holders, which are used for efficient management and storage of the spliced optical fibers. But if you apply pre-terminated assemblies, the inner configuration of the rack mount panel is only the spools that are used to organize the cables. Obviously, the pre-terminated solution will help you save more installed time and labor cost.

splicing panel

Do I Need Breakout Rack Mount Enclosures?

There is a new type of rack mount enclosures called breakout rack mount enclosure. Breakout rack mount enclosure is generally a pre-terminated rack mount panel used to achieve interconnection between MTP/MPO backbone to LC/SC patching, supporting up to 144 fiber distributions in total within 1U rack space. It is an ideal choice for 40/100G network migration. In addition, using MTP/MPO cassettes with the related unloaded rack mount enclosure is also a good choice in this case. Thus, don’t forget this option, if your project includes the network upgrade.


The above sections introduced several consideration factors during rack mount enclosure selections. For actual installation, more specific requirement may occur. Thus, in addition to understanding the consideration factors of rack mount enclosure selections, you should choose a reliable vendors. FS.COM offers a wide range of rack mount enclosures, as well as custom service, which can help address all kinds of your requirements. For more details, please contact us via sales@fs.com or call 24/7 Customer Service: 1 (718) 577 1006.

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