Things to consider when choosing the right fiber enclosure/patch panel system:
- Consider the design of the rack elevation and layout. How many U spaces are available for the fiber enclosure system within the rack? And, will there be either horizontal or vertical cable management? Will your cabinet’s depth allow for angled patch panels?
- Determine the desired density per enclosure. What type of density is needed per 1U? Will 144 LC fibers per 1U be needed? Or, is 48 LC fibers sufficient?
- Consider between enclosure or patch panel. An enclosure protects the fiber and makes access to the fiber a little more challenging. Patch panels make it easier to access, however, there is no protection to the fiber.
- Consider between modular or field terminated system. Modular systems are faster and easier to install. Another advantage is the possibility for future upgrades. Field terminated systems offer lower materials costs compared to modular but it takes longer to install and offers no flexibility for future upgrades.
- There are different types of modular system to consider:
- Pass through adapter plates. They are what their name suggests. They don’t act as a converter. Whatever fiber connector you have, it will pass through that connector through the adapter plate.
- Cassettes convert MTP to LCs or MTP (24 strand) to other MTP (8 strands). This allows for better future proofing. As your backbone can stay put, while you use different cassettes.
- Mix in copper connectivity. Some solutions allow for copper ports in the same system which can be useful and saves U space.
- Mounting options include horizontal, vertical, or zero U mounting
- Lastly, there are future proofing considerations including ease of migration to higher speeds and intelligent patch panel possibility. Can the solution allow for easy migration to higher speeds – either in the fiber backbone provided or in the availability of cassette type? Some solutions allow for tracing of the connectivity points. Is this of value to you?
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Article content contributed by King Leung.