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We will rebuild our network in a few months and have installed a "network rack" with patch panels where our switches also will be mounted.

We will have 96 10GE switch ports and 96 ports in the patch panels. But how do you best manage the optical cables so it won't end up like this: Where should I start when it comes to organizing my switches? :)

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If you are going to have structured cabling and equipment all in the same rack I recommend

  1. keeping them separate and not intermingling. For example if you structured cabling is coming into the rack from the top then keep all of it together in the top portion of the rack and install equipment starting from the bottom. Reserving the very bottom being UPS.

  2. Install horizontal cable management between equipment as well as between structured cable patch panels.

  3. Install double sided vertical cable management on the sides of the rack. Double sided contains a forward facing trough for patch cables to be routed through and a rear facing trough for structured cabling.

  4. Only utilize patch cables (fiber or cat5) that are exactly the correct size. (Trouble starts when you use a 6 ft. cable for a 4 ft. patch or vice versa.)

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    Upvoted but exactly the correct size usually means custom cut or at least purchased in carefully pre-planned quantities in one-foot increments, both of which are a little impractical in many situations. With good cable management, having the same length for each switch that is closest to the shortest length that can work for connecting that switch is a good compromise, and means it's easier to change patching if that becomes necessary for whatever reason. – Todd Wilcox Jul 9 '15 at 1:12
  • The only thing I would add about the cable lengths is don't try to stretch a cable tightly and be cognizant of the allowed bend radius; when in doubt, use a longer cable. A loose, naturally falling loop in the vertical management tray is fine as long as it doesn't go all the way to the floor. – Ron Maupin Jul 9 '15 at 1:24
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Have a look at mtp/mpo fiber SM or MM multi-fiber ribbon cables, 12 or 14 cores in a single connector.

They allow for easy movement and addition of fibers.

Fluke Tester

MPO Cassette

MPO Cassettes

MTP-fiber

  • Yes, our permanent installation patch panels are using MPO fibers. We also have 24 fiber MPO for our 40G patch panels. – Peter Jul 9 '15 at 19:32

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