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We are thinking of patching our new network rack using 0,15m cables due to costs and cable management requirements. There will be around 400-500 connections using this cable length and we will be using Dell enterprise equipment (switches). I found a vendor selling certified cables for CAT6a.

My question is in regards to this source from 2015:

If you are talking specifically about patch cords, then 0.5 m is the implied minimum length in ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.2-1 for a certified patch cord. That’s because the math for the limit lines really does not work below this. Infact, getting a certified patch cord of 0.5 is going to be tricky. Many vendors only offer a certified patch cord of 1.0 m or longer.

What problems should we expect / make sure to test for before hand?

Note: The patch cables will be used to connect the patch panel with the switch

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  • Are you sure you want cables that short? If it's certified, then it's certified -- as long as you trust that vendor.
    – Ricky
    Jan 24 at 16:57
  • @Ricky no, but unfortunately the decision is ultimately out of my hands, I'm just trying to make sure (as much as possible) this whole thing doesn't backfire. Maybe even collect a few reasons to pass on so we will use a different cable length.
    – Albin
    Jan 24 at 16:59
  • You could also use proper cable management hooks and trays, and simply select one standard cable length.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jan 24 at 17:00
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    If you go with 6" cables, you're committed to keeping the switches immediately next to the patch ports. It gets very ugly working with such a wall of tiny cords. Replacing a switch - which you will have to do some day - will be a royal pain. (I wouldn't suggest it, but if they're that cheap, why not just crimp the wires instead of going to a patch panel.)
    – Ricky
    Jan 24 at 17:39
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    With short cables, every one has to be disconnected before the switch can be removed. With longer cables, the switch can be pulled, new switch mounted, and then move all the connections. 6" cables may seem like a good idea, but trust us, it isn't. (plus, that will be all those cables will ever be useful for.)
    – Ricky
    Jan 25 at 14:49

2 Answers 2

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Note: If the cables goes into a patch panel, the cable length is equal to the sum of the cable lengths on each side of the patch panel.

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  • Good point! They actually do, I will add that to the question.
    – Albin
    Feb 8 at 13:50
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Most known vendors now have length detection on their switch/router firmware which adjusts signaling power and timing accordingly. Based on years of experience, I believe you'll have little to zero issues working with short cables in compact server rooms.

It is still a good policy to stick to ratified cables, anyhow.

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    With the notable exception of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T, that isn't necessarily true. Standard ports perform no cable quality and power training. Only ports featuring Green Ethernet (a superset of EEE) actually optimize signaling (EEE optimizes idle link power only).
    – Zac67
    Jan 27 at 11:23
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    I wasn't talking about green networking specifically, but thanks for useful comment.
    – MTG
    Jan 30 at 7:03

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