Fiber Patch Panel Size
At first, you’ve got to know your requirements on fiber patch panels. Basic parameters like height, depth, width and weight will determine the type of your fiber optic panels. Generally, the size of an optic patch panel is measured by RU or U: it describes the height of the equipment mounted on a rack/wall. 1RU, 2RU and 4RU fiber patch panels are applied for high density applications. No matter what kind of size patch panel you choose, please always select a larger size to meet your existing equipment and future growth.
Fiber Patch Panel Port Density
In addition to size, the port density of fiber patch panels also makes a vital part in the selection. The request for density in data centers shall never ebb, so the optical patch panel also evolves to satisfy the demand. A normal 1U fiber enclosure can hold up to 48 ports (144 fibers) while a high-density version supports up to 96 ports. For MPO/MTP cabling networks, there are ultra-high density patch panels that enable 144 ports in 1U size. Moreover, fiber patch panels with 2U or 4U size can help achieve even greater port density.
Loaded or Unloaded Fiber Patch Panel
Loaded fiber optic patch panel is pre-installed with fiber adapter panels or cassettes while unloaded patch panel is empty. LC and MTP cassettes are often installed in loaded patch panels to build the path for 40/100G migration, thus can greatly reduce the time spent on installation. However, loaded panels are often permanently mounted, so if one of the ports gets damaged it’s dead forever. As for unloaded fiber patch panels, you can mount multimedia fiber adapter panels on it to accommodate copper and fiber cabling, and swap out defective ports at any time. But you may have to spend extra money to purchase adapter panels, and more time to install.
Fiber Patch Panel Compatibility
Fiber patch panel compatibility is essentially dictated by the fiber optic equipment and components requiring optical connectivity via the patch panel. Typical duplex single-mode or multimode optical links require LC or SC connectors of either the UPC or APC variety. However, due to next-generation 40G and 100G networking and the use of more advanced multi-fiber connectors and pluggable equipment (e.g. QSFP+), the design and layout of a fiber patch panel may call for specific polarity requirements. Please remember to choose a patch panel with nice compatibility for your various requirements.